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vic_msn

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Dec 6, 2006
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2
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1
Hello members.

I am 19 years old and doing engineering (third year). 25 days back I met a girl from the first year during our exams. We had the exam hall in the same floor. So I decided to go and talk to her. I will explain the situation. She was stepping down the stairs. I said " excuse me " she initially moved sidewards thinking I am asking for more space to walk. So I asked her What's your name. which department do you belong, do you stay in the hostel, her school. She answered all these and as we reached the last floor I went to my bus stop and she walked towards her hostel. After this small chat I felt really excited and was thinking about this all day and didn't study well for the next exam. I was thinking what should I talk to her the next time and all other such things .. I was really excited.

Then after this I was looking for her, following her and nothing else. One day I waited outside her lab for her to get out. As she was going to the hostel, I went behind her and called her by her name, I asked "Do you remember me?" She said "yes, we met in those stairs some days back." I asked her "Did anyone tell you that I had asked you to come to the canteen ?" She said "No!". I said "ok fine, you can go". I was actually thinking about calling her to the canteen but I didn't tell it to her. I missed yet another opportunity.

The anxiety or the mere thought of talking to her made me fail. ?? I had this adrenaline running while talking to her.

After a few days I saw her in the computer lab. She was coming out of the lab as I entered. Again I didn't make any move. I didn't even look her face to face.

Then yesterday. Again she had the same lab and I am waiting outside for her to come out. As I see her coming out , I have this adrenaline again coming into action and am not able to do what I had planned to do. In spite of this I walked towards her but after few meters I stepped away Crying or Very sad . Now I really need to become her friend and want her to recognize me. I need her to say "hi" or smile at me whenever she see me.! I also have further plans..

hope you understand.

I have already posted in other forums and posting here as well.

Desperate for some help:eek:
 
Last edited:

ThatLady

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You've got the layman's equivalent of "stage fright", vic. It's not uncommon, really. It boils down to a fear of rejection. One way you might try to combat this is to ask yourself: "What's the worst thing that can possibly happen?" You might come up with things like: "She'll say 'buzz off'", or "She'll have a boyfriend", or "She won't like me". Once you've identified the worst thing that can happen, you can feel like you're prepared for it. Sometimes, that really helps.
Have you had this kind of problem with approaching people before, or is this a new experience for you? Are you normally a confident person, an anxious person? Answers to these questions might help us guide you a bit better. :)
 

vic_msn

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Joined
Dec 6, 2006
Messages
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1
You've got the layman's equivalent of "stage fright", vic. It's not uncommon, really. It boils down to a fear of rejection. One way you might try to combat this is to ask yourself: "What's the worst thing that can possibly happen?" You might come up with things like: "She'll say 'buzz off'", or "She'll have a boyfriend", or "She won't like me". Once you've identified the worst thing that can happen, you can feel like you're prepared for it. Sometimes, that really helps.
Have you had this kind of problem with approaching people before, or is this a new experience for you? Are you normally a confident person, an anxious person? Answers to these questions might help us guide you a bit better. :)
I am basically a shy person. This is a new experience for me I have never before approached a girl I don't know.
 

David Baxter

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You seem to be interpreting the "adrenaline", as you describe it, as nervousness or anxiety or fear.

Maybe it will help if you try to look at it as something more positive - your body and brain getting you prepared for action, for a good performance.

Athletes, actors, musicians, etc., experience this all the time. In my life, I've learned that in certain situations (e.g., teaching, public speaking), if I don't get that preparatory adrenaline rush, I don't do as good a job/performance.
 

Daniel Baxter

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Jul 18, 2007
Messages
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1
Hi Vic,

I'm a 22 yr old student as well, and I experience much of the same experiences you've described in your endeavour to get to know this girl. Believe me when I say that experience doesn't always help, and here's why (it has something to do with what my dad explained, in brief):

the current research into differences between extroversion and introversion suggest that what separates us (and you and I would be introverted, no doubt) from them (the extroverts) is that during basically any social interaction, you and I experience a much higher arousal than extroverts. Thus, simply being around new people at all will generally arouse us more than an extrovert. So, keep in mind that even with practice at social skills, etc., you and I will still get quite "nervous, anxious or experience that adrenaline rush" when we talk to new people, especially those of the opposite sex. What ThatLady said holds fairly true, and so does what my father explained, but it's not really a stage fright per se, it's just how your nervous system is built. It reacts more strongly to social stimuli than an extroverted one.

Even though practice and experience won't really make this fact go away or diminish, this isn't a hopeless case. What experience does is give you the skills to cope with this increased arousal and to DECREASE it AFTER its happened at faster and faster rates. meaning, you can't stop yourself from becoming, cognitively speaking, aroused by new people, especially girls; what you can do is work on lowering that arousal more quickly so that you can move on to things like studying for your exam, instead of being hyperaroused for days after the initial interaction. I really do understand this feeling and suffer it myself, and through practice I've learned how to distract myself from, effortfully suppress it, or, as sometimes is the unfortunate case, learn how to "pick my battles" so to speak and just accept that, for at least today, I'm f'd and I'm gonna be too distracted because of somebody, and just do something that's not too engaging, e.g., watching a fav. or new movie, reading, playing guitar, doing photography. Whatever it is that you may wanna do that is semi-mindless or puts you into a state of "flow" (whole different topic).

