Delimit My Life

"Life is either a daring adventure or nothing" ~ Hellen Keller

Day 21 I am a coward…

Image:Ask a Girl Out Intro.jpg

I walk around with confidence and independence. Head held high because I know who I am. But, I am a coward. The facts are clear and the verdict served. I talk a good game of conquering my fears but do I? If I were to judge myself honestly and truthfully, would I pass? No, I don’t think I would, because I have been dancing around a fear of mine. I’m a little scared of actually writing about it. Why you may ask? Simple, if I write it then I am publicly admitting it. It would confirm that I am a coward, a fraud, and that I have been using denial as a defense mechanism. Let me be clear, I don’t hide this fear from myself; rather my denial is that I have never faced up to it. I have never taken the steps towards conquering my fear. A quite irrational fear because no one has ever died being rejected!

So that narrows it down, there are only so many things someone can be rejected by and one topic rises above them all. Let’s stop beating around the bush. I am a man so it’s about women. Now, I don’t have a problem talking or conversing, or anything of the sort. I mean I can get bored but I don’t really have much to say about the random squirrel they just saw. It is a horrible phenomenon of shiny syndrome that has taken hold of so many Cali girls. Sorry, went on a tangent (dang-it). My problem lies more in the romantic department. One serious problem is that I have no idea how to flirt, but I have been told that I do it, must be unconscious or something. I just don’t understand the concept of flirting because it’s like this weird small talk that involves enticing another person. I don’t like small talk, it even say it in my personality type INTJ. Okay, so that is weird but not bad. Where is this embarrassing stuff?

I did not date a single girl in high school, none, zip, nada! I did go to prom but that was with a girl that was more of friend. It’s not that I wasn’t looking for a girlfriend because I was. All right, lots of people probably don’t date in high school. Since then I have had two girlfriends, each relationship lasting a good amount of time. Ohh so you faced your fear then? Wow, slow down there internal monologue. I never asked them out or made the first move. Both times they made initial move towards starting a relationship. I don’t understand…? Well, my first girlfriend told me that she liked me, I wasn’t prepared. I responded word for word, “like, like like me?” so embarrassing but my brain lost a lot of blood as my heart dropped. My second girlfriend actually kissed me on the beach so there wasn’t much ambiguity in that move. Ohh so you ask her to go to the beach then that sounds like a first move! No, the beach is like a 15 minute walk away from my college so we were just taking a night stroll. There was no intent in my actions.

The fact is that I have never asked a girl out on a date because I don’t want to be rejected. It shocks almost everyone I tell because the stereotype is that the man is suppose to be “the man”. However, I have been writing about facing my fears so its about time I face this fear. The challenge seems kind of obvious, I guess I have to ask someone on a date…? Maybe I will take a step back and just try talking to someone new first. Everyone has to start some where.

A coward is incapable of exhibiting love; it is the prerogative of the brave. ~ Mahatma Gandhi

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22 thoughts on “Day 21 I am a coward…

  1. You and I are very similar male creatures. I wonder if anyone is starting a study of our species or clinic for our mentality. You have used many of the same words I have recently and in the past.

    Explain “shiny syndrome”.

    I came up an INFJ.

    I didn’t go to prom because 1) I didn’t have the funds 2)I didn’t have the wardrobe and 3)I didn’t have the proper date or desire to go, to be honest, due to my class being quite free with themselves sexually while I was not. I expected a drunken orgy and didn’t feel like investing–if I had the funds–in that. I had already been discouraged earlier in the year by asking girls to the winter and homecoming dances to no avail.

    You had two girlfriends who made the first move?? Hmm.

    I’d say you have saved me in a small way by proving I am not the only one with this pathetic fear.

    • I’m happy to meet a fellow creature as yourself.

      Shiny syndrome: A unusual form of behavior born from the generation of short attention spans. The person exhibits behaviors closely related to birds where they are easily distracted by “shiny” things or new things. Being easily distracted they lose all previous attention and focus on the new “shiny” thing. Not being able to hold this information inside their head for very long, they immediately yell out a description of it.

      I made it after seeing it happen so many time but I hope that clarifies it.

      Yeah, for me prom was just a lonely night spent dancing in the companion of another person. I never understood the point of it, before and even after.

