SHY CONTACT

 

shy

Dear Lisi,

You always give the best advice. I am super shy and quiet with people I don’t know well yet. It’s BAD. The worst part is that the guy I like is really shy too and now I’m wondering if I have zero chance with him if he also thinks I’m intimidating. Can you give me any tips on how to seem more approachable? Help!
~ Em

 

Dear Em,

You are the perfect candidate for the SEA Method.  This highly developed social tool (I made it up) has been scrutinized by behavioral psychologists (me)  and has proven (to me) to be the best tool for letting others (crushes) know that behind those downcast eyes is a girl (social animal) waiting to be discovered (pounced upon).
Simply put, the SEA Method stands for SMILE, EYE CONTACT, and ACT.  Here’s the breakdown:
 
SMILE:
1. The fastest way to put someone at ease is to smile. Really, that’s it. Do the corners of your mouth have to graze your ears? No. Start small and keep it sweet. A quickie as you pass in the hall. Another when your eyes meet in class… that kind of thing.  Imagine your shyness is a block of ice and your little smile is a lighter’s flame. Each time you spark one you’re melting away the barrier that stands between you and the people you want to get to know.   
Smiling also has great physical benefits. Don’t believe me? Close your eyes and smile. Feel that surge of euphoria? That’s serotonin—a chemical produced in our brains and intestinal tracts that’s responsible for maintaining our mood balance. Each time you smile you feel the effects. So go for it. No prescription necessary. 
shy 
EYE CONTACT:
2. Okay, enough smiling. Open your eyes and keep them open. No good will come from smiling at someone if you’re looking at your Tom’s. They’ll either think you’re in love with your shoes or you have gas. You have to make eye contact when you smile. Nothing prolonged or cheesy. A second will do the trick as long as you hit your mark. 
 
People are insecure and need reassurance that they won’t be rejected when they approach you. Smiling and eye contact are the surest ways to make yourself look confident and to show others that you approve of them. 
shy flirting
 
ACT:
3. Em, I know what you’re thinking. “Um, Lisi, what part of you doesn’t understand that I’m shy?? If I could smile at boys and look them in the eye I wouldn’t have written to you. I’d be out there, right now, collecting names and numbers.” And to you, sweet Em, I say, ACT! 

Nothing new is easy at first. Greatness of any kind begins with a goal. Then we do the hard, uncomfy work required to reach it. That’s what my latest series, Pretenders is all about. Confidence is one of those qualities that grows as you exude it. Soon what you once pretended you now possess.

I’m not suggesting you wake up tomorrow, charge into school all smiles and personality. Just take tiny steps each day toward your goal and before you know it that ice block will melt into a cube, then a puddle, and in time the whole darn thing will evaporate.  When it does, Em, please send it to California. We need the rain.

TTYW,

Lisi

Sign Language

Sign Language

Hi Lisi,

You always give the best advice. I’ve been friends with a guy for a long time but over the last two years we’ve gotten super close. He calls me his best friend now and I consider him mine too.  We hold hands a lot and cuddle regularly. Nothing has ever happened between us and I’m not sure if he wants it to, but we are pretty touchy feely together even in front of our friends. He has told me he wants a girlfriend so maybe I am his stand in until he finds who he really wants. Or is he telling me with actions he likes me more than a friend, but is just too scared to directly say it? I need your help! 

ox~ Katie

You are full of questions Katie, and understandably so. And yet the one question you didn’t ask was, “How do I feel about HIM?” So please, take anywhere from a minute to a month and figure it out. From the tone of this letter it sounds like you’re up for whatever he decides and that’s a scary position to be in. Get clarity on what you want.

Sign Language

Start by asking yourself the hard stuff:
Do I like him more than a friend?
Does the idea of kissing him make me squirmy in the good way or the bad way?

Sign Language

Am I mistaking jealousy towards his future girlfriend with real feelings?
Do we have what it takes to date or are we better off as friends?
Am I even attracted to him?

Sign Language

you’re*

 

So, what did you decide?

Like him only as a friend? Well, if he’s not making any awkward advances then you’re all good. Let him manage his own feelings.

But if you like him MORE than a friend then you best be getting to the bottom of this. Tell him how you feel. Tell him what you want. Then ask him to share his feelings and wants with you. If you’re truly best friends you should be able to talk this through and know that your relationship will survive. If it doesn’t, well, Easter is a time for new beginnings. So keep moving forward and know that this too shall Passover. (Sorry, I had to.)

