now you may have figured out that Actually Initiating A Conversation
is the technique you are going to use when you finally ask a girl
We have been through
a long and harrowing ordeal learning our way around the basic chemistry
of shyness but it's all downhill from here. Really. It's going to
get easier and easier all the time.
So, you are going
to practice being responsive for a good long time. More than a week.
You are going to run around repeating your I am Friendly Mantra until
essentially the fear chemicals are going to change their relationship
with you. At first, they will bang on your door all the time, considering
you as they do, a friend. But you are going to be repeating your mantra
and will not answer. They will be puzzled and somewhat hurt by this
and will continue to attempt to protect you. But eventually they will
say, as anyone would, 'well i guess there's no one home then.' And
they are going to stop trying so hard to get in.
So you are going
to keep repeating your mantra until it feels like it soothes you.
Until your brain gets in the habit of soothing itself. You need to
work on this for awhile if you are shy in many situations. 'I am Friendly'
night and day so that when called upon to respond in situations other
than Greetings, your body operates automatically out of habit with
an initial acknowledgement and friendliness moment. Really. Throughout
the day there are opportunities for this. That pause of acknowledgement
and friendliness. Don't worry if you are not a natural smiler or if
you fucking smile all the time like a nervous wreck. Smiling is
a way to communicate vulnerability and friendliness at the same time
and some of you are in the mood to rely on it excessively in hopes
of warding off evil pouncers and some of you are thoroughly uncomfortable
with it because you don't want to signal the vulnerability you are
already overwhelmed by. Doesn't matter. Friendliness is friendliness
and it will come across.
Your limp won't
matter, your accent, your horrendous facial scar, your nervous tic,
or any of your other Obvious Defects. Because Other People have been
trained by millions of years of evolution to detect Friendliness subconsciously.
And they will respond, helplessly, by relaxing a little and being
more friendly themselves.
So now you are
going to take it to the next step and you are going to go around your
workplace saying hello to people first. Clutching your Friendliness
Mantra like a teddy bear, you are going to initiate the contact. It's
easy! When you see someone, you are going to say hello, or hey,
or hi, just as if you were feeling friendly to that person. You don't
have to get obsessive about this and stalk the halls of your workplace
in an attempt to say hello to every single person on your floor every
day. You are simply going to take advantage of all the natural opportunities
you have to do something with all those nervous Friendliness Chemicals
you now have milling about your body.
For those of you
who are pitying Mr. Shy Person who normally doesn't even know how
to say hi first to people at work--remember you are going to do this
same thing with a Girl You Want Desperately To Have Sex with You.
So have some respect. It's the same thing.
practice, Mr. Shy Person. I want you to practice so much that eventually
you are saying hello first to the CEO of your major corporation or
at the very least some intimidating mucky-muck. Because you can do
it. It's just a friendliness gesture, not an attempt to take over
the world. Hello, friendly, and then you're out of there. Now it's
Step 3: Hello
You are going
to do the exact same thing now with a multitude of strangers. You
are going to go to the 7-11 to get a soft drink so that you can say
hello to the cashier when you initiate payment. You're going to the
dry cleaners to say hello to the counter-person. When you order a
sandwich, hello to the sandwich person. You are going to get out of
the house and get some ice cream so you can say hello to the ice cream
man. You are going to say hello to the other customers when you see
them. You are going to nod, or say hi, or otherwise acknowledge people
right, left, and fucking center. You are not going to write a fucking
novel or scare the shit out of people by trying to strike up a full-on
conversation with every fucking customer at Starbucks. Just an acknowledgement.
You don't really want to do this necessarily, but your head is stuffed
with I am Friendly and you are going to carry it with you.
hello. Hi, hi, hi. Nod, nod, nod. Hey, hey, hey. Everywhere you go,
you are going to briefly acknowledge people. Grocery clerks. People
in line. Next door neighbors. Even your mother if necessary.
cleverly we have arranged things. Some of these people are
going to be women! Ah hah! We have now got you
accidentally and automatically saying hello to women you don't know.
