” one man says when it’s his turn), Luna offers some tips: Focus on something specific. If you’re talking about a car, give us its make and color. Rebecca tells us that, against her family’s wishes, she wants to get a Triforce tattooed on her wrist.
If I were a Harlequin romance novelist, I would describe his dark features as brooding.
Through his dating instruction company, Craft of Charisma, he’s been coaching within the “social anxiety community” for several years.
Those who seek out social anxiety groups (not to mention those too anxious to do so), whether or not they have a disorder, suffer in a singular way. The students in this room seem grateful, even happy to learn new coping skills and to be part of a supportive group.
In the email Rebecca writes me the next day, she says, “I remember way back in sixth grade, our teachers would gather 30-40 of us at a time and show us how to be social.
“They were the ones no one else wanted to work with,” he says.
Tonight’s class is billed as a general social skills workshop, but when Luna asks the group, “How many of you want to use these skills to improve your dating life? Luna splits the group into pairs and teaches them a mirroring exercise: Partner 2 should imitate the body language of Partner 1. Although some ones infer that they should gesture naturally as they talk and let the twos follow, others are less suave: One pair stands staring at each other, each touching his own ears.Some shake their heads and back away from the circle. ’ ” The idea is that the person in the middle will rejoin the circle and the person who yelled “Freeze! “Don’t forget to make eye contact with everyone,” Luna adds.The point of the exercise is to teach assertiveness: A socially anxious person might find himself shrinking from a group conversation, thinking of things he might like to say but missing his window, growing silent and increasingly uncomfortable as the banter volleys above his head.The storytelling exercise simulates a conversational atmosphere that gives everyone permission to jump in while still leaving it up to each person to take the initiative.A guy who just moved to New York from France enters the middle of the circle and talks about traveling in India.Most of them learned about the workshop through the New York Shyness and Social Anxiety Meetup; with more than 2,500 members, it’s the largest social anxiety meet up in the world, according to the group’s leader, Erik Silverman.