By Elliot Chan, Opinions Editor
Formerly published by The Other Press. September 30, 2014
Boys, have you ever been talking to a girl and suddenly have a thought pop into your head? You know, the one that says: “She’s not interested in you. She doesn’t want to talk to you. You should probably just leave.” Of course, this anxiety is normal. But feeling nervous is one thing, letting it sink in and destroy you is another.
Once that thought materializes it’s hard to overcome it, but understand this: if you aren’t able to rise above that thought, you have officially self-destructed. So please, do walk away before your lack of confidence rips you open and causes you to bleed anxiety all over the sweet girl. It doesn’t matter if she was interested in you or not, whether you were just chatting or if you were flirting, you cannot sell what you aren’t persuaded by yourself.
The overwhelming fear of being labeled a “creep” is what keeps most men from approaching women—not the other way around. So stop identifying everything you do as creepy. Making eye contact with a woman is not creepy. Asking a woman a question is not creepy. Being engaged in a conversation is not creepy. The only thing that is creepy is the weird thought inside your head that is telling you to feel guilty over nothing.
Good intentions shine through and bad intentions deserve to be discovered.
In many scenarios, a man often feels as though he is in a competition for a woman’s attention, but if that is your mentality, then you will be doomed; maybe not in a short-term sense, but definitely in the long run. You should not subject yourself to such pressure, especially if you are in a social environment where other people are waiting for you to strike out. Trying to control someone’s attention is not only creepy, but also neurotic. Don’t try to win someone over with a grand gesture or a long-winded story. The goal is not to keep her attention, the goal is to allow her to comfortably establish a rapport with you.
Your fear of losing the spotlight makes you creepy. You don’t need to be in the spotlight to be appreciated. Most people don’t want to engage with the entertainer, most people want to engage with a fan. So try to be attentive instead of attractive. Show that you can actively listen. Listening is the least creepy thing you can do.
As the Shins said, “caring is creepy,” but worrying about being creepy is 10 times creepier. Forget about it, act cool, and try to stay out of the spotlight. Focus on the story she is telling you, make eye contact, and don’t worry about what your subconscious might think of you.