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Q: Dear Eharmony,
Generally, I tend to be kind of goofy and very friendly. This seems to attract a lot of people, but not the ones I'm interested in. When it comes to someone I'm attracted to, I become self conscious and even turn red. Then I forget to be myself most of the time. What can I do?
A: Dear Self-Seeker,
When I received this question, I knew it was one all of us could relate to. We can be smart and funny and super cool around guys or girls who don't matter to us, and anything-but when within a one mile radius of someone who makes our heart beat faster.
If you're anything like Self-Seeker, you probably have wondered (while cursing your bad luck) why this happens to you — and most importantly, what can be done about it. Well take heart, my suddenly self-conscious friends — I've got the answers.
Blame it on Mother Nature
Though you may feel a bit freakish when your cheeks turn the color of ripe tomatoes, your words don't come out at all as you intended, and your typically bubbly personality turns into a dull fizz, the truth is, you're not alone. In fact, the majority of us, to some degree, lose our cool when the object of our affection is nearby. And it's to be expected, really. When the pressure's on, our body reacts differently than when we're at ease. The brain and body don't always synch up quickly, the adrenaline rushes in… and the sweat, unfortunately, comes pouring out.
|Have you considered that you maybe by attracted to the wrong people?|
How then, to control what you feel you have no control over? Well, the answer's not to put an extra coat of deodorant on (though that couldn't hurt matters). Instead, investigate ways to let your mind take over when your body is failing you. Depending on the severity of your problem, you may benefit from something as simple as deep-breathing techniques to calm you, or starting off your day with mediation, during which you can focus on remaining calm, cool, and collected in all situations (your mantra, of sorts). But that's just for the physical. It's the emotional aspect of what's going on when you're standing next to the guy or girl of your dreams that's the hardest part to tackle.
Get ready, because I'm about to say something you may not want to hear…
Have you considered the idea that you may be attracted to the wrong people?
Here's why I ask. Self-Seeker says he has no problem attracting people when being goofy and outgoing; in other words, when being true to himself, but that he's not interested in those people. Well why not? Not only do they like Self-Seeker for who he really is, but Self-Seeker obviously feels comfortable enough around them to let his true colors shine through. He's actually at his best around these “undesirables”, and isn't that, after all, what we all look for in our perfect partners — someone who thinks we're great, and who we can be great around?
Think about it. And if you still feel like they're just not the right kind of girls for you, then you'll have to take this final leap.
For those of you who have read my other columns, this advice may look familiar, but it bears repeating. When all else fails, and you just can't seem to rise to the occasion in a genuine way, you've gotta just fake it till you make it. Here's what I said in my “Shy Girl” article…
“… Come up with an image of who you think the coolest, sexiest person would be and how they would approach the object of your affection. What would they say? How would they act? Then, envision yourself as that person, and go through the motions. Make sure you have it all down before you approach your guy or girl (practice in the mirror if you have to), and then go for it.”
In other words, you know you're funny and smart and charming, but until you can actually be that person in front of your boyfriend or girlfriend-to-be (hey, I'm being optimistic), put on an act. Just think of it as a temporary tool to help you get your foot in the door. Because I would bet that once you're in, the super-fabulous-and-always-funny-you will come shining through.
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Julia co-founded RookieMoms.com to inspire moms to have more fun after her own challenges with rookie motherhood. She is a professional project manager and management consultant when she’s not wiping butts and organizing the preschool potluck. Together with her BFF Whitney Moss, she also wrote The Rookie Moms