For those of you who don’t know, late last August I set myself a 30 day challenge. (Read my post Challenge Accepted if you haven’t already before you continue as I will try not to repeat myself too much in this post.)
You will have discovered that the principal reason I set myself this challenge was to help me combat my shyness and aid me in speaking to men I find attractive. I have reason to believe that although in the short term I did force myself to take advantage of situations I wouldn’t have previously…Long term I am still exhibiting the same behaviours I was guilty of before.
On Friday I was out in the City after work and while at the bar, my colleague MR noticed a rather attractive man to my left. Now I’m the first to admit that my interest in football is what you’d call latent. So when MR asked me if I knew who the attractive stranger was, through a combination of whispers head pointing and hand gestures, I could honestly say I had no clue.
Following 15 minutes of hilarity in which the rest of our party craned their necks to ogle the handsome loner and even some going so far as to stage a very obvious (in my opinion) walk by. The verdict was passed that the he was actually the famous footballer Glen Johnson (Click here if you don’t know who he is).
Once established that it was, in fact, him, as the only single girl at the table it was unanimously decided (by everybody else) that I should go and talk to him. Here is where I confess, much as it pains me to admit, I froze. In hindsight I think it was a combination of not wanting to be another of those annoying people who feel it is their duty to harass the few who have gained notoriety wherever they dare to go and also the fact that I did find him extremely pleasing to my eye. I can’t honestly say which of these factors had more of a bearing on my initial reaction.
After a somewhat lengthy internal monologue in which I rationalised that actually it would be an excellent Instagram opportunity if nothing else. (What has this modern world turned me into?) I decided to go back to the bar to try and draw him into conversation. I squeezed my way through the now tight knit crowd, wondering where they hell they’d all suddenly appeared from. To my delight the only space at the bar was next to him. I deposited my 5 foot high and what you’d call extremely curvaceous frame into the small space, inhaled, affixed (what I hoped was) a semi seductive smile to my visage, angled myself to the left to find…he was on his phone. And he remained on the phone all through my drinks order, repetitively throwing glances in his direction in the vain hope we would at least make eye contact and I could smile.
I’ve since discovered he is married so my efforts at seduction would’ve been futile, however the point is, why even after all I’ve discovered about myself do I still allow the fear to set in and dictate my actions? Now I know this was a unique situation but I am honest enough to admit that had he just been a regular attractive guy at the bar I would have reacted in the same way…I probably would never even have returned to the bar, as I wouldn’t have had the excuse of his fame to talk to him…
After all my attempts last year I am a little disappointed that I have reverted to type. All weekend I’ve been questioning how capable we are of changing our behaviour for a prolonged period of time? And what it is that causes us to adopt certain changes and make them stick?
I’m a passionate proponent of personality traits and of the notion that our experiences shape our reactions and that we do exhibit patterns in our behaviour when exposed to certain stimuli (as much as I hate to admit that I am predictable). However I also know that we do all have the ability to modify ourselves. I’m speaking from experience.
Friends who have only known me as an adult do not believe me when I say that as a teenager I was exceedingly shy when meeting new people. Before I started my degree I had one of my many ‘talks with myself’ and I came to the conclusion that if I did not combat my shyness I would be unlikely to make many friends at University, and I forced myself to be witty and outgoing and fun, even with strangers (of course the alcohol helped). Essentially I took the path of ‘fake it til you make it’ and this resulted in me becoming the confident “young” woman I am today. Now I wonder how I was able to overrule my introverted nature but nearly a decade later there is still immense resistance in my head when it comes to hot men?
I really don’t know why I still allow my shyness to impede me in such an important facet of my life, but whatever the reason I think I need to take the advice of a 19 year old me. I need to ‘fake it until I make it’. So now I am going to force myself to be witty and outgoing and fun with the men I find so attractive they make me nervous. The more nervous they make me the more I am going to force myself to speak to them.
I can’t promise this will happen any time soon, as I’ve said before I don’t often see men that affect me in that way but the next time I do I will ensure that I don’t second guess myself or over analyse my actions to death resulting in yet another missed opportunity. I vow that I will grab the bull by the proverbial horns!