Social anxiety on this site

So I've been wishing for platonic cuddles basically my whole life. I only just found out about this place. It took me a while to decide whether or not to sign up because despite wishing I could just meet someone and plop down on the couch with them I'm not sure that I can do that. It's difficult to define how it happens but I can often get very anxious with people I don't know in places I don't know. Sometimes nearly having a panic attack, especially in large crowds. Yet I can also sometimes walk up to complete strangers and within minutes talk like we've been friends forever.

I haven't had a lot of social experiences in my life (which is likely why I developed social anxiety) so I still don't know exactly what situations will and won't make me anxious. In theory, knowing that I'm meeting someone who just wants to cuddle should calm me down because most of what stresses me out is the fear of the unknown when it comes to people, not knowing their boundaries or intents, but in practice I genuinely don't know if it will or not. And if I do get anxious I probably won't be in a cuddly mood with that person. Yes cuddling would likely calm me down but I don't think cuddling with the person who is the source of the anxiety would.

It also seems that there aren't many women on this site so the ones that are here get to pick and choose who they want to cuddle with. If I tell them I have social anxiety that seems like it'd be an instant turnoff and I'd never get a cuddle buddy but I feel like not telling them would be deceptive and unfair.

What are your thoughts? Is it alright for someone like me to try to use this site? Do you have or have you encountered someone on this site with social anxiety? How did it go?

Comments

  • Just know that you're not alone, buddy. I've got social anxiety too and it seriously hampers my life. I understand your pain... At least partially...

    Anyway, sending best wishes and prayers ❤️ ❤️

  • It bothered me for a while. Making friends is hard so there was a part of my life where I was seriously depressed and convinced that the only people who liked me were just pretending. Eventually I realized that I had a few good freinds and that was all I needed. I took the Myers Briggs 16 personalities test and I'm an INFP, the mediator personality type and they are known to be very difficult to get to know so I just accepted who I am and figured that if my only friends are ones that really wanted to know me then that's not really a bad thing. I know who my friends are which not everyone can say.

  • [Deleted User]Aimi702 (deleted user)

    You're definitely allowed to use this site. I get anxiety around people as well and look at me, almost going on two years of being a pro. It is very important to speak about your discomfort with others, if they chose to get distant. It's not your fault. They're just not in the right mind set to meet with someone with your traits and qualities. I do my absolute best to not judge other people I meet on here for cuddles. But I definitely know what it's like to feel anxious. I still get nervous sometimes before a session. I always hope I meet people who are going to be kind, genuine, and easy to conversate with. I'm ok at holding online conversations, but in all honesty, a lot of times, online conversations gives me anxiety. It's like I'm not being pressured at all to respond but I mentally pressure myself to respond to people, and say they keep responding immediately, depending on where the conversation is leading, say I find myself repeating myself a lot with that individual or something, I'll end up getting anxiety and have to step away so I dont come off rude. But hey if I'm able to manage with all of my issues that I'm still trying to over come. I'm sure you will learn how to manage as well, and best of luck on finding the right cuddle buddy on here who will understand you and be kind to you 💕

  • You might try a pro a few times just to get your legs under you. And honestly, my sense is many women would rather cuddle with someone who's a little scared because we're often are too and they can understand.

  • As a pro, I’ve had experience with folks with social anxiety and it’s always my goal to ensure that it’s something of a positive experience for them because it takes a lot for folks to walk up to this. I acknowledge that and I would hope other pros do too (as much as I would like to vouch for my fellow pros, I can’t speak for them all)

    To answer your question, you are definitely valuable to this site as a participating member even before you even schedule your first session. As long as you follow the code of conduct, please feel free to call this site like home. I know I do.

  • Investment is the spending of resource, in the reasonable expectation of getting something more valuable. Gambling is the spending of resource, in the unsubstantiated hope of getting something more valuable.

    My analogy of social anxiety, is that it occurs when the potential gain of social interaction, isn't judged to be a sound risk of self-worth and embarrassment.

    The trick is to win often, even if that means stacking the deck. Visit a pro, but behave as of she were a non-pro who must be won over. The "surprising" success makes the next one easier, until you can risk a loss.

    When I was 11, I went to watch a professional soccer match. My team lost, and I never went again. Perhaps if they had won a few times, I could have kept going.

    I also find it helpful to engage in random brief conversations with "pros" such as shop assistants, where there is no expectation of anything else.
    "Excuse me, where do I find the tea bags ?" isn't, "Can I buy you dinner ?" However, it is a good safe start.

  • @CompanionCore you aren't alone many people in the CC community have varying levels of social anxiety. Hell I had it bad when I first signed up here. But by forcing myself out of my shell and working at conversation. Realizing saying stupid things is ok as long as you learn from it all, the experiences combined made the effort worth it. I believe for your case it does get better if you gradually allow it.

