Overcoming Shy Bladder

public mens urinals

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We don’t usually talk about issues like overcoming a shy bladder. However, it is a problem that many guys deal with. In many ways, the inability to take a leak is connected to your inability to do other things (like talk to girls).

Although there are varying degrees of shy bladder problems, for some guys (and women), shy bladder can be related to a general lack of confidence.

This article is more for guys, but it’s relevant to anyone hoping to overcome occasional and mild problems with shy bladder.

First, I want to say that, for many people, shy bladder boils anxiety. So, a lot of these tips are related to overcoming anxiety around urination. Basically, you need to quit being nervous and learn how to take a piss!

Don’t Care

Ok, you’re in a restroom next to a bunch of guys and you have to pee. The dudes may see you. Who cares? You may have reasons for caring, but let me tell you this. They’re all stupid. Here’s why.

You’re in a restroom with people you likely don’t know and will never see again. In an hour, will you even care? What about a minute? I know at the time it seems hard to pee with other fellas around. But, in even the short run, who cares?

You have to stop caring about it. I guarantee you the people in the bathroom with you don’t. No one in a bathroom is really thinking about the guy next to him beyond “I hope he’s not looking at my wiener.” Quit being so nervous about it!

Talk Yourself Down

A lot of times, overcoming shy bladder means mentally convincing yourself to just relax and pee. You can do this by having the right mental self talk. You want to mentally talk to yourself into going to the bathroom successfully.

When I had a nervous bladder years ago, I kept the previous tip in mind. If I found myself getting nervous at a urinal, I’ll say something like “Screw this guy. Who is he anyway?”

I was not being rude to the dude (not that it matters in my head). I was just reminding myself that the guy next to me should have no bearing on my ability to take a leak.

But, mentally talk yourself down. Never talk to yourself in a public bathroom.

Think of Something Humorous

Since overcoming shy bladder is ultimately about overcoming anxiety, then one way to beat it is to find a way to make yourself relax through humor. It’s kind of like the “imagining someone naked” technique when giving a public speech. You’re relaxing yourself by finding humor in a situation.

If you have issues peeing in front of others, then think of something funny. It could be anything (except probably imagining naked people in a men’s restroom) that gets you laughing and puts you at ease. Just bring the image into your head and relax.

If you smile a little that’s OK, but, like with talking to yourself, you probably don’t want to laugh out loud in a public restroom.

Hopefully these tips will be useful in helping you overcome shy bladder. They can also help you relieve anxiety in other situations. Relax, be flexible and confident. And let that urine flow.

About Jonathan Bennett

Jonathan Bennett is a writer, speaker, dating expert, and business owner. His articles have been viewed millions of times, and he has been featured in a variety of publications, including the Wall Street Journal.


  1. Hey, thanks for bringing awareness to this common issue. But for some people (men and women) it’s not as easy as “just relax”…But thankfully there are simple ways to overcome paruresis. I never liked hypnosis though, and found it worthless.

    The paruresis “breath-hold” technique is helpful for people with mild bladder shyness. For some, this technique is all they need to pee in public.

    Some people need more help, which they can find online with ebooks or audio guides.

    You can find more info at my blog: http://paruresiscure.com/

    • Jonathan Bennett says:

      Thank you Steve! Your comment here will serve as a good resource for those who visit this page.

  2. Shy bladder (medically known as paruresis) is a continuum disorder, meaning that someone might have occasional “stage fright” — or on the other extreme be afraid to leave his or her home because they won’t be able to urinate outside of it. While your tips might prove useful to a mild sufferer, they probably would not apply to a serious paruretic. The most effective treatment method has been found to be Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) when practiced over a period of time. For more information, please visit the website of the International Paruresis Association, a nonprofit organization, at http://www.paruresis.org.

    Carol Olmert
    A female long-time paruretic who finally recovered
    Author, “Bathrooms Make Me Nervous”

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