      Thank you for sharing and commenting. I wasn’t particular excited about posting this because, no bullshit, it makes me seem pretty pathetic, but its worth it if someone can connect with it.

  2. So, was creature a strange word to use? I was up late:P

    Ah, okay. I understand the shiny syndrome. I am not sure if I have encountered anyone like that who wasn’t simply ignoring me.

    Wait, you lost me with the next line. You made what after seeing it happen so many times?

    How is it lonely if you were with someone willing to dance with you?

    I wouldn’t be too excited about posting this, either. But, for you, it was cathartic. And, yes, it did help both of us (I think) to know we are not alone.

    • Haha not at all, I think it fit well.

      It is not shiny syndrome if it’s to ignore someone, that’s just rude. But yeah its pretty common where I am or at least it seems that way. It seemed rude at first but they just can’t help getting distracted.

      Ohh sorry, I made up the definition to describe the people who lose focus when they see anything “shiny”.

      That’s a great question and one that I could write a lot about. I would say read this post first link. However, the sad truth is I never actually got to dance with her, at least by ourselves. It ended up turning into a dance group with her friends, to many people for my taste. It’s like being at a party with no friends except you can’t go mingle, respect the date rule, so your stuck dancing with random people.

      Yeah it did feel good to write it out and know that I am not alone.

      • Like I said, I’ve never encountered a “shiny” except for the rare person who either was “hyper-sensitive” or a human dog. But, I have encountered people who drift off when they get tired of me not getting to the point quickly. I myself drift off when something said or displayed triggers a train of thought in my mind. But, it’s not that hair-trigger response you described that ends in blurting something unrelated. At least, I can’t recall doing that. But, who knows. Maybe I did.

        Ah, okay. Thanks for explaining.

        I say write about the question.

        Ah the group dance…yeah…I didn’t even like that in grade school. I am not a groupie guy. I have a hard enough time connecting/being comfortable with one person. I am terrible at jumping into a circle of them.

        If you ever wanna talk about any of it, drop me a line.

      • I understand you my mind always drift off into tangent thoughts, but like you said, nothing is blurted out.

        I will definitely consider writing about it. It’s a hard question to explain which sounds like a challenge.

        Yeah I know exactly what you mean. I like one-on-one more than a crowd.

        Thanks for the offer, it’s nice to know I have someone I can talk to.

      • It happens often when watching movies. I miss pieces of plot when some minor phrase or event sends my mind wandering. Sometimes, it’s a personal reflection of what was shown/said. Other times, I am trying to sort out where the story is going or recall something that happened earlier.

        It doesn’t even have to be a crowd. It could just be a group of 5 or more people all laughing and getting along. I just never felt okay with that many. I once went shopping with two girls from my class. Even that was a challenge. I can’t even remember how it went. I think part of it is my natural way of connecting with a person. Too many spirits in a room divides my focus. It’s hard for me to separate myself and just live in the moment.

      • Yeah I do that with movies too. When its a personal reflection then I might miss some of the plot otherwise I normally keep up. I am always trying to predict where the movie is going or what is going to happen next. Most of the time, I am correct so some movies can be boring. I like when I can’t predict the plot.

        My mistake when I said crowd I really meant just like 5 people. Crowds bigger than that I just can’t handle. We share a lot of similarity me being an INTJ and you an INFJ. However, I think our way of connecting is different. You see, I analyze people by their facial expressions, general emotions, body language, voice, and other cues. I don’t do it to judge them or be critical, rather it is just the way I see people. It helps me understand them. This allows me to figure out quickly when someone is lying or hiding something. So when there are too many people, I can get burnt out. Also you are a brave soul for going shopping with two girls, I have done that before and it takes some serious effort.

      • I don’t think I have ever predicted a plot so accurately that it bored me. I tend to avoid movies I predict will bore me. And, in that, I miss out on some oddities that may in fact be decent.

        Well, yes, that would be the T versus the F. You are more intellectual while I am more empathetic. I respond to touch and vibes. You respond to thoughts and words? I do that, too. Body language, vibes given off…facial expressions can be deceptive. I avoid eyes because I tend to absorb too much too quickly without knowing what I am absorbing. I can get…hypnotized or stuck with an impression I don’t want in my mind. Like some avoid handshakes, I avoid handshakes and eye contact. I’d rather feel for people around me like a blind person and go to those who don’t give off negative energy.

