Taking it Offline

ShyI was asked last week on my last blog post, The Issue With My Flirting:

“What about someone that is shy and not sure how to ask someone out in person, but online will chat up a storm and flirt like no tomorrow? What advice do you have for them?”

How do you bring the same energy of an online conversation, to the real world face to face interaction?

I was out this past weekend with my friends at a local monthly show hosted by one of the bars here in Philadelphia. after the show had concluded a man approached me and

already knew my name. He casually introduced himself and began to speak to me about how he knew me through my fan page and my various other online blogs. We had already been friends on Facebook for a while but he was anxious to introduce himself to me so we could “officially” meet. My initial thought was wow this guy has some balls! But after speaking together for a while, I realized it was more than just his oversized scrotum that drove him to speak to me. He in fact had exactly what I always preach about, Confidence!

First dateIf you want to achieve anything in life, there needs to be a certain level of confidence you instill within yourself. Referencing to the above comment at the beginning of this blog, the basis of the questions posed was, “How do I interact with people face to face, after I have already spoken to them online?” Being behind a computer it’s historically easier for engaging others. This notion has been evident since the early days of instant messaging through AIM and AOL. If you grew up with the same generation of young adults as I have, you are probably no stranger to at least one online battle from high school where you fought, clawed, gossiped, or backstabbed another online. Today it’s no different using Twitter, Facebook, and texting. In my life, I was able to hide behind the screen so well; I actually came out of the closet to my parents via text message.

The exact text was:

“Hey mom, so that kid (First boyfriend’s name) that you met from New York, he’s coming down to stay with us for a week because he happens to be my boyfriend…”

The response:

“That’s fine, dinner is almost ready will you be eating with us?”

Matt O'Neill

Just before we all hit the town!

I will safely say that through that text my mother responded with, it was my moment to say, “to hell with this.” Since then, I have been more outgoing and more confident in what I’m trying to accomplish. It was the moment I realized that if I ever wanted to get anything or anywhere in my life, I had to be willing to take chances. I’ve had multiple incidents since then that I’ve mustered up the courage to do tasks and feats that I never thought I would EVER do in my lifetime. Building that confidence to engage in face to face interactions is not difficult, only a practice.

If you’ve already started up a stimulating conversation online, half the work is done! You built a base conversation piece you may use to strike up that initial hello. You’ve created topics that you both are able to openly discuss. Take it from there, start with the neutral ground of what you’ve spoken about already online and branch out to new subjects together. Who knows by the end of the conversation, you may just have enough to ask them to continue speaking with you, oh I don’t know…over a cup of coffee?

What sort of experiences have you gone through that took a lot of courage and confidence?

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1 Comment

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One response to “Taking it Offline

  1. I have confidence in everything I do, but some is stronger or greater then others. When it comes to talking to stranger be it guy’s I’ve talked to online first and then met in person or someone that I’ve just met for the first time. My confidence drops a little bit as my shyness level kicks in. I think part of it is my fear of being wrong, my hating to embarrass myself or have that feeling of embarrassment, or just plain rejection for what ever reason. Of course most of the rejection I get online is because of my appearance. Sadly our community and myself is guilty of this also, but we for the most part are look’s queens. When we go looking for a guy for a relationship or even a hookup. If the guy isn’t appealing to us we reject them without taking the time to get to know their inner self. In my case I’m not attracted to certain things about my appearance and look for guy’s that have the appearance that I desire. For all I know I could be passing up some real gems. I guess with anything in this crazy world it just takes time. Which for a Hopeless Romantic is a hard lesson to learn.

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