College was a tough time for me. Though I was sure that Id be leaving all my troubles behind once my high school days were over, I was just kidding myself. Things didnt improve much except for the fact that we were treated as adults now. Other than that, I was utterly alone. The only good thing was that the juvenile, school-yard bully tactics were now a thing of the past.
While in college, I met up with another guy in one of my classes who seemed to be suffering from social anxiety as much as I was. We became good friends and were never at a loss for things to talk about.
Initially, I was apprehensive when he started up a conversation because of the way he looked. Though Im 100% heterosexual, I can tell if someone is good-looking – male or female. This guy was definitely good looking. He could have easily attracted woman that I would never have had a chance with in a million years. He was certainly way better looking than me, and I actually hesitated to create a friendship with this person because I thought he might have been messing with me for fun.
To make a long story short, he turned out to be one of the nicest people Ive ever met. We talked about all kinds of things, including woman. When he indicated that he didnt do well with the opposite sex, I didnt believe him – It didnt seem possible. Yet, it proved to be true.
Of course, he didnt have a problem attracting looks from some of the most gorgeous women on campus, but thats as far as it went. Even if they made the first move, he was unable to take the ball and run with it. Most times, these women would make an excuse and the conversation would be over in minutes.
As incredible as it may sound, this guy was just as lonely and desperate as I was. He had few friends, and his romantic opportunities were few and far between.
At the time I was so preoccupied with other problems in my life that I failed to see an important lesson being played out before my eyes. I now know that physical looks may get you in the door, but your personality is what will get you invited back. I spent many years putting myself down because I didnt live up to societys model of looks and image. Well, to be fair, it was actually my belief of what societys standards were.
These days, Ive learned to work with what I have. I have stopped obsessing about things I cant change (looks) and concentrating on things I can (personality, confidence).
I still keep in touch with my friend from college. He has settled down and lives a quiet life with his wife and family. He hasnt changed much since college – in fact, I believe Ive made a lot more progress in the fight against social anxiety than he has, but the main thing is that hes happy and content.
Remember that social anxiety makes us look at ourselves in a decidedly warped fashion. It blows things out of proportion and feeds off of our negativity. Heck, even if you are very average looking, you can certainly make up for it in personality. This is something that each and every one of us can achieve.