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Reversing shyness in a bunch of easy steps....

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Okay, so 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 out.

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, practice, 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 on to:

Step 3: Hello to Strangers.

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, hello, 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.

Notice how 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.

Practice this! 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 the back.

Eventually, this 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.

Give yourself 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.

Because next...we're 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 easy.





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