It is true, though, that your poor performance on an exam (if that is indeed what happened and not exaggerated because of the dramatic emotion you were feeling, possibly, when writing the original post) would have been due to too high a cognitive arousal level. There is something called a Performance Curve, and what it shows us is that, when people are under-aroused, they perform poorly. As my father mentioned, arousal is meant to prepare us into action of some type. If we do not have enough arousal, we are not prepared for action, and so we perform poorly. There is an optimal arousal range within which people perform at their best. This is when there is enough cognitive arousal ( I know I've said arousal waaaaayyyy too many times, but oh well, here comes some more) to motivate the person to pay attention to the task at hand, to perform it as best as they can, and to have such memories or abilities primed in their brain based on their concentration and focus as to have them easily accessible when needed. Moreover, the person is not over-aroused, leading them to become far too distracted, and preventing them from retrieving vital memories in an examination setting. meaning, the very act of being stress puts up quite physical blocks in your brain that prevent you from accessing the material you would have otherwise known perfectly well. So, it is important to learn how to manage this social arousal, being an introvert, so that you can still perform well in school despite its effects on you.

Some tips for doing this? They're going to depend on your personality, but for me, it involves taking some time away from other people, being alone and quiet (or loud if I'm playing guitar) and doing something that is very familiar to me, whatever the particular impulse is at the time. Familiarity is important. It means its something I know how to do well, and can even mean watching a movie (who doesn't know how to watch a movie? seriously....). Doing something I know how to do a) brings back a sense of unconscious focus, as my mind is working on something, and not scattered about chasing down thousands of thoughts of hypothetical situations. The focus slowly becomes more and more conscious (though sometimes this process is the opposite, play it by "ear"), and I begin to calm. It is important to try and find a place that you can be alone, just for a bit, because it is exactly the presence of other people that is causing this hyper-arousal. Not to say you should permanently isolate yourself, this is only in the context of controlling hyper-arousal AFTER it has happened, and not as a means of preventing it. Once you've taken about a half hour to and hour to yourself, or a whatever time is needed, and you feel you're ready to do some work, give it a shot. I give this warning though: IF you start to feel distracted again whilst working, take another short break. DO NOT force the studying. Walk away, go back to the relaxing activity, and come back after another half hour or so. When you calmer, come back. I say this because memories quite often get tied to the emotional state in which the initial experience occurred, meaning that if you're stressed while studying, you'll most likely need to be stressed again in order to retrieve the information stored while studying. So, when you're doing your school work, get yourself into that optimal arousal range, not too low, and not too high, but Goldilocks style (meaning just right).

The other piece of advice I can give: ASSUME NOTHING. Tell this to yourself when you're thinking about what to do next, how you should do it, or reflecting on what you did, how it went wrong, how it went right: YOU KNOW NOTHING YET. Experience is the only teacher. Hypothesizing about how the person reacted to you is a projection of yourself, for the most part. In truth, there's no way for you to know what the other person thought, or how they felt. You may have some evidence to support some theory, but YOU DON'T KNOW. So, stop trying to figure it out: it's impossible. Wait until you see the person, and ask them whatever questions you are trying to sort out. This is the only way to have any real idea of what's going on. If you think you might have creeped a girl out, tell her what you're thinking:

"I know I may have seemed a little bit weird lately. I'm sorry if anything I've done has made you uncomfortable in any way. I sometimes can just be a bit odd, so just let me know whenever I do something that's too weird for you."

Now you may be asking, "how can I trust their response?" You can't, except by choice. It's true, anyone can lie about anything, so in the end, we choose to trust people, or we choose to give in to those thoughts that tell us they're setting us up for the terrible fall. If you want to be close to the girl, you HAVE to choose to trust that she'll tell you when you're bothering her, and that way, you can trust that if she DOESN'T say anything, then you're NOT bothering her, and you just continue to be yourself.

I hope that some small part of this has been helpful in some small way (seeing as how there's so much here, statistically, i should have hit home on at least one point). I feel for you bro, cause I know what its like. We introverts have to stick together...just not for too long cause we need our alone time too ;)

- Dan
 

Bones

Member
Joined
Jul 21, 2007
Messages
42
Points
6
I have had much problems with this also throughout my life. In my experience, it lessens with age, so there is some light at the end of tunnel.

I like Daniel's advice on "Assume nothing". I thing that works. In my experience, basically whenever I would think too much and try to prepare, it would ruin me.
Other things to distract your mind are good IMO.

Best thing to do in my experience, is take a deep breath and try to relax, tell yourself: its OK, and just take life as it comes.

I know its ****ing hard though.
 

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