I think shy men are often seen as weird and creepy. In fact even on the UK social anxiety forum a female once said she was put off going to a meet in case she was approached by weird and creepy men. It’s a shyness forum FFS! Half the men on there are afraid of coming across as weird and creepy! You see in the real world again, a very shy man will probably die a virgin unless he makes the first move so he has to approach women even if he comes across as creepy. Most women never ask men out or even chat men up. From my experience of 20 years of work they don’t usually even speak first even when working in the same office and then slag him off for being strange. This is almost certainly evolution at work as males and females behave quite differently in virtually every species of animal on earth. Yet once again on all the books and advice on social anxiety it’s barely ever mentioned that there is any kind of difference whatsoever. Well perhaps they don’t want to come across as sexist. However evolution does not give a F**k for human values and has always been very sexist.
So for the majority of men the only way to get a relationship is to make the first move. This means finding and then approaching and making witty conversation to gain a woman’s trust in order that she might like you and agree to go out if she is straight and single. But then you act shy. Oops, you immediately appear weird and creepy! I used to blush so intensely I could feel my whole face go red, sweat would pour down my forehead and even making coherent sentences would be very difficult and random nonsensical words would appear to embarrass me further. So of course I become avoidant. To go through that and keep doing it I think you would have to be clinically insane or have no self consciousness in the first place. Yet much of the advice for such men is just keep doing it which is shit advice as something this traumatic actually makes you get much worse. And because there is no prolonged exposure you don’t get to the habituation stage or recovery. Yet often the advice you see is still the tough love approach to shyness and that you just need a good push or kick up the backside to force you into situations and you are bound to get better. It’s obvious that people have vastly different levels of anxiety and completely different triggers so assuming there is a one size fist all approach is completely wrong.
You are constantly told and even encouraged to smile at and talk to every single attractive woman you see as that’s the only way to get a relationship and perfectly normal behaviour and at the same time if you act very shy and nervous you will be labelled weird and creepy and often ridiculed. I am starting to think that there is actually still a lot and ignorance in therapy and treatment and the people who think themselves geniuses are anything but. They have absolutely no idea of the levels of humiliation created by such things and what you will contemplate doing to escape them, even death. Then their excuse is that because you did not try they can always say it’s your fault for being a coward or not willing to take chances and face your fears and yet if the therapy is so difficult that it can’t even persuade you to start and that 1 in 4 drop out of social anxiety CBT then it’s hardly fool proof. In fact after reading that two years later the majority of people taking CBT were no better than before they started it makes you wonder how much these experts know at all.