“Come on, you know I can’t talk to women unless I’m lit up like the Hindu festival of Diwali.”
(The Big Bang Theory Episode 20 Series 2)
Remember Dr. Rajesh Raj Koothrappalli aka Raj from the popular American sitcom The Big Bang Theory? Extremely shy around women, he could not bring himself to talk to them unless he took alcohol. He even had a “nervous bladder”! Raj, you have got company. Many guys feel uncomfortable talking to girls and so try to avoid any chance encounters and prefer to stay away from groups. Do you feel nervous when you are in the company of women? Here are the top 10 tips to help you overcome your fear, what we might call the ‘Raj Syndrome’.
1. Be yourself. Say a big NO to pretensions.
The most significant tip – don’t try to be someone else. Don’t pretend. You have no reason to act like someone else because you are a perfect guy. You need not dress up like Tom who wears costly suits with lots of girlfriends swarming around him; you need not speak accented English like Harry who is the most popular guy in your college; you need not worry about your shapeless figure when Harry who has a six pack body always makes fun of you when you stumble while talking to girls. Build in confidence. Be optimistic and discard all negative thoughts. Nothing can stop you from overcoming your problems and that day is not too far when you actually have a bunch of good female friends with whom you can speak your heart out.
2. Be friendly and relaxed. Let your body language speak for you.
It’s time that you stop worrying about what others might think about you. Be relaxed and friendly and use controlled body movements. If a person is nervous, it shows in his body movements. Do you fiddle with your watch, tap your feet or rub your hands together while talking? These gestures show that you are nervous and stressed out. Look calm and friendly. Begin by faking confidence, slowly you will gain it. It is hard at first, but it will be easier with the progress of time. You can even prepare and practise what you are going to say.
3. Smile and spread smiles.
While talking to girls, try to keep a pleasant face. Maintain a smile on your face. Don’t let your fear creep in. Don’t stare at them, but always try to maintain eye contact. But let me remind you again, don’t ever be self conscious. Be natural. Listen to what she says and make her feel that you are interested in what she is saying. Don’t launch an uninterruptible speech on what you know, but speak when it demands on you. Give it time. Realise that you are not going to overcome the discomfort overnight. This is something that happens to everyone at some point of time. So don’t lose hold of yourselves, slowly work on it and take my word, you are going to be okay. It is only a matter of time.
4. Dress good. Look good. Feel good. There you are!
That dressing and appearance are elements that contribute to one’s confidence level are accepted by everyone. So try to boost your confidence by wearing clothes that you are confident in (don’t forget the comfort factor). You need not wear funky clothes/ branded suits that supposedly make you a ‘kwoool’ guy. Carry yourselves in a confident manner, what dress you wear is always secondary. Choose a hairstyle that suits you. Look at the mirror, pat yourselves at your back and say, “Dude, you look smart today.” Think about the last time you did not go for the party because you were scared that the girl who stared at you in the class would talk to you? There is nothing that prevents you from going with your classmates to the fest today.
5. Try to find out common topics of interest.
What if she asks you about the T.V series that she is really crazy about and that you have never even heard about? What if you start talking about yesterday’s football match in which Arsenals swept off Manchester and curse your luck, football turns out to be the only sport that she hates? A total disaster. You will start feeling uncomfortable. “Am I a misfit?”To prevent such setbacks, you need to think about areas of interest that might make an interesting topic of discussion. May be you could start with comments on weather or a movie. Try not to bring up topics that you know nothing about. And despite all this, if she starts talking to you about the new online shoe store just smile and be a good listener. Girls love those who patiently listen to them!
6. Grow a funny bone dude!
It is a fact universally acknowledged that girls love boys with a keen sense of humour. No, that doesn’t mean you have to crack jokes on and off and make them laugh hysterically to impress them. Also, it doesn’t imply that girls hate the company of those who do not crack jokes. You need not mug up Reader’s Digest jokes or act Mr. Bean in front of them. Just don’t be self conscious or measure your words while talking to girls. Be natural. Be at your best. Then you will see how your sense of humour that you had believed you lacked surfaces and work wonders. If you ponder over million other things while talking to them, you screw it all up, like a Boss!
7. Let F.R.I.E.N.D.S be your backbone!
Seek help from your close friends. Friendship is the best thing that happens to us in our lifetime. Make some close friends with whom you can share every single problem of yours. Open up and talk to them. Share your troubles with your friends and they might be of the biggest help to you. Even your family can be of help to you. If you are lucky enough to have a friendly sibling or a close cousin, talk to them. They could offer you better assistance to overcome your fear and discomfort because they know you well as a person.
8. To talk or not to talk? Swallow your reluctance!
Hamlet met his doom because he was indecisive and reluctant. Reluctance is the next factor that keeps you away from talking to girls. We call such frail beings introverts. In college you find groups of boys and girls hanging out at the canteen and having fun, but you are left alone sipping tea in a corner and dubbed a bore. Does this happen to you? This is because the ‘myth’ that you are uncomfortable in the company of girls gnaws at you that you become reluctant to talk to them and making friends. Even when you get an opportunity to make the moves, you back out. You blame yourselves and repeat to yourselves, “next time, for sure”. But this next time would never come. So swallow your reluctance and do it now. Try to be part of a group and slowly you will get over your reluctance.
9. Tell yourselves, “All is well”
Thanks to 3 Idiots, we now have a mantra – “All is well”. All is well with you too boys! Confidence is the only factor that you shy away from. Believe in yourselves. Why should you be worried about talking to a girl? If you were brave enough to steal money from your mother’s purse when you were still younger and smart enough to play pranks with your creepy neighbour, what’s the big deal with talking to a girl! Realise the fact that confidence is something that you cannot do away with. You are smart and good looking and the only thing left to be done is to open up and talk. Don’t back out when an opportunity comes. Next time you feel uncomfortable in front of a beautiful girl who asked you about your favourite movie, remind yourselves that all is well and go, talk to her.
10. Dig out the demon of Fear and tear it apart.
What makes you feel uncomfortable in the company of girls? Give it a thought. Fear is what leaves most of the boys gutless in front of pretty girls. You might be scared of being rejected outright or of being made fun of. What if I do not manage to cut a nice figure in front of them? What if they ask me things that I’m completely clueless about? Don’t let your imagination run too wild. The first step to be taken in the laboratory of your mind is to extract the poison of ‘fear’ and destroy it. Consider fear to be a demon that has kept you chained. Grab that Fear at its neck and lash out at it till it falls lifeless on the floor. Hurray! You have killed your fear. Now you have nothing to be worried about. Because you are free from the Fear that had kept you from talking to girls. Feel the change!