Dating classes for women
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.
SAD first appeared in the Still, the Food and Drug Administration approved the drug company Glaxo Smith Kline to market Paxil as the antidote (“Imagine being allergic to people,” the ad says), and soon, both Paxil prescriptions and SAD diagnoses were on the rise.
He never intended to get so involved with the socially anxious, but when he started coaching in New York City (he had moved from California to attend Columbia University, realized his scholarship wasn’t all it was cracked up to be, and needed extra cash), those were the clients who found him.
“They were the ones no one else wanted to work with,” he says.
Everyone takes turns introducing himself, explaining what brought him out on a Saturday evening to a dating coach’s class for the socially anxious.
Rebecca is a college student who is “obsessed” with the video game .
He chooses two people to stand in the middle of the circle and tells them to keep both hands on each other at all times. But whereas two hours ago people weren’t laughing at all, or they were covering their mouths and lowering their heads, now everyone howls as the people in the middle of the circle find creative ways to make contact.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.A woman holds her own stomach, and the man she’s partnered with copies. Facebook.” Walking around inside the circle and making eye contact with each student, he tells a story about receiving a Facebook invitation to a party.She has long wavy hair and a sweet face (although she tells me later that when she gets nervous, her eyebrows pull together of their own accord and make her look angry).Despite being one of the youngest and one of the few women in the group, Rebecca quickly establishes herself among the most candid.
(Later, I look up Triforce and learn that it’s a Zelda symbol that represents wisdom, power, and courage.) Someone confesses his shame about the scars on his body. Only one person, who told us during introductions that his stutter causes him acute anxiety, refuses to participate. Since I reached out to Luna about writing this story, he’s told me several times that “everyone is socially anxious.” I guess what he means is that everyone is socially anxious to varying degrees.