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

Swift Recovery

Dear Lisi,

You always give the best advice. I’m in 9th grade and I have been dating my boyfriend for almost a month now, which is the longest relationship both of us have been in. For the last two weeks I’ve made him my #MCM but he still hasn’t made me his #WCW. The last #WCW he posted was a random model he likes, but shouldn’t he be posting about me by now? It makes me think he isn’t nearly as into this relationship as I am. What’s his deal? 

xx Larissa 

 

Larissa,

Let’s take a cue from Sheridan Spencer–a very insecure actress in my novel, PretendersWhen she needs guidance, Sheridan channels a celebrity. The idea is, if she acts like them she will become like them, and her troubles will melt away. The thing is, there are many different ways to handle your issue. You can put yourself out there and tell him how you feel. You can play games that–if played well–will show him how you feel. Or you can be cool and act like you don’t care one way or the other. So who’s a girl to channel? What single person can help you play out all three of these possibilities?

tswift
The problem is which Taylor should you be?
YOU COULD BECOME TAYLOR ONE: “You Belong To Me”
Taylor 1
You feel slighted, insulted, and dissed. Your feelings are hurt and you’re not one to play games. You tell him exactly how you feel. If he loves you he’ll realize what he’s done, and a 3D collage of you will put his sad little #WCW of said model to shame. If he doesn’t love you, he will once he realizes how open you are about your feelings.
YOU COULD BECOME TAYLOR TWO: “We Are Never Getting Back Together”
Taylor 2
Are you seriously going to put up with that? Gawd, I hope not. So what’s the plan? You can’t do something predictable like replace his pic with a model’s. No, you’re going to #MakeHimSuffer. You’re going to #TeachHimALesson. You’re going to #MakeoutWithHisBestfriendRightInFrontOfHim. And then you’re going to #PostThat!
Not only will it teach him not to mess with you, it will teach the world not to mess with you either. Two birds, one stone. #Done.
OR YOU COULD BECOME TAYLOR THREE: “Shake It Off”
Taylor 3
This Taylor would start by knowing her audience–a teenaged dude. Did you see the movie Grease? Did you see how Danny acted in front of Sandy when his buddies were around? Like he didn’t even know her. Why? Because he’s terrified of being made fun of by his bros. Immature as it may seem, guys are supposed to act tough. Sex is the ultimate; love is for wuss-bags. Does he believe this? No. Does he mean it when he tells you how much he likes you? Yes. Does he know he’s going to be berated if he IG’s about his crush? YES! But a hot model is safe. It shows his bros that he’s not wearing his heart on his sleeve (Get it, heart-on?) He’s just being a dude. If that’s the worst thing he does, let him get away with it. It means he’s acting his age. Accept it. He’s just channeling a typical teenaged boy.
If he’s mean to you, disrespectful, rude, or anything else that makes you question his true feelings, skip over Taylor one and become Taylor two. In the meantime, you could stop following him and stick to life in the third dimension. That’s where the real magic happens.
TTYW,
Lisi
PS.  Because hash tagging is my style, my #WCW for the week is the first person to comment this post. Expect a shout out.

Anti Advice

I get messages every day from fans asking for my advice and I try my best to answer as many questions as possible here on the blah-g. Most of my responses stem from personal experience, but I also tend to search around online for any additional pieces of wisdom that might help you. In doing so, I’ve come across a LOAD of terrible advice out there, especially when it comes to relationships. So terrible in fact, I shudder thinking one of you might someday stumble upon said harmful adages and mistake them for genuinely helpful answers. Below are the top three worst pieces of advice I’m come across so far.

1) “Play hard to get.”

Having a little mystery or intrigue about yourself is great, but rejecting someone’s advances for the sheer sake of playing hard to get? That’s a tricky game. If you get a phone call or text, don’t drop everything to get back to that person, but do reply when you get the chance. You don’t have to change your life around at the drop of a dime to accommodate someone who’s pursuing you, but you also shouldn’t wait three days to return a text in the hope your aloofness will make you seem more attractive. If you’re interested in getting to know someone, show it.

2) “Love means never having to say I’m sorry.”

Whoever believes apologies don’t exist once you’re in love has never been in love before. Being mindful of your partner’s feelings and accountable for the times when you leave them feeling less than great is a part of being in a relationship. We should of course apologize for any words or careless actions, even if we weren’t intentionally trying to be hurtful. If you’re a human reading this, then you are absolutely going to make mistakes and–intentionally or unintentionally–will do things you’ll need to apologize for at one time or another.

3) “Women hold all the power in relationships because they are the sexual gatekeepers.”

Okay, I get why this adage exists, but that doesn’t mean it’s a sound statement. Girls should of course only do what they are comfortable doing with their partner and reserve the right to make that choice when it’s appropriate. But no one should hold more power than the other in a relationship based on which genitals they have. Relationships are about teamwork and building one another up, not exercising control over the other person by leveraging, say, a make out sesh for power.

Don’t. Follow. ANY of the above.

What do you think? What anti advice did I miss? Let me know in the comments section.

 

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