Black Women's Improvement Project (BWIP)

The Natural: One Man’s Story on How He Overcame Anxiety Disorder

Quite a few ladies (and men) have expressed to me how crippling shyness and social anxiety are hamstringing their chances of developing romantic relationships. (You’re probably spending too much time on BB&W–not that I’m complaining or anything. It’s like being at your mom’s place. She likes it, but she worries if you’ll ever give her any grandchildren.)

Some level of public anxiety is normal. Thrust yourself into a room full of suits and cocktail dresses stuffed with folks you don’t know will raise the pressure of just about anyone. I know it doesn’t seem like it (because I’m very good at faking) but I too have anxiety when I enter settings where I know absolutely no one. I pull out my ancient flip phone and pretend to read and respond to texts, but because my phone has no type pad, it sound like Morse code, which brings upon unwanted attention as folks around me wonder if my address is One Rock, Under-a-Cave Drive, Rockland, Outer Siberia.

So how do I deal? I force myself to talk to people. I make sure I look my best–not so much for others, but because it boosts MY confidence, and I go to every event with an end game. These days, it’s to gather info and report for the blog, so that alone warms me to people, piques their interest and starts wicked good conversations.

Turns out this is a winning strategy, because when I spoke with Richard LaRuina, super-shy-dude turned suave, hot, relationship coach and author of The Natural: How to Effortlessly Attract the Woman You Want, he sort of did the same thing to overcome his awkwardness. Now he goes all over the world doing conferences and stuff about how to get jump-offs and long-term girlfriends.

SIDENOTE: Why the cuss do people say men don’t buy books on relationships? There’s a HUGE market growing targeting men to help them snag a woman…SO THERE!!

One thing that stuck out to me when I spoke with Richard is that he did an honest assessment of himself, made a list, and then put an action item after each thing so he could work his best to improve it.

But I just gotta say it. Richard said he had a complex because a lot of people called him “ugly.”

Richard at 25, in his awkward, pre-hawtness days:


Doesn't he look like he's 13?

Richard NOW, at 31. Hmm…num yummy!



But that’s kind of the point. Someone (or plural) told him and he believed it, and internalized it. Let me ask you: Who told you that you were ugly? Do you believe them?

Take a listen to me and Richard, and his strategies for overcoming social anxiety.

Social Anxiety Richard La Ruina by Christelyn

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