  • edited January 22

    For the most part you are part of the cuddling community (if you follow the rules of the boundaries and be here). Whether you choose a pro or a non pro just be open to this process and talk to the person during the session. I was told that some people want to talk and hardly touch the cuddler. To reap the benefits you heard about just platonically touch and talk because it goes hand in hand. You'll be surprised how much you and the person you're cuddling with have in common

  • Thanks for all the support. Makes me feel a little more comfortable. I want to step pit of my comfort zone and try to get over it, that's my strategy for most everything in life and it's worked for most things. When it comes to socializing though I have a tendency to decide to step out and then immediately second guess myself and back out even if it makes things worse. I'll try messaging a few people and see what happens. If it doesn't seem to work I might try a pro.

  • @CompanionCore
    Be yourself. Be honest. Be patient. Great people will accept you and appreciate you.

    As a man, chances of meeting an enthusiast woman are less than 1%, but you can try. It will take time.

    If you want to speed things up, seek out a pro, and screen carefully. Look for those who have additional qualifications in a caregiver field, as they will tend to be very understanding and supportive.

  • @MrPaul agreed. I would follow his solid advice CompanionCore.

  • Mr. Paul is right. Try a pro or two for a little bit because they can give you good karma reviews and the non pro you contact will be a little more comfortable with you because she trusts that you won't try anything shouldn't do.

  • @CompanionCore You'd never know it by talking to me, but I have a form of social anxiety, too. I get absolutely PETRIFIED if I have/want to go up to someone in a public place and begin a conversation. Online? Piece of cake. At a business function or around friends? Gravy. But one-on-one? I may as well be faced with jumping off a skyscraper.

    That's the great thing about cuddling - no expectations. No judgement. No side-eye-whatta-YOU-want looks. No rejection. Despite everything remaining WELL within the site rules, my last cuddles were literally better than 85% of ALL of my first dates ever (not that the number is astronomical by any means...). I'd wager that 50% of all relationships would be stronger and last longer if their first date was a cuddle session. Sex is actually a distraction when trying to KNOW someone. Taking comfort in the warmth but continuing the path to the person INSIDE is the real victory of the spirit.

    Every relationship I started with extreme intimacy ended badly... the incompatibilities were just masked - often for a long time - by the hormonal stampede. And... I'm now completely off topic, aren't I?

    Oh bother.

  • I think your social anxiety may not hurt your prospects here, at least not much. It’s definitely a different crowd than say a dating site.

    That said, your impression that finding enthusiast women is difficult for men is 100% correct. To the extent that I don’t think it’s worthwhile to try, although some people don’t like it when I say that.

    The good news is that there are some pros who would be happy to help someone in your situation. In fact I’ve talked to pros who’ve helped people with social anxiety before. Just don’t be afraid to be a little picky with what pro you see... not every pro would be well suited to this.

  • I think you'll fit right into this community, take your time and get to know people on the forums and through private messages. Just don't get discourage if it takes a while to find someone that might be a good fit. Just make sure to be open with them and see where they are at as well. This is all about both being open with each others boundaries and expectations.

  • Social anxiety kicks in, when you try to ask someone out to dinner. It doesn't kick, in when you try to order a meal at a restaurant.

    The pros on this site are by default, keen to give you the experience we seek. As Julia Roberts says in Pretty Woman, "I'm a sure thing".

    I haven't yet cuddled on this site, but the pros reassure me that I can.

  • @StoryDoctor1138 I appreciate the insight. Despite that I haven't done much dating, I've been on some dates but never got an official girlfriend, they all turned out to be insane, I agree with you. It seems to me that a lot of people are in failing relationships these days because they don't try to care about anything more than how good the other is in bed.

    @geoff1000 all kinds of anxiety work differently for different people. I DO experience social anxiety from ordering a meal at a restaurant I'm not familiar with. I would be more comfortable with a pro but I know I'd still be anxious at least for the first session. Reason doesn't fix anxiety. I've tried, I could be told by literally every person on the planet that there's no reason to be anxious and have the smartest person in the world tell me scientifically why I shouldn't be anxious about meeting someone new and I still wouldn't be completely calm until I see everything is okay by actually meeting and talking to them. Being reassured helps for sure, I really do appreciate all of the support here, but ultimately God and I are the only people that can truly work on it and eventually get over it.

    @SouthFlorida4U Thanks for the kind words. I don't know if I'll ever find someone, I'm notoriously terrible at small talk IRL and even worse over the internet. As I say in my bio if the other person isn't putting in a bit of effort to come up with topics we can talk about any conversation with me will die very quickly. But who knows, there are people that can get close to me, they seem to be diamonds in the rough so it seems highly unlikely I'll find more than a few more in my life and it's even more unlikely that one of them will be on here but God has a plan. If he wants me to find someone for platonic cuddles then he will send them my way.

  • @CompanionCore My very first cuddle was with a Pro, my last, i.e., most recent, was also a Pro. Both have social anxiety. It wasn't a problem and is more common than you think. Baby steps, dude. Baby steps.

