Social Anxiety, Working out & masculinity

“You should take your shirt off when you work out” How about… uh… no. You can work out with your shirt off, like many men do, and I won’t judge you or your body, and I’ll work out the way I so choose, with a shirt on, and you don’t judge me, deal? There are many reasons why I work out with a shirt on, specifically, a long sleeve shirt.

One, I have permanent scars on my arms and my stomach, which I highly prefer to keep hidden when around other people. If people saw my scars, they’d know exactly how I got the scars, and I don’t like people knowing that.

Secondly, even without the scars from self-harming, I get extreme social anxiety in public, especially when working out. I’ve been told in the past that I sweat a lot, like more than most people do, so I really hate being seen sweating. If I’m lifting weights, I’ll cover my head with a towel so I can’t see if people are looking/watching me. If I’m running and doing basketball drills, something where I can’t cover my head in a towel to avoid being seen, don’t say anything about how I look or what I should be wearing/not wearing. Just tell me how to run the drill. Tell me what I need to do and that’s it.

Thirdly, no matter how I look, I hate my body. I’ve always hated my body, even when I’ve had a flat tummy in the past. And don’t give me the whole ‘you need to have confidence’ talk because it’s not going to work with me. I’m never going to love or have confidence in how I look. For me, it’s always going to be about trying not to hate myself, trying not to completely destroy myself.

Fourth and lastly, I’m quiet and modest. I like to keep to myself. I’m not really one keen on showing off my body in public. I don’t like the idea of strangers seeing my body. My body is for me, and for any future romantic partner that loves and cherishes my body. That sounds cheesy, but yea. I’m secretive about my body, and that’s never going to change. So you do you, and I’ll do me.

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