Happy All-idays

TTYW,
Lisi

Love/Hate Relationships

Hi friends. I’ve replied to a number of your comments and Facebook messages here on the blah-g lately and many of you have asked me crush questions. Namely, how to get into a relationship with a guy you like or how to know if a crush likes you back. But what if you’ve got the guy, you’re in the relationship, and you’re still not happy? I received a message from a reader over the weekend–we’ll call her Rebecca–who doesn’t need to get into a relationship, but instead needs out of the one she’s in. Here’s what she said:

Hi Lisi! My question is more of a situation I’m in that I’m not sure I know how to get out of or even that I 100% want to leave? I have been dating a guy I’m in love with for around 7 months. This is my first real relationship. We both had an attraction to each other all through 8th and 9th grade and are finally dating so this was pretty much a dream come true. He’s always been cooler, more liked and popular and funner than me and I feel really lucky to be dating such a catch. The problem is around our three month anniversary I realized I wasn’t happy. We didn’t do anything to celebrate the 3 month mark but I don’t like complaining so I didn’t say anything. I also didn’t hear from him on my birthday but didn’t want to nag although that really hurt me. He did call the day after to apologize and wish me a happy birthday and everything was good after. Since then I’ve noticed that whatever I expected to happen in a relationship isn’t really happening. It doesn’t feel like we’ve gotten closer and have become better friends or anything and he actually tends to criticize me a lot (he calls it teasing), but for valid reasons most of the time. Stuff like me running late a lot or taking a long time to get ready which are both true. He also says I either get way too chatty when it’s just me and him but then go totally mute and weird in social situations and that’s also true. I know saying all this sounds kinda bad and it doesn’t feel great to hear, but it isn’t as terrible as a lot of relationships I see on tv. I’ve wanted to be with this guy for so long and it’s crazy he chose me out of every other girl. But we generally just do what he wants and I’ve made a lot of changes to try to make him happy. i’m not sure how to get him to start appreciating me more and treating me a little better so it feels good to be with him. I don’t know what to do at all and don’t want to go to my friends because I know what they’ll say. Any advice? PS. Please make another Clique movie!! Xx

 

Hi Rebecca. You have a lot to say here and I don’t blame you for a second. I’m not sure I am going to say something different than what your friends might tell you, but know that any advice I’ve got comes from a place of honest care for you to be in the kind of relationship you deserve–even if that means only being in a solid relationship with yourself for a while. Read below for a few tips on how to look at your situation from a new perspective.

1) Don’t Blame Yourself

It’s easier to preach than to put into practice but I gather from the way you phrased some things in your message to me that you feel your boyfriend’s criticism of you is just. You mentioned that a lot of what he negatively comments on, albeit hurtful, is true. Therefore you must deserve the harsh speech. I want you to know that not for a second do you deserve to feel criticized and judged in your relationship. That being in love and loving another person is a wonderful experience, but it means being gentle and kind with one another, being compassionate and non-judgmental and not making snide remarks on the other’s behalf, even if they are technically coming from a true place. It’s not a way to build your relationship but instead will break it down, which is what you’re experiencing now. There are ways to resolve conflict with your significant other that don’t involve harming their self-esteem. Do not blame yourself for how your boyfriend treats you. It isn’t a reflection of you and truly is his own issue. I wish him luck with that. As I mentioned in a previous post about standing up to BFF bullies, it isn’t your fault when someone treats you badly, but it’s 100% your responsibility to stand up for yourself and protect your self-respect when a relationship dynamic becomes abusive, controlling and imbalanced.

2) Ever Heard of the”Gaslight” Tactic?

Rookie Mag defines this term expertly so I’ll leave them to it:

“Gaslighting, the tactic, is named after Gaslight, the 1944 movie, which is about a guy who tries to get his wife diagnosed as incurably insane by doing this. It’s not always fully intentional, and it’s not always done primarily to harm you—alcoholics, for example, are almost invariably gaslighters, because that’s how they get people to enable or overlook their drinking—but it causes real and profound damage. It erodes your sense of reality, destroys your self-esteem, and reduces you to a depressed, fearful, self-loathing, hysterical person. At which point, the gaslighter tells you that they treat you badly because you’re hysterical!” – Rookie Mag

Learn this term and try to be aware of situations where you’re being “gaslighted” by significant others, friends, and family members. It’s a huge red flag that’s hard to notice at first, so your best defense against it is to get prepared  by spotting the signs. I don’t know all of the details of your situation, but mentioning that you believe you have always essentially been inferior to your boyfriend is a little alarming to read. It’s possible you’re being gaslighted and don’t yet know it.

