If you are reading this, then you might know how hard it is to actually speak to a girl. When you are standing in front of her, a deep sense of fear engulfs you. You feel like you are paralyzed from head to toe. Your heart beats so fast as if it is about to burst. Sweat lashes out from every pore of your body like a waterfall. Your mind now is like a hard disk that is wiped clean. Words doesn’t come out of your mouth no matter how hard you try. All these symptoms gets worse, if that same girl is someone you are attracted to.
I know these feelings because I had experienced it more than I want to think about. Till the age of 22, I had talked to only one or two girls, who is not related to me in any way. Even those conversations only lasted less than a minute or so.
The fear of talking to girls was something I struggled with for along time. I had to watch the girl I had a crush on, talking to other guys in my class and I couldn’t do anything about it. I didn’t have the courage to approach her and say hi. Heck, I was even afraid to even meet her eyes. I didn’t have any problem talking to the guys in my class, but as soon as a girl comes in, my mouth sews shut.
My fear of talking to girls was so huge that if you lock me in room with a girl, I would rather die before I talk to her.
Fast forward 5 years and I no longer have any problem talking to girls. I can approach and initiate a conversation with any girl I like. You must be wondering how I did it.
Let me tell you how.
One day when I was going through my Facebook feed, I got a notification about a girl I had a huge crush on. I was madly in love with her from the day I saw her and had send her friend request so that I can look at her photos all day long. When I read the notification, I was flabbergasted. She was no longer single. I was devastated and felt disappointed with myself. If only I had the courage to talk to her and asked her out.
But for my surprise I didn’t go down the hole and spent my day sulking. Instead, I was determined that I am not gonna let this happen to me, ever again. I was motivated to change myself and build the courage to talk to girls.
‘All Are Men’ Technique
During the long hours I spend thinking how to turn my life upside down, I realized something astonishing. I am capable of having long and interesting conversation with other guys, but when I am in front of a girl, I tend to transform into a deer caught in the headlights.
This has happened to me several time and it got me wondering. Why do I become so tensed, meek, shy and unconfident only while facing girls? I know I am shy and introvert, but I get along other guys very quickly, but girls are something altogether.
Coincidentally, I started watching ‘Big Bang Theory (BBT)’ at the same time and I could relate to the Indian dude, Rajesh Koothrappali aka Raj portrayed by Kunal Nayyar. If you have seen the first few seasons of the series, you will know that Raj is unable to talk to women unless he is drunk. When he is sober, he can’t open his mouth when a female is present in the room. In such situations, he communicates by whispering in his best friend’s ear who in turn says it out loud.
Before I saw Raj’s character, I had no idea that there really is such a thing as pathological shyness. It’s a diagnosed psychological condition, and yes, it really can lead to selective mutism, the reason for Raj’s inability to speak to women. It’s a complex childhood anxiety disorder characterized by a child’s inability to speak and communicate effectively in select social settings, such as school. These children are able to speak and communicate in settings where they are comfortable, secure, and relaxed.
Looking back to my experience with girls, I realized I was not having selective mutism, instead I was suffering from selective social anxiety. I am not completely mute while facing a girl, instead I tend to speak less, very less. I didn’t have to whisper in anyone’s ears when I am surrounded by women.
In order to overcome my fear of talking to girls, I was tempted to try what Raj used to do, get drunk. But I knew, it was not a practical solution in the long run. You can’t attend every social gathering being drunk, right? People will consider you to be an alcoholic, and it will hurt your reputation.
Luckily, the answer to my problem came in the form of another episode in the second season of BBT. Raj was hitting on Summer Glau in a train after consuming beer, until he was told that the beer he was drinking was non-alcoholic. If you are unaware, this is called the placebo effect. This lit up my brain like the decorations on a Christmas tree.
See, while I was doing a little digging about selective mutism, I found out that the main treatment for selective mutism is behavior therapy. Behaviour therapy involves gradually exposing a child to increasingly difficult speaking tasks in the context of a supportive relationship.
It basically means trying to get rid of the child’s fear of speaking by making him speak in unfamiliar situations while ensuring he is surrounded by a few familiar faces with whom he is comfortable with.
So I came up with my very own behavior therapy technique to eliminate my fear of facing girls. I call this technique ‘All Are Men Technique‘ and it is really easy and straight forward. Let me tell you how to use it.
When I am about to face a girl, I imagine that I am going to speak to a guy, instead of a girl. What I am trying to do is trick my brain into believing that, what I am about to face is not a difficult situation and there is no need to get anxious. I am having a normal conversation with a guy even though that ‘guy’ may look like a girl.
It is tricky at first. Your brain shouts at you saying its a girl who is standing in front of you and starts to go haywire. Your job is to con your brain to think otherwise. I try to convince myself that the person I am facing is a guy with long hair dressed in women’s clothing.
When you repeat something long enough, it starts to become your reality. Your brain will start to believe that you are talking to a guy, instead of a girl and it starts to calm down.
Our brain is a very complex organ and it is always trying to save you from life threatening situations. When you are faced with such a situation, your first instinct is to fight or flight. Same goes with your encounter with the opposite sex. If you are a shy person, your brain perceives talking to a women as a threat to your existence. Your brain is afraid that you will say something stupid and embarrass yourself in front of her. This is regarded as a life threatening situation by your brain as it considers everything that may hurt you in anyway as life threatening. So in order to avoid the embarrassment, your brain shuts down leaving you speechless around girls.
Once you have enough positive encounter with the opposite sex, your brain starts to realize that talking to girls is not a life threatening task as it previously conceived it to be. You will become more comfortable talking to girls and wont feel the urge to bolt as soon as a girl enters the room. All Are Men technique helps you have these positive encounters more often. The more you talk to girls, the better you get at communicating and you won’t need to use the technique anymore.
Make use of this technique the next time you go out and let me know if it works for you or not. I would also like to know if you improved upon this techniques to make it better. Tell me in the comments below.