All the time. Until you are comfortable with it. Until you don't know
how not to.
Then we are going
to have you drag your ass to some explicitly social encounter such
as a party (gasp!), bar, backyard barbecue or even singles night or
church social, I don't really fucking care. I don't care how shy you
used to be, you can do this.
And once you are
there, you are going to say hello to the people there. The people
you don't know as well as the ones you do. Including the ones where
there is no particular reason for you to say hello. You are going
to walk right up to them and say hello. The pretty ones and the ugly
ones, the old, the young, the skinny and the fat.
You are going
to repeat your Friendliness Mantra to yourself as you approach them.
You're going to say hello, your body will be all hyped up, the Greetings
Phase will be successfully navigated, you will be somewhat calmer.
And then you won't have any fucking idea what to say!
So you will keep
your Friendliness Mantra in the back of your mind to guide you, and
you will deploy your awareness skills. Knowing that Other People
are afraid of you! you will pay attention to them in a friendly
manner and you will key in on whatever they're most interested in.
If they seem nervous about the party, you will comment on the party.
You will say something about yourself to reassure them. You will ask
how they like this or that. You will ask what they think of the church
or the business event. You will compliment their attire. You will
search for common ground.
Again, shy people often don't like small talk and aren't really sure
what it's doing clogging up all these social encounters and making
them so goddamn dreary and awful. What small talk is doing is easing
people's nervousness at encountering Other People. You are there
to help that process along.
Don't get ahead
of yourself by fantasizing about marriage or undying love or passionate
sex or dirty sex or what have you with the first girl you talk to
at a party. Force your mind not to go there! You are there
to help the other person feel comfortable with the whole fearful process
of being around human beings. You, the shy person, look at this! You
have graduated to making other, unshy people, feel comfortable. You
stud! This is the secret of the most successful charming people in
the whole goddamn world! You brilliant motherfucker! You just jumped
ahead of 80 fucking percent of the people on the planet. They are
now lagging behind you. And all because they didn't have to learn
the process consciously. So their fear chemicals have not been confronted
and are still running the show. Goddamn, this is so unfair! How did
you get so far ahead of everyone else in just a few short weeks? Well,
okay a few long weeks. Still, it's an achievement. Pat yourself on
friendliness is going to be so ingrained that it will just sort of
park itself there and hang around indefnitely. It will become rarer
and rarer for you to have to actually remember it. You'll be a fucking
black belt in Greetings and well on your way to Certified Master of
Small Talk and Being Charming.
some time to enjoy this. Continue to practice. Get more and more aware.
You won't actually be a black belt without practice. You'll get better
as you go along. You'll learn how to be very responsive to Other People
and much less responsive to your own natural, if uninteresting, anxieties.
I want you to
give yourself a good three months of fucking around with this shit.
I want you to get used to it and have a multitude of good experiences
under your belt. Because you will. The reason being that you cannot
fail at this - this is a no-fail situation. You can't fail because
you are not trying to do anything - you are simply friendly.
You can only fail at things you are trying to do. If you are trying
to make people like you, or trying not to be shy, or trying
to overcome your accent or your limp or your scar or your lack of
education - these things you can fail at. But you can't fail at I
Am Friendly. There's no trying at all. You just simply are. It's just
simply the truth. And it is the truth - the truth is you don't
want to attack or pounce or whatever the fuck. So enjoy this period
of newfound social um...enjoyment.
going to have you actually ask a girl out! Yoy! You, of all
people, who has gone your whole life without doing this. Don't worry,
as with the rest of this shit, we'll break it down and make it relatively
Content, Unrelated Observations and Random Fucking Links:
Guys (and the women who date them) Demystified!
can I find true love, tell me now. How, how, how?
that I have a girlfriend, how can I dump her?
Social Brain. Helpful by-product of evolution or your worst fucking
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