3) Get Off the Roller Coaster

At this point consider yourself lucky not that this boy “chose” you of all the other girls, but that it has only taken you seven months to realize this relationship may not be right for you. For a lot of people, it takes years to see their significant other’s true colors—the cliché “love is blind” exists for a reason. I’m not saying to avoid conflicts that can be resolved in a healthy way, and of course all relationships ebb and flow. But my best advice to you is to exit any relationship that does not consistently lift you up or leave you feeling like your best self. You should feel confident, beautiful, strong and capable with your S.O. You cannot make your guy treat you fairly and you will likely waste a lot of time and go through several heartbreaks trying. And believe it or not, you WILL find a boy who can appreciate the ah-mazingness that is you. Give your time and energy to someone who sees your worth and values you endlessly for the imperfect human that you are. Or simply give it to yourself and be your own best friend right now.

4) Get Your Girls Around You

You need every bit of support you can get right now. Get your girlfriends around you and don’t be afraid to let them know you might need a little more girl time than usual. Have some girls nights out or stay in and reconnect. And if your girls just aren’t enough right now and you need extra help, I’m always in support of reaching out to a counselor or therapist to hash out the issues you might feel are too personal to share with friends. And remember, if you need a place to vent on the fly my Facebook inbox forever welcomes you.

 

Hope that helps. I’m sending a virtual blah-g-o-sphere hug out to you today, Rebecca. To all other readers, keep the questions coming!

 

TTYW,

Lisi

 

Best Boy/Friend

Source: lifeteen.com

Source: lifeteen.com

 

Q: Hi Lisi! I have a question I’ve been wondering about and I feel like you would give a great answer to. How do you tell a certain guy you like him? i’ve been best friends with this guy for years and I think it might be turning into something more, but it seems like we’re both afraid to cross over that barrier and see what the other is thinking. I realize telling him and finding out he’s not interested could ruin our friendship but I’m ready to take the risk. I’m just not sure how..Any words of wisdom? Thanks! you’re the best!
– Sara

Sara, this is a great question I’m sure a lot of readers have wondered themselves. I don’t blame you for being curious about whether or not your close relationship with your best guy friend could turn into something more. But there are a few things to keep in mind before taking the leap and potentially losing the connection you now have with him.

1. READ THE SIGNS

Has your friendship changed in ways that make you think your guy friend is romantically into you? Think back to his words and actions. Does he worry about and consistently consider your feelings, act protective over you when it comes to other guys you’ve been interested in, and show you his emotional side? These might be signs he’s into you as more than a friend, but if he’s always talking about your hot friend or treats you just like one of the guys, you may want to stay in platonic territory.

2. KEEP IT LIGHT

Guys are repelled by complicated dating situations, so if you choose to start a conversation about where each of you stand do your best to keep things light and easy. You’ll need to be a little bit vulnerable to open up a dialogue about your feelings, but there are noncommittal ways of doing this so you can save as much face as possible if things go awry. At a time when you’re joking with your guy friend or having fun together, find a way to test the waters. Maybe you’re watching a funny movie together where the central characters have a situation similar to yours and end up dating and falling in love. Throw out a “Well this really is fiction because friends falling in love almost never works out. What do you think?” If he’s on the same page as you, he’ll see this as an opportunity to explain why friends turning romantic can potentially work. If he’s not thinking of you in the romantic sense, or truly believes dating a friend is a recipe for disaster resulting in the loss of a great friendship, he’ll be sure to express that too.

3. BE PREPARED FOR THE WORST

You mentioned you are at a place where you’re ready to risk possibly ruining the friendship with your guy friend in order to tell him how you feel. It’s completely possible to share your feelings with him and keep the friendship strong even if he’s not thinking of you in the same way, though it will probably shift the connection you two have for a while. You won’t necessarily lose him altogether, but you have to keep that possibility in mind. It would be easy for me to say that keeping the friendship in tact is the wisest choice in your situation, but I know it’s not always realistic. If you are certain you’ll be able to handle losing the friendship or making things awkward to the point of changing your friendship dynamic forever, then take a leap and see what happens. You already know the worst case scenario, but at present you don’t know what the best case outcome might be. Stay cool, keep things light, hope for the best but prepare for the worst. Good luck!!!

I’m loving all the crush questions that have been submitted lately but next week we’re going to shift gears a bit. Send me questions you have on writing, school or social woes. Can’t wait to read your thoughts.

TTYW,

Lisi

Guy Basics

Guys are basic. Not basic in the way you might have been reading on Tumblr and Instagram lately, but basic as in simply straight forward. However, I’m still getting a whole lot of messages in my Facebook inbox from readers questioning where they stand with their crushes. We talked last week about how guys are even SO simple they’re actually confusing, at least for the more complex female. I decided to do a little field research to set the record straight and get you on the inside track to what these guy behaviors really mean.

