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:
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. 
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
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.




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  • Taee says:

    Hey Lisi!

    You are so right! I Love Your Advice. Truly Ah-Mazing And So Are you.

  • Shaila Gottlieb says:

    Love the advice!


  • Jade says:

    Dear Lisi,
    I know you give the best advice.
    Well, I like this guy, but he likes my friend more than me. But he likes me a lot. How can a guy like two girls? And what do I do to make him like me more? Please help!
    -Jade <3

  • Hi Lisi!
    Not to be cliché with everyone’s opening line of “You always give the best advice,” but it’s true. I don’t know what to do in this situation, and I thought you’d be able to give me some really great advice. The thing is, I’m really bad at friendships when it comes to dealing with emotions. Whenever one of my friends is upset, going through a breakup, or even just stressed, I never know what to do to comfort them. Today, one of my best friends had a break down during school. She had been very stressed lately, we just took a test she was pretty sure she failed, and she just learned yesterday that a close family friend had passed away. Then, during English, our teacher flipped out on her, and she just lost it. I found her sobbing in the bathroom after class, and I didn’t know what to do. I just stood there, awkwardly patted her back, and told her it would be okay. I feel like I was giving her the wrong impression that I don’t care about her problems. But I do care. The problem is I never know what to do when someone is going through a hard time. It’s just awkward for me. Am I emotionally detached or something? What should I do in these situations? How should I comfort my friends?
    ~ Hailey (sorry for how long this is)

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