  • like @Groucho says, baby steps! every bit of experience, practice, and progress adds up!

  • @CompanionCore
    Here are two techniques that may help you overcome social anxiety.

    Be in a quiet, safe and relaxing place. Close your eyes and visualize yourself meeting a person you would like to meet, and being confident in yourself and having no anxiety about it. Imagine the conversation taking place, what you say, and the other person’s positive words to you. Work on actually picturing this new self in your mind. Continue to do this exercise daily, perhaps in the morning or evening or whenever you have time to yourself.

    When you are out in the real world, and encounter a person who you have to interact with, like a clerk or cashier for example, try giving them a sincere compliment. You can also do this on the phone with customer service people. The conversation can be short, and you get to leave right away so there is no pressure.

    I hope this helps.

  • [Deleted User]purplepassion8 (deleted user)

    I do professional cuddling to actually help with my own personal anxiety. I definitely would not be put off by that!

  • edited January 24

    @MrPaul - those are very good suggestions. I pay random people compliments all the time. Personally, I don't have any social anxiety relating with people one-to-one. I only experience it in groups. And yet I've met people who only experience anxiety in one-to-one situations and function fine in groups. Everyone is different.

  • I was crossing the road today, at what we in the UK call a "zebra crossing". A young female pedestrian was doing the same. I said a short innocent phrase, something about the traffic, got some kind of a smile in return, and I kept walking.

    I think some people are reluctant to engage in conversation, in case it becomes too serious, or is regarded as "chatting up" which must be nipped in the bud. I therefore get my practice while it is clear that I am in a hurry to be somewhere else, and it is just like a ship honking its horn in greeting at another as they pass. If they find me unpleasant, they are not going to prolong a conversation they don't want, by saying something to that effect.

    Think of someone handing out free snacks from a tray. They will be very wary of anyone who looks so hungry, that they will eat the lot.

    A voice command help device might be a useful tool, practice talking to an inanimate object ; and then, when you need to talk to a real person, you can imagine they are just a walking chatbot. The microphone at the burger drive-through might be a real person, or not.

  • @CompanionCore “ I've tried, I could be told by literally every person on the planet that there's no reason to be anxious and have the smartest person in the world tell me scientifically why I shouldn't be anxious about meeting someone new and I still wouldn't be completely calm until I see everything is okay by actually meeting and talking to them.”
    Your experience is yours, and NO ONE can tell you how you should feel ;)

    When I was younger I would get so stressed out about going to ANY KIND of restaurant. The scene from titanic, where jack is all confused what fork to use... yeah my brain imagined something like that (but imagine 20x more cutlery items and that you were going to get kicked out for even looking at the wrong one).
    (I still get anxious going someplace I haven’t gone before... and having to figure out the menu... =\ I’ll usually find out where I’m going before hand and then to figure out something on the menu I’d like before I go.

    On the topic of cuddling though... as other have said... do what you feel comfortable with. I’ve had a session with someone who had never been intimate with anyone... (including holding hands). Talking is how we started. me setting my hand on their knee (with permission of course.) later on... when they felt comfortable they did the same... we didn’t cuddle at all really the first 2 sessions, and thats totally ok =)

    I know it really wasn’t easy for them... but I’m proud of them for working through it... and I’m glad they felt that comfortable with me, and very happy I could help and share that experience with them.

    You’re more than welcome here =)

  • I find it helpful to engage the other half of my brain.

    I learned ballroom dancing at college ; and used so much mental effort getting the steps right, that I couldn't think about how nice it was to hold a young woman in my arms for a few minutes.

    Ice-skating is another ; I am so busy trying to not fall over and get hurt, that other people are just obstacles and hazards.

  • @CompanionCore: If the idea of meeting and cuddling is more anxiety-inducing than the idea of just meeting, you could try just meeting first.

    Plenty of people like to have a kind of getting-to-know-you meetup before the actual cuddle meet. Coffee or tea is usually suggested, but me... uh. Sometimes I think the best thing for me would be going to the local library, each of us picking out a book, then sitting down together—not touching!—and reading for the whole first meeting. Just to get used to being in physical proximity.

    After that I'd feel more comfy with a drink and a chat, and from there cuddling might almost seem natural.

    'Course, I'm the kind of person who regularly disregards their own comfort zone, so I almost never take things as slowly as I probably should. ...Which hasn't turned out too badly, all things considered, but still! Proceeding with caution is a-okay. Get used to your prospective buddy at your own pace!

    Like @littermate, I also get the feeling that a lot of the women on here would prefer to take things one small step at a time. For safety's sake.

  • @DarrenWalker
    Reading next to each other in a library.
    I hadn't thought of that one, but physical proximity without even talking, is an even smaller step.

    For me, the key point is that someone is there because they want to be ; and doing anything, is a bonus.

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