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Self-Improvement & Hobbies

Be yourself, it’s ok

Don’t let your fear of rejection keep you from having a good social life. Just relax, be yourself and enjoy the party.
CATS Classified In The Straits Times - January 15, 2010
By: Wong Wei Chen
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Be yourself, it’s ok

Besides being a hang-out for drinks and entertainment, the pub is probably a better place than most for making new friends. After all, you do feel braver after quaffing a few mugs of beer, don’t you?

But the fear of rejection is deeply ingrained in many of us, so that it might take much more than a pint or two to help us overcome this problem.The first step towards tackling a problem is to take a cold, hard look at it, analyse it, then think of ways take the bull by its horns. Let’s begin.

What is the fear of rejection?
In my view, the fear of rejection stems from excessive self-consciousness. People who suffer from this emotional ailment (myself included) get too bothered by how they appear to others. Before we even do something, we get an internal conversation going, which consists primarily of a series of ego-deflating invectives such as: Oh, I look like a gnome! I sound like a duck! She (or he) can’t possibly want to talk to someone as homely as me!

And before you know it, you’ve chickened out.

Well, the irony behind all this is that in spite of all those self-deprecating remarks, you are actually more egoistic than the average Joe. You’re paying way too much attention to yourself, and what’s worse, you actually think the other person will be equally fixated on you.

Don’t get too engrossed with yourself
Take the spotlight off yourself. So you sound like a duck or look like a gnome. So what? Who cares? You’re not Elvis or MJ, so nobody’s going to give you undivided attention anyway.

Feeling thoroughly deflated at this point? Good! Now you’re ready to be the authentic person that you really are.

I’ve seen a number of blokes – some of them my friends – who resemble frogs and warthogs pairing off with relatively comely girls. The reverse is true also, but I won’t go into the details, since I can’t bring myself to say anything rude against members of the fairer sex. Now, there has to be something special about these “frogs” and “warthogs” that endear them to their partners, and you, without doubt, have that special something in you too. You just need bring it out effectively.

You’re not perfect, but neither is the other person. Treat every encounter as an interaction between two complex entities, flawed here and there, yet each having its bright sparks or at least the potential for beauty. Think this way, and you’re probably closer to the truth. And if he or she snubs you for your superficial flaws, without even bothering to find out who you really are, well, beat a quick retreat. This person still has a lot of growing up to do, and is probably not worth your time and effort.

Practice makes perfect
The first and second time you approach a stranger in a pub may prove difficult, but perhaps the third time will be the charm. There’s no denying the adage that practice makes perfect.

Try, try and then try again. And one day you’ll feel totally at ease walking up to stranger, saying: “Hey beautiful, can I buy you a drink?”


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