How to Attract the Man of Your Dreams/Afraid of the opposite gender
Hello, my name is Rose and I'm a 19 year old girl in university.
I've been afraid of guys for all my life, especially the ones of my age. I just can't act "myself" with them. It bothers me because all my girl friends are completely confident while I'm there sitting quietly with nothing to say. Last time a guy told me that I act awkward. I can make guys like me online and I am so talkative online but when it comes to in person I freeze. I only have this problem with guys, I am a social person and I have tons of girl friends. It's a problem for me because I am straight and I can't live like that forever. What can I do to overcome this? Please help me.
Sorry for the late response!
Being able to present your authentic self to others is hard for anybody. It can certainly be scary. I remember once reading about a guy and a girl who were friends going out on the town to meet some new people. The guy went up to a girl and tried chatting her up. He was rejected fairly quickly and he came back to his friend who noticed something: the guy wasn't behaving like himself, which is to say he wasn't acting the way he normally acts. When she asked him why he changed his behavior, I thought his reply was telling:
"I don't know. I guess it feels like it would hurt more to be rejected for who I really am than to be rejected for someone I'm not."
I think everyone can relate to this to a degree. One reason we are tentative with others, or hesitant to show our authentic selves is that it can be quite painful for it to be rejected. It would feel as though something is wrong with us.
But the irony is that there is nothing more we crave than authenticity. All of us who share the human condition long to connect with others as honestly and openly as possibly and have them connect with us the same way.
So enough of that, what do we do about it? I think you would agree that your fear of the opposite sex and your feeling that you "can't" act yourself are not substantiated fears, or in the very least not healthy. So it's worth the effort to start changing your behavior, which is what you're doing.
Let's start with what you can easily control: what are you telling yourself when you are around guys. Emotions, especially powerful ones, are usually followed by rationalizations, thoughts that you come up with to "justify" your behavior or feelings. They usually aren't justified, though, which you'll realize after the fact. So put yourself in the state when you're alone: imagine yourself talking to a guy or in a social situation where guys are there. What do you find you are telling yourself? Are you telling yourself that they are going to laugh at you, or think you're weird, or walk off if you try talking to them? Start there, and then start countering those thoughts: Are you sure that's what they'll do? How do you know? What if you're wrong? Are there any other possibilities? Isn't the only way to find out through experience? Whatever you can, don't let the negative thoughts get off without giving you good reasons for thinking them! You will probably find that actually, you have no good reasons for thinking them, and it's just as likely that something positive or even neutral will happen.
The second step is to start learning some social skills. As much as your observations may have led you to believe otherwise, being social IS a skill that EVERYONE has to learn, and also that ANYONE can get better at, even very good. I'm speaking from experience here: I went from girls telling me "you never talk" at age 13 to being able to handle virtually any social situation now. I would even say it's BECAUSE I was so socially unskilled that I had the drive to become very sociable now. There are plenty of good books and websites on how to build social skills, even if you are a total novice. One I've just discovered that I love is http://www.improveyoursocialskills.com/
It starts out with the very basic fundamentals, which everyone can stand to brush up on once in awhile.
For now, set your goals realistic but challenging. What could you envision yourself doing that you haven't done before. Even if it is as simple as a greeting or asking a question and then walking away, as long as it's progress TOWARDS something, as long as it's something different than what you've done before, it's good!
I hope that helps, and feel free to send me a follow up if you want some clarification or examples or have more questions!