While at the gym the other night I realized something about myself. As I was talking to various people that I had met there – and new people I had just recently gotten to know – it dawned on me. I’ve never been shy. I guess that’s why for the majority of my career I’ve been in positions where I talk to complete strangers on a daily basis; which is basically SALES. I’m comfortable talking with people I don’t know and excel at getting them to open up. (I guess this was an early indicator that a career of Life Coaching was in my future – but frankly I didn’t know what a Life Coach was for many years!) Then I got to thinking – why am I not shy or nervous talking to new people? I think it boils down to something like they don’t know me so they can’t judge me? I know that may sound a little crazy – but think about it, they have no previous experience of me so they have nothing to reference so I get to be a “new” version of myself with each new encounter.
I find that oddly refreshing really. A new me every day, every phone call, every meeting. This is the same mindset I had going into any meeting – including meeting men. For every significant relationship I’ve had in my life I’ve made the first “move”. I walked up to my future ex-husband at the bowling alley and asked, “What do you do for fun?” (other than go to the local bowling alley) – I know… It’s a strange place to meet a spouse… My girlfriends would ask me to go out with them so I could introduce them to men in the bars! Fearless Julie would walk up to the tall dark and handsome gent at the end of the bar and strike up a conversation – then casually point to my BFF behind me, make the name intro’s then head off to the bathroom. Sometimes it worked – sometimes the guys asked me for my phone number as they followed me to the bathrooms.
I couldn’t understand why my friend’s wouldn’t just do what I did. I get that some people are shy – but many shy “couples” are together… how did that happen? Somebody made the first move. Some women have told me they don’t want to appear “aggressive” or “easy” – really? Is this the impression men get from a woman that walks up to them and initiates the conversation / connection? In my experience, many, many men are RELIEVED when a woman talks to them first. Because guess what? They’re shy too, or scared, or nervous, fear rejection, etc.
A shy friend of mine asked me to break down my process of how I go about introducing myself – and in my head it goes like this: I find someone interesting / attractive; I would like to meet them; I think, “What’s the worst thing that could happen?” Rejection? No interest? Just a friend? Great! Either way, it’s an opportunity… I get that chance to be “new” again and they get the chance to meet ME – and there’s no one else like me. And if for some reason they don’t get “me” – then I remember that the world is an incredibly abundant place… there are plenty of other people out there that will be happy to meet me, know me, laugh with me, love me, work with me – whatever. I say “NEXT!” if you’re not a part of my tribe, it’s all good. Also, you never know who they might know or who’s listening or noticing around you – life is short – I say just go for it!