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General Dating Questions/How do I become calmer and become more confident when around the opposite sex?

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Question
I'm a girl in my early 20's, who's never dated before or anything. People say I'm attractive so I know my lack of experience with guys is due mostly to low self-confidence and my social anxiety. Anyway, I've noticed that whenever I interact with guys, especially those who intimidate me somehow (attractive, tall, etc.) they seem to like sense my nervousness and sort of smile to themselves/smirk and come in my personal space, stare at me a lot, starting convos with me, etc.

This might be considered "hitting on" me I guess, and you'd think I'd be flattered by this but I'm not. In fact I get a lot anxiety from even the simplest conversations with attractive guys my age, because I'm a bad conversationalist. I can only exchange a sentence or two with them before I start making a fool out of myself by stuttering, saying something stupid, or worse blanking out and just staring dumbly.

I wish I could be smoother with guys and actually be able to have a proper conversation with them, and exude confidence. The odd thing is no matter how many conversations I've had and messed up in, I never seen to improve. It's like something's terribly wrong with me.

How do I become calmer and become more confident when around the opposite sex? And do you have any advice on being a better conversationalist because I'm terrible and it affects my self-esteem and confidence. I've become very depressed over it, and feel like I'll be alone the rest of my life. Sometimes I just want to die.

Answer
Hi Jo,

I was exactly like you. Have you ever seen the show New Girl? I was so awkward but eventually I had to turn it in to a quirk in order for me to be able to socialise with the opposite sex.

I started to see all men as friends and found a common ground to talk about. I used to look up conversation starters and go from there when I did go out. Practice makes perfect, so I'd suggest that you practice alone before you go out, maybe in the mirror so you can see what you look like and that way feel less conscious of how you're coming across. Most conversations are based on questions to enable it to continue, otherwise if you answer with a short answer, it can kill it completely. Even if they're 'either, or'/'would you rather' questions (you can also find loads online. If a guy is talking to you, they like you, so you're on equal footing. There's no need to feel intimidated. If they don't like your personality, then they're clearly not meant to be with you!

People always say that they wish life were like the movies but in one way, it is. You wouldn't want to walk out of a movie in the middle of it (unless it were utterly horrendous and I think some social issues are not quite as tragic as you feel they are), you don't know when a good part is going to come up. There is good and bad in everyone's life, you will not be alone forever unless you commit yourself to that and it's your doing. It's normal to not want to continue some days but the best thing is to press on in hope. Optimism pays off. A lot of what you put out to people and into situations is what you get back.

One of the biggest things is to be happy by yourself first. I only just learned about the importance of self-love about two years ago; if you can love yourself, you don't become dependent or desperate in the process of dating). Learn who you are and what you want from life. What are your hobbies, interests, what do you want to be doing in five or 10 years time? Learn about you and understand yourself so you know what kind of person you want to be and are putting out to the world. Once you fully know you, you can be confident in putting across your personality and offering all you have to offer.

If all else fails, fake it. Big time! It's one of the rare times fakery is acceptable and it works because if you do it long enough, you believe it.

I have the uppermost faith in you that you can get over this and feel happier. Remember: breathe!

All the best

Karen

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Karen

Expertise

I can answer questions on how to meet people, confidence, what to do for the best dates, problems within relationships, how to interact with your partner and how to end relationships amicably and politely. More specifically, I am best at answering issues pertaining to trust, honesty, openness, fear and communication within relationships. It is important to know that everyone loves differently and we must first identify how a partner (or prospective) partner loves, in order to understand them. I cannot answer questions on whether or not someone sounds like they are interested, people are all different when they like or do not like people. I cannot tell you how someone may react or how a situation will end but merely offer you my advice on the subject.

Experience

I do not have professional experience in the area but my knowledge of psychology, teamed with forever being an agony aunt when it comes to relationships means that I have answered many questions on relationships and am proud to say I have seen quite a few relationships flourish with my advice. I am used to surveying people and guiding them in my daily working life. Due to this, I can read situations very well, often putting a much needed outside perspective to good use.

Education/Credentials
BSc (Hons) Psychology

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