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How do I stop being so anxious around meeting new people?

iwihbn

Don't the sun look angry at me?
#1
Hey there,
I'm looking for advice around dating and just social interaction in general.
I currently have panic attacks (ridiculously tight feeling in my chest, breathing hard, sweating and panicking) beforehand and get very in my own head about meeting a large number of people, especially if drinking is involved. Last time, I ended up drinking too much and going to hospital last time after an attempt.
How do I stop this all-consuming panic attack? Just mindfulness exercises, controlling breathing?
Thanks very much,=.
 

HappyKitty

•✮• SF's pet kitty, full of kittens & colours •✮•
#2
Im not sure how to help with your physical anxiety situation but I can say this : don't live with fears and limitation and stop worrying about what others opinion about you. What they think about you its not your business. I empathise. *console
 

Champagne

✯✯ Heart of an angel ✯✯
Staff Alumni
SF Supporter
#3
Hey, bear in mind that they are probably feeling just as anxious as you are. Keep the conversation going, present yourself well physically, that might help you feel better. Avoid drinking alcohol, (if?) you are on meds its best to anyway. Try and be down to earth and easy going. To avoid a panic attack, take breaks such as going for a ''smoke'' ;) or needing to use the bathroom ;) That helps me. It is hard at the start but it does get easier once you get to know them :)
 

Walker

Admin-a-monkey
ADMIN
SF Social Media
SF Author
SF Supporter
#4
I'd like to hear about your *thinking* when you're meeting new people that gives you the anxiety in order to better answer your question. What is your brain telling you in that moment?
 

iwihbn

Don't the sun look angry at me?
#5
Hey, bear in mind that they are probably feeling just as anxious as you are. Keep the conversation going, present yourself well physically, that might help you feel better. Avoid drinking alcohol, (if?) you are on meds its best to anyway. Try and be down to earth and easy going. To avoid a panic attack, take breaks such as going for a ''smoke'' ;) or needing to use the bathroom ;) That helps me. It is hard at the start but it does get easier once you get to know them :)
I think avoiding alcohol is best for me, anyway. Quarantine's been good for realizing that, although I'll still drink on occasion. I've never managed to insert myself into a group like that, it always feels like I'm intruding, and they start getting suspicious and weird if you need to take 5 breaks in half an hour. I've never been good at this, but sober hangouts might be easier, possibly, I'll see what I can do to help that.
 

iwihbn

Don't the sun look angry at me?
#6
I'd like to hear about your *thinking* when you're meeting new people that gives you the anxiety in order to better answer your question. What is your brain telling you in that moment?
Oh god what if they don't like me, oh god what if I come off like some weird socially awkward robot, I guess I'll drink to calm down oh god now I'm drunk, oh god I have to go to this party drunk already, oh god there are already groups, oh god I've lost my one friend here oh god I'm lost at this club I guess I'll leave oh god there are SO MANY PEOPLE here. Apparently last time I was so freaked out I pulled a girl's ponytail and ran away.
This makes me want to interact less with people, and sorry for the rant., but it feels inescapable when it happens, its just a full on freakout especially if I push myself and there are loads of people.
 

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