        But, do you get accused of judging? I sure do.

        I don’t mind shopping with girls/women. I find women’s fashions more interesting than men’s. I hate shopping for my own clothes lately. There is so little that appeals to me. But, I enjoy offering opinions on women’s clothing. [And, if it leads to more fun or enjoyment of them dressed in what I picked later, even better:)] I don’t think it is always appreciated, though:P The key for most guys is to set a time limit:P Say, “I will go with you for __ hours. But, then either we are doing something else or I will be going home.”

        Is it also possible you misjudge someone when a compliment or bit of support overloads your ego? Like if someone says you are smart…and then you think you know something you don’t?

      • I watch lots of plot twist movies but most of the time I can figure out the ending. I mean there are some movies that there is no point because they just follow a Hollywood genre.

        It’s awesome that even though our mind are taking in the information differently we are both really reading the same information. Yeah, I tend to not look people in the eyes directly unless I want to know something for sure. However, I don’t find facial expression deceptive. I just look at the finer expressions because people tend to lie with their big expression. Like a smile while the eyes show sadness. Yeah, I don’t enjoy reading people who are always negative with their body expression.

        Yup, I get accused all the time. It doesn’t matter what way I try to explain it to someone they always assume that I am judging them. Then they get scared because I can read them, but for me it is like breathing. I’m not saying that I am always correct but it’s my way of responding to how people act. I normally don’t tell people anymore, people tend to see it as invading their privacy.

        I couldn’t agree more. I actually don’t like how us men are so freaking limited on what we can wear. It gets pretty boring wearing jeans and a t-shirt everyday. Hmm, I will have to try the time limit thing next time around because it is fun but I can’t go on forever.

        For me, that is just a part of life. There are those people who will tell you how smart you are and those who will crush your ego with a single word. I try my best to moderate my ego.

      • Yea…how about those Hollywood genre films that seem to follow a form letter.

        My family harps on me if I analyze a plot too much. Just as I harp on them if they have to talk or snack during a movie:P When I saw “Inception”, I couldn’t stop analyzing the possibilities and things that didn’t agree with me. I still argue with my sis about the ending:P But, I love the French actress in that one. She was an awesomely haunting character.

        It makes me wonder if the test wasn’t off somehow:P What if we were more similar but answered one question differently to change the stats? Sometimes I think our answers are driven by experience rather than intuition. And, experience does not define our natures. It only impacts it.

        I look at people’s faces to “judge” their character. But, it’s just as easy for me to dismiss someone’s honesty when they are nervous. Ohp, he’s sweating. He must be lying. Not necessarily. So, it’s sometimes better to “close your eyes” and get a feel for what’s radiating beneath the surface. Which isn’t always easy. Especially if I am already distracted by something.

        People can put on fake smiles really easily. And, when I either suspect or know it’s fake, I become irate. People can also manipulate by putting on a pouty victim face (like kids do). Facial expressions can deceive.

        A negative body posture isn’t the same as a negative vibe. Body posture can reflect a person’s mood…defensive if hurt or suspicious…swinging arms/snapping fingers to hide nerves with “swagger”…etc.

        The negative vibe is more difficult to explain. It resonates deep within. It’s like dogs using with their sniffing or sight. First see a possible threat and then sniff it out. Scent for a dog is the vibe that makes the difference.

        And, how do we NOT scare people with our quiet perceptions? I’m “sorry” your head is full of other noise and not reading what I am…but I am not trying to drive you away…unless I just don’t like/accept you. It sometimes feels like a mental illness coming out of my mouth. I might as well have a nervous tic and spout off expletives. I suspect we both just have to practice not speaking or knowing when to speak:P And, only give the opinion when asked for it. If it’s not accepted, be prepared to use the breathing mask and flotation device. And, thanks for flying dangerous social exchange airlines.

        Right. I am not always going to be right or all right. But, I am expressing what I think/feel. I think the kicker is for us to experience this from others. To be knocked down enough times by the “judging” of those around us. But, I think that’s partly how I came to be this way. I have been frequently judged. It’s like second hand smoke all my life. It’s in the atmosphere. And, it sickens me. I don’t want to be harmful.

        There’s an important word. Privacy. You do not ever want to cross that line. There are some questions I am afraid to ask, too. Some we ought to know. Others may be more than we need to know.

