Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Q & A: "I do not have very much self-confidence"

Q: I do not have very much self-confidence. I'm extremely shy. I like this guy. Recently I went to a party and he was there. Before I went, I read some of the things on your website and followed them your advice. This guy's a good dancer, so every girl except me asked him to dance. I waited until he came to ask me and we ended up dancing 3 songs in a row, having so much fun. But that's not enough for me. I would like to connect with him, but whenever I'm around him, I can't say anything. Last night, at a bar, I saw him and first he sat across from me, then he sat between me and my best friend, and we kind of touched the whole evening. Was that my accident or...? What should I do? I just can't get on with my life. And there's another guy who is quite popular, who most of the girls are in love with, who compliments me. Does he just want to charm me so that another girl will like him? Men are such complicated animals.--Shy

Dear Shy,
Yes, men are a complicated species (but then we're even more complicated -- to ourselves and to them. Can you imagine how guys feel?) But men are wonderfully delicious and I wouldn't want to live without them.

Girlfriend, you're doing great. You're doing your job as a Queen Bee - to attract not run after or find men. Congratulate yourself. You're attracting men with your femininity. The men are coming to you because you're being yourself - feminine. When you're being feminine, a man can be masculine. Based on the results, that's exactly what's happening.

And you're being honest and vulnerable about who you are. You recognize that you're shy but you're not letting that fear run you. Good for you. As for the first guy, continue flirting with him as you are doing now. And "let him know" that you're interested in connecting with him more. Make it safe for him to ask you out and he will. Remember, he came over and, of all the girls at the party, he asked you to dance. As for the other guy, continue to be open and receptive to him. Let him make the first moves. You'll find out soon enough if he's for real or just reeling you in. He'll either earn trust points with you or he won't. (My hit is that genuine, real men are like cream, they always rise to the top. The rest, sink to the bottom. By the way, that applies to women too!)

Q: I work with this very cute man and I want to ask him out. The problem is that I don not really know him at all. We say hi and bye and make small talk but nothing major. Should I do this or would it look weird? --Lauren

Dear Lauren,
What is your corporate policy about co-workers dating? Second, how closely do you work together and what would be the impact on your jobs? Dating and working together can get really messy. However, having said that and assuming that the first two issues are non-issues, I'll get directly to the heart of your question. Asking him out wouldn't look weird, but I'm not suggesting that you do that directly. See my Queen Bee Theory and Attracting a Man

Wouldn't you prefer to have him ask you out, instead of you doing the asking? As a woman, practice your flirting and attracting qualities to bring him to you. Men have radar. They look for clues that we're interested in them. Put those signs out to him; he'll pick them up if he's interested.

Be approachable, vulnerable and genuinely interested in him. Here's some tips: it's the way you smile at him, how you put all your attention on what he's saying (hang on every word as if it's the most brilliant conversation you've ever engaged in—of course you're doing most of the listening and he's doing most of the talking), and, honestly let him know, in a non-threatening way, what you two have a lot in common and that it might be fun to get to know each other better. Let him think the idea to get together came from him. You just planted the seed.

Once men pick up those clues, men feel safe to take a risk and pursue a woman. Rent the movie The Swingers. It's cute. It illustrates this exact point of how men troll for women and look for signs that it's safe to approach.

Q: I am writing to ask for your help with my problem. I am 16 and my job is cleaning offices during the week 2 hours a night. There is an older boy who works there too and he is 19. I have to go to his floor all of the time and he always touches my boobs and puts his hands up my top. Now he is trying to get his hand down my trousers and I don't like it. Most of all he scares me. I can't tell my supervisor because she is his mum. What can I do?--Holly from London

Dear Holly from London,
I know you that probably need this job and that you're scared, but what this boy is doing is wrong. Don't let him touch you anywhere. That's not okay. He doesn't have a right to violate you nor your body. No one has that right. It doesn't matter who their mother is.

I would quit and get another job. Your self-respect is too important. But first, go to the personnel department, if there is one, and let them know what's going on. It's called filing a grievance. And yes, go to your supervisor and tell her what her son is doing. His behavior is wrong and as his mother and your boss, she should know about and do something about it. (No good mother will tolerate this kind of behavior from their son.) If you don't get immediate results, go to your supervisor's boss and tell him or her what happened. I know this is really hard and it takes courage because it's embarrassing and humiliating, but this boy can't continue to get away with this inappropriate behavior.

If you decide to stay at this job, do no allow him to come near you under any circumstances. Make that clear to him and your supervisor. If he tries to touch you against your will, contact the appropriate authorities. Also, no matter what you decide, please go talk to your minister, rabbi, priest, school counselor, a government social worker, or a counselor for girls and young women. They can help you deal with this situation.

Q: Why is it that you give such bad, sexist, and stereotypical advice? For example, you claim: "Women receive, men give.". I got news for you. 50% of marriages in this country end up in divorce. 70% of married women say that if given the choice that would have married someone else. Most single women claim they cannot meet the right guy, or they cannot meet a nice guy. Wake up and smell the coffee. You get out of a relationship what you put into it. If you want men to give and women to receive, your going to have a one sided relationship. It needs to be 50/50. Women want a nice guy, but this stupid "You are a princess, you are a rose" tactics scare away all the nice guys, because nice guys don't chase after women, and they don't pursue the Queen Bee, and they do give up when women show no interest. A real nice guy wants the same things out of life that women want, and nice guys want to feel special too.--David

Dear David,
Thank you for your email, I'm always interested in what my visitors think. I'm printing it because I want to give equal time to my fans and my critics.

In a relationship we all want our needs met and we want to feel special. However, since men and women are wired differently, the way each gender feels their "specialness" is just not the same. The bottom line may be the same, but how we get there is different. This is important to understand because the secret of a good relationship is knowing what the other person wants and then giving it to them.

Good relationships are not 50/50 because that's giving to get something. The best relationships are 100/100 where you're giving because you want to and without a scorecard. When a man gives, he wants the woman to receive his giving. Just look at how we're designed for sex. That's simply a metaphor for life.

But don't jump to any conclusions. Giving and receiving are actually on the same side of the coin. Try this little experiment. Take a ball. Toss it back and forth between your right and left hand. Which hand is giving and which one is receiving? This is the law of circulation and good relationships are the best example of this law. When a man cherishes a woman and willingly gives to her, a woman becomes receptive and really blossoms and then she gives back to him and so the cycle continues. Women give their love back to their men... in the "form" of appreciation, admiration and respect ( that's how men take in love). A man then gives back to the woman in a way that makes her feel cherished, special and safe because that's how women take in love. So, in reality, which one is the giver and which one is the receiver?

By the way, nice guys do chase women and pursue the Queen Bee. It's called "courting." And, for what it's worth, it has worked for many, many years until women stopped being feminine and became feminist.

Q: My boyfriend and I have been together for almost one year now and have grown closer and developed the makings of a solid, loving relationship (we're both mid-20's). The major problem: he's a smoker. (He swears he wants to quit.) I don't want to marry or start a family with someone who smokes. My question is: is it wrong to end things just over this? How many chances to quit do I give him? Is there anything else I can do? --Relationship with a Smoker

Dear Relationship with a Smoker,
First of all, quote to your boyfriend a famous line from my favorite Star Wars character Yoda, who says, " Do or not do. Don't try!"

You can support yourself and him by staying true to yourself and your values. You're a wise woman for not wanting to be marry or have a family with a smoker -- there's no future in it. You've made your intentions known to him, now it's up to him. The short answer is, no there is nothing else you can do. You can't make him quit and you can't quit for him. It's something he has to do himself. But you can be there with him while he's quitting (that means he's given up the cigs and is going through that painful process of withdrawal). During withdrawal just love him, nurture him, nourish him, and don't put any added stress on him because giving up cigs is enough stress, believe me. Withdrawal tends to bring out our "other" personality, so remember that that other personality isn't the one you fell in love with.

Don't make his quitting or not quitting smoking about you. This is not about how much he loves you, it's about how much he loves himself and the kind of life he wants to lead. People who like really themselves, take care of themselves and their bodies. Smoking is a horrible habit. Both my parents were smokers and died of cancer. I smoked 2.5 packs for 25 years. I was a slave to cigarettes. Quitting was the hardest thing I ever did, but I did it. Millions have quit and lived. It takes courage and guts to quit. You sound like a gutsy lady, don't you deserve a man your equal? I'm sure you will find a wonderful loving non-smoker. Who knows? It could be the guy you're with now.

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