You've found a girl you really like, and she likes you, too. But you find yourself feeling shy and awkward, unsure of yourself. You don't want to lose her, but you don't know how to increase your confidence when you're with her. Your self-consciousness can be your biggest problem. She accepted dates with you and became your girlfriend. That means she's into you. Change your focus and take your relationship to a whole new level of fun and satisfaction.
Tell her why you like her. People never get tired of hearing sincere compliments. One of the things that attracts a woman to a man is the man's interest in her. Create a positive atmosphere where she feels comfortable and appreciated. Be specific sometimes. General terms like "You look really nice," or "You're a great cook," are valuable, but "I like the way the color of your shirt brings out the blue in your eyes," or "You make the best-tasting noodles I've ever eaten," are like giving her a jewel, something she can take out and look over and enjoy from time to time. Help her feel good about herself and she'll keep coming back to bask in your sunshine.
Develop the friendship. The friendship side of your relationship is even more important than the romantic side of your relationship. Opposites do not attract for long. People are attracted to others who share their same values and interests and enjoy some of the same activities. Listen to her. Discuss the things that are important to you both. Be willing to participate in activities she enjoys, and invite her into your world so you can find common ground. A dating relationship that begins with friendship has a strong basis for success.
Think positive. A lack of self-confidence is often accompanied by negative self-talk and expectations. Too often, negative expectations become a self-fulfilling prophecy. Mayo Clinic staff recommend paying attention to your negative thoughts and working on challenging them and adjusting your thought patterns to focus on positive, more constructive thoughts.
Admit your insecurities at times. You sabotage your relationship when you expect her to react negatively to you or think you are inept. For instance, tell her you want to go with her to the party, but you feel uncomfortable in crowds of people you don't know. Understanding your feelings, she can make certain she introduces you to someone who shares your interests. She will probably also suggest staying at the party for a shorter length of time than she would have stayed. She's your girlfriend. You are not likely telling her something that she doesn't already know, but your honesty and willingness to negotiate let her know you care enough about the relationship to make yourself vulnerable.
- MayoClinic.com: Self-Esteem: 4 Steps to Feel Better About Yourself
- Texas Women's University Counseling Center: Improving Self-Confidence
- Triump Over Shyness: Conquering Shyness and Social Anxiety; Murray B. Stein and John R. Walker
- Develop your talents and abilities. Engage in activities that provide you with an opportunity to succeed. The more you experience success, the more comfortable and self-accepting you become. Self-appreciation puts the kibosh on self-consciousness and lets you be yourself.
For Judy Kilpatrick, gardening is the best mental health therapy of all. Combining her interests in both of these fields, Kilpatrick is a professional flower grower and a practicing, licensed mental health therapist. A graduate of East Carolina University, Kilpatrick writes for national and regional publications.
Goodshoot RF/Goodshoot/Getty Images