        However, isn’t it thrilling to mention something and have it resonate with a person?:P Or, have them divulge so much with little effort? Sometimes it’s too much to hear…and sometimes it’s a relief I don’t have to ask all those questions. I am not sure if I prefer “pulling teeth” or receiving a flood.

        Boring. Yes. White collar or blue? Suit or t-shirt and jeans? Why does every guy have to wear a black tux to the award shows? And, why can’t I find a pair of pants that does NOT look like high-waters with a hand clutching my crotch? I think some sick designers are making pants this way on purpose. But, it’s not comfortable. And, I don’t want to pay for custom pants. I suddenly feel like the women they used to have in bra commercials looking for more support:P

        Yep. I cannot shop til I drop. But, be forewarned, each time we limit someone else, they are free to limit us, too. Fair game.

        I don’t have a shoe fetish, but I get a strange glee from shoe shopping with women:P However, if they pick out the tacky ankle boots, sparkly dress shoes, heels that go up to Heaven and could break any second or leopard sandals, I lose my enthusiasm.

        Moderation is a vital word for us all.

      • Well everyone likes the classics, even if repetitive. Not many people want to mess around with the standard conventions.

        Yeah, my family does the same but I laugh at them when I can predict the entire movie they are watching after only seeing a minute. They normally get a kick out of that. I didn’t really see Inception as mind blowing because I experienced something similar before watching it. So I had already gone through all of the questions wondering if I was actually a wake. It was a good movie but nothing beats the real experience.

        We are very similar so we probably only answered a few questions differently. However, I can tell we see things somewhat different so I would expect the small difference. I totally agree that experience has a lot of influence over us.

        I try to sum up a person as a whole. It takes time which is why I only get comfortable with a person after awhile. But I try to put everything together to create the person they are trying to be and the person that I see them as. This would be how they express themselves, how they dress, how they act, and what they choose to say. I am mostly interested in the mind of the person, so I “judge” a person more on their actions.

        I really don’t see facial expressions as deceiving because they are the expressions that the person chose to put on. So it is telling me something about them. Facial expressions are not always truthful but again there is a reason the person is lying.

        I actually try not to listen to the vibes I get from someone. For the most part, I see vibes as an initial gut feeling which I get by what I see. However, it can be very volatile often because I am unfamiliar with how someone behaves or acts.

        True. I have learned that most people don’t want opinion or answers they just want to be heard. People aren’t looking for answers in life. No, sadly they just want to complain and have someone willing to listen to them. For this, I have had to learn how to be quiet and just listen but it can be very difficult. Especially when it is plain to see that they are just hurting themselves.

        Exactly, it is just an expression of my thoughts and feels. What you are saying is true though because information can be toxic. People are afraid of themselves which is why so many people live in denial. However, I don’t think of it as second hand smoke. I actually see it as a purifier that clears out the air around them. The issue is that people don’t want to see that clearly. They like the ignorance of being partially blind.

        I actually have a habit of asking those questions. I seem to be able to open people up without them being bothered, because people love talking about themselves. It’s almost therapeutic for them. So the result is asking questions I probably shouldn’t have asked, but did, and information I probably didn’t need know, but do. Like you said, it’s kind of a thrill having them divulge so much with so little effort.

        Haha, yeah I just don’t shop very often and don’t have enough money to have a nice custom wardrobe. Wish I did but I don’t.

        Yes, well without limitation one can have exploitation which I am fine without.

      • Those who do not want to “mess” with the “standard” are often either lacking in creativity or afraid of retaliation. Others push the boundaries too often on a “dare” and become bothersome hotheads that really get on my bad side.

        That would be so mean/rude:P To walk in on family watching a movie and ruin it for them in a minute. I would not make a sound and keep walking.

        I don’t think it was a good movie. I think it was a headache:P I think it was another Hollywood attempt to wow people with fancy effects. The best part about the movie was the French actress (whose name I don’t want to butcher trying to spell it off the top of my head). She made it a genuine thriller. The rest was like an 80’s music video with plenty of “dancing on the ceiling.”

        So, my F, or Feeling aspect, may be partly responsible for me “judging” more than their minds? People see me as this brainy, over-analytic intellectual, but I am not just a brain…nor do I consider myself a genius until my brains do something great for this world. I sometimes feel shallