Anxiety Around Straight Guys!

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Dec 24, 2010 5:42 AM GMT
    First off, I just want to say that I honestly do like who I am as a person and I know that I'm a good guy, so it's not an issue with having low self-esteem or being closeted. Just want to put that out there. Also, I'm aware that it has some ties to me having a horrible relationship with my father.

    Okay, I seem to have a mental block when it comes to talking or creating friendships with straight guys. I can do the whole small talk thing, but after a while it gets pretty uncomfortable. This is especially frustrating when I have to see the same guys everyday (in class or at work). I'm not necessarily an obvious gay guy and I don't talk openly about my sexuality to everyone (only my close gay friends know). I try to maintain this cool "Johnny Depp" mystique (if you will), which is really just a front. I know what I'm doing and I know it appears cool and interesting to the straight guys, but it's not a fun role to maintain.

    I know a lot of straight males but I wouldn't consider them good friends. I get nervous about letting straight guys into my personal life because I want them to think I'm a relatable guy. I'm not the type to lie and it's almost like I want one of them to ask me "Are you gay?" just so the ice will be broken. I don't feel like I should have to tell anyone anything they don't ask me.

    It's always easier when like a girl friend of mine is dating a guy and she tells him I am gay (before I meet him). Then once I meet him, I enjoy breaking all his pre-conceived notions of gay guys. I feel like I can be myself and they always end up really enjoying my company.

    Many straight guys show genuine interest in me. They'll ask me random questions and give me random compliments, just to make conversation and I always end up feeling like a dick head because I'm so short with them. I'm afraid that if a guy is nice to me, I'll end up getting a man crush on him and I don't want to go there. It always happens when a straight guy is nice to me.

    The whole thing is really debilitating and in the past, I always end up becoming that guy (especially in the workplace) that no other straight guys want to be around. I can see the uncomfortable reactions of there faces when they run into me or have to make small talk with me. I don't know what I need to do to get past this.

    I really enjoy the company of straight guys, I like to feel like "one of the guys" and I need to be able to network with straight guys.

    Can anyone relate to anything I am saying? It's really hurting my social and professional life.

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    Dec 24, 2010 5:56 AM GMT
    Just act like they know if you're don't really care if they know about you being gay. I can't say they will all be happy about it, but if they seem to want to connect with you everything will be fine.
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    Dec 24, 2010 7:48 AM GMT
    maybe they know you're not being yourself and thats why they're uncomfortable with you. just be yourself and act like a normal person instead of the "jonny depp mystique" and you'll probably make lots of friends. i have, and i'm shy and akward as all hell so if i can do it, you can ;)
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    Dec 24, 2010 8:52 AM GMT
    Oooooh my god, everything you said...EVERYTHING you said I completely relate to.

    Thank god there's another person with the same mindset I thought I was going crazy =(
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Dec 24, 2010 9:01 AM GMT
    I had the exact problem... And still kinda do in some sence, so I acted really gay! Well, I acted like myself. And it worked out, I get some shit from the homophobes but i'm friends with almost every other straight guy. We'll hang out and shit. I unno, I just act like myself, and the rest comes along.
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    Dec 24, 2010 9:06 AM GMT
    The only time I ever have this problem is with straight guys I like then I'm like putty icon_razz.gif
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    Dec 24, 2010 12:00 PM GMT
    Hmmm sounds like you're an introverted type of person because of the social anxiety you're feeling.

    Let me just say is that you are building way too many preconceived notions about yourself. You are own obstacle.

    Trying to relate to a 'straight' guys is not rocket science. Everyone has similarities and difference. The only note that differs by a few margins is that you like men. No one is 'witch' hunting you so when a guy is chatting with you, he's chatting along the lines of the subject matter. Even if he deviates, it s not about your sexuality. And if they ask, well you really have nothing to hide right or simply modify the truth without casting any suspicions.

    Also it doesn't hurt to admit to your colleagues and friends that you awkward during conversation because of your social anxiety. You'd be surprised how many will sympathize and some will try to encourage you to open up more. Plus you will find your self talking to them, without any initiative on their part.

    Remember you are in control of your emotions and feelings. You don't need to be a deer in the headlights. And it never hurts to smile.

    Look in the mirror and smile to yourself. It really helps to calm oneself down.
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    Dec 24, 2010 2:32 PM GMT
    Just talk about sports. "Is Brett Favre gonna retire for good this time? Are the Cowboys gonna keep Jason Garret as HC? Where is Cliff Lee gonna land next year?" Gets them going for hours.
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    Dec 24, 2010 2:42 PM GMT
    You probably already know this, and its harder than it sounds.... but you HAVE to stop giving a shit. If you give too much of a shit, you will think too much, and thinking hinders your ability to socialise with them. Put it this way...... they may be straight, but they are still MEN..... they arent girls, its not like you dont have a lot in common with them.

    Try dropping this Johnny Depp thing too - i get where it comes from but it was accidental, you just fell into it, now you gotta get out of it. If you are a funny guy, just do your regular funny thing, yeah?

    As for mee, sometimes I get the same problem.... the girls at my old workplace gravitate towards me while the straight guys not so much, but if you look at your own behaviour, its likely you talk to the girls more than the guys, and you dont realise you arent letting the guys in.

    jsut sit next to them in class dude, dont push them away, remind yourself they are just guys, and maybe when they find out you are gay they will like you more. and if they seem surprised, maybe joke about it a bit. For instance, when i first came out to some friends at 19 and 20 i was SO fucking scared of what my best friends would htink (all straight guys).... and the BEST thing i did was joke about it and say "dont worry, i dont like you or anything, i could do WAY better than you if i wanted to" ahahha... you know, shit like that!

    good luck doofus
  • tobyb

    Posts: 111

    Dec 24, 2010 3:04 PM GMT
    This sounds like an awful situation. If it's hurting both your social life AND professional life, it's clearly worth working on.

    It's good to hear that things are easier when other guys know you are gay. If the other people at the office don't know, or may not know, then the work place problems will be less when people know, or when you know that they know. (They may well have worked out that you are gay, because of how guarded you are about yourself around them; unless they think it's because you're a serial killer.) I think it's worth figuring out how to make sure they know; if there's a woman at the office that you could tell, that would help, because then you'll be able to ask her whether people know generally - and let her know that it's fine for her to tell people. Then the work situation will be like hanging out with your gal pal's boyfriends.

    I know it can be awkward to bring the topic up. But unless you tell people true things about you, why would they trust you? So in situations when I'm with people who clearly don't know or haven't worked out that I'm gay, I go out of my way to say things that are true that hint at the fact that I'm gay. For me, examples are that I'm not married, I don't have kids, I love 80s rock, I think "Glee" is a great TV show, I love to sing in the car and the shower. I don't know what examples are true for you, but unless you TRULY love talking sports, I think that will take you down the road of guys assuming you are straight, and the awkwardness will continue. And if they ask you a question and you lie, then they won't trust you and what's more, they will have more reasons to. If someone says "do you think she's hot?" and you say "yes," rationalizing that you can tell she's hot even though you're gay, that's compounding your problem, not solving it.

    But more fundamentally, why not go see a therapist? You clearly want a space in which you can talk really freely - and that horrible relationship with your father will be a great topic of conversation in therapy! Hell I think it's bound to lead to improving that relationship, and improving your social and professional life.
  • calibro

    Posts: 8888

    Dec 24, 2010 4:35 PM GMT
    another just joined, no pic, no profile, single post author looking for advice on something... icon_rolleyes.gif must not feed...
  • austinlee

    Posts: 96

    Dec 24, 2010 4:37 PM GMT
    Just be who you are!