Around guys I’m actually interested in, I freeze up. It’s like the English language is completely foreign to me. Around regular guy friends, I’m totally cool. I’m charming and witty. But how can I ever get a guy if I can’t speak to the ones I like?
-Only Shy Around One Guy
Dear Only Shy Around One Guy,
While I can’t tell you much about the science behind curing a stutter or breaking a nervous habit, I can hopefully help to give you some advice on the cause of these nervous happenings- insecurity.
No matter how outgoing we are, even the most bubbly of us get a bit of stage fright now and then. For starters, an important fact to alleviate some of your worries is that your nervousness does not show as much as you think it does! When you lose your place in a speech, that pause can feel like forever to you, but the audience doesn’t even notice it; when you hit a wrong note in a musical piece, it may sound atrocious to you, but those listening will hardly ever notice. So when talking to this guy, you may feel like you are stuttering and sounding silly, but he’ll never notice that you’re nervous as long as you play it cool.
To help build up your confidence; you can practice your flirting/socializing skills on your guy pals. Create a persona to help you feel more confident. That is, create a sort of alter-ego that is flirty, powerful and confident. Treat it as a sort of acting assignment and play the part of the man-eating woman. You don’t need to go too far into it, but putting up a front of confidence can help cast aside insecurities and nervousness for the time being. Your confident and mysterious vibes will hook the guy and (once you are comfortable enough around him to be yourself) your true sweet self and natural charm will reel him in.
Another way to draw attention away from the fact that you are nervous is to project it onto him. Now, I am not saying to be a bully- but playfully teasing him will give you a temporary confidence boost and keep the ball in your court. Gently and playfully making fun of him is harmless when it is done very lightly. This is a very common flirting tactic and it will cast aside your initial insecurities. Plus, he’ll love your confident and playful attitude. But once you feel comfortable enough and in control over your flirting fears- drop the act and play nice.
If the whole façade approach does not feel useful to you, you can always try the opposite. Turn on your natural girl-next-door charm. Laugh at yourself. If you say something stupid, address it by saying something like “Wow I am a dork.” Or if you stutter, finish it out by saying something like, “Geez. Well, the third time’s a charm.” This will lighten the mood and prevent awkwardness from creeping in. He’ll love your sense of humor and the fact that you are comfortable enough to smile at your flaws.
Trust me; the only way you can make a fool of yourself is if you freak out. If the speaker took even longer worrying about that pause before she continued, or if the musician tried to replay the last few notes to start over, wouldn’t it be so much more noticeable? Same goes for you! Relax and be comfortable and confident! Flirting is meant to be playful and fun. There are no formal rules or guidelines. Be yourself as well as you can and also remember while you’re too busy looking into his dreamy eyes to notice- he might be nervous too!