I took to the streets of Laguna Beach and in the least creepy way possible asked four surfer/skater dudes ranging in ages from 14-16 to reveal the meaning behind a few different actions. The results might surprise you. Read the final data below:

The Study Participants 

GUY #1 – Anthony – 16 years-old

GUY #2 – Zak – 14 years-old

GUY #3 – Garrett – 16 years-old

GUY #4 – Brian – 15 years-old 

The Guy Behavior 

1) Not returning a text (after a significant period of time)

GUY #1 – Anthony –

“If I stopped returning a girl’s texts she was either texting me too much or maybe I got distracted by something else and forgot.”

[other guys nod their heads]

Me: “But when you weren’t busy or distracted anymore, wouldn’t you remember the girl you were texting and get back to her?”

GUY #3 – Garrett-

“Not if I wasn’t fully interested in the conversation or getting to know her more. Sometimes you can tell if you’d get along with a girl just by how you text with her.”

GUY #4 – Brian –

“If I don’t really like a girl, I’ll just stop texting and she will eventually get the hint. We don’t know each other well enough to have a whole talk about why we’re not talkling anymore. She’ll just get the hint.”

[other guys nod their heads]

GUY #2 – Zak –

“Sometimes I just don’t know what to say to keep the texting interesting and I figure stop when you’re ahead so you don’t look stupid.”

2) Acting interested in a girl one week and then not the next

GUY #2 – Zak –

“This one is totally me. I get over girls so quickly. But it’s not their fault or anything, I just don’t want a girlfriend but it’s still fun to get attention from girls.”

GUY #3 – Garrett-

“Yeah, I’d say I probably was interested in the girl but then got to know her better and realized we didn’t have enough in common or didn’t have anything to talk about.”

GUY #4 – Brian –

“I think this one usually means the guy has other options and is spreading his attention over several different prospects. It’s hard to keep it straight.”

[other guys nod their heads]

GUY #1 – Anthony –

“What’s so bad about being into a girl one week and then not the next?”

3) Flirting with a girl but not ask her out

GUY #3 – Garrett –

“I like to feel out the situation with a girl and see how into me she is. I don’t want to ask her out if there’s a huge change she will reject me. Flirting is also just fun. It doesn’t have to mean anything though.”

GUY #1 – Anthony –

“Well, pride.”

Me: “Can you explain?”

GUY #1 – Anthony –

“Yeah, if I’m going to ask a girl out I would want to do it right and take her somewhere decent. I don’t make enough money to do that.”

Me: “What if the girl doesn’t care what the date looks like or how much money you have?”

GUY #1 – Anthony –

“I care. I don’t want to go on dates until I have a job and a car.”

GUY #2 – Zak –

“There’s no way I could go on dates with every girl I flirt with. I flirt with so many. Like what Garrett said, it doesn’t mean too much.”

GUY #4 – Brian –

[shrugs] “I hardly flirt with anyone. I really don’t find many girls at school hot but when I do flirt it probably means I want to ask you out.”

Me: “Ask ME out?”

[Garrett, Zak, and Anthony laugh]

GUY #4 – Brian –

[blushing] “No! ‘You’ as in the girl I’m flirting with… I don’t know. I don’t flirt much.”

4) Asking a girl to watch a movie in

GUY #1 – Anthony –

“This definitely means I want to make out with the girl. Or at least try. It’s the easiest place to try.”

[the other guys agree in unison]

5) Taking a girl you’re into on a date and then never calling her afterwards 

GUY #3 – Garrett –

“This one’s easy. He probably just wasn’t super into her after the date ended. Or maybe he was dating a bunch of girls at once and not wanting to stick around very long with any one of them.”

GUY #1 – Anthony –

“I’d say he probably was kinda into her but wasn’t 100% positive he liked her so maybe he’d call her in the future just to make sure either way.”

Me: “What if you called the girl a few weeks later and hang out again, but then you never call her after that.”

GUY #1 – Anthony –

“OK, then I just probably wasn’t all that into it after all. Got my answer.”

GUY #4 – Brian –

“Dude, that’s harsh.”

GUY #1 – Anthony –

“Well? It’s the truth. Sometimes you’re not into it.”

GUY #4 – Brian –

“Fair.”

GUY #2 – Zak –

“Yeah, I’d have to agree. If a guy is really into a girl he’s going to call or flirt or make it obvious he’s into her. You wouldn’t want her to get taken off the market by some douche before you had a chance to ask her out.”

Me: “So, you wouldn’t wait a few weeks to hang out again after going on a date with a girl you were really into?”

GUY #2 – Zak –

“I don’t really date, but I mean, no I wouldn’t make her wait a few weeks. Maybe a week so I don’t seem too eager. I wouldn’t want to lose my chance with her though.”

—-

Straight from the mouths of the more basic sex, ladies. Send all your questions, guy related or not, my way. They might show up on one of the weekly blah-g posts.

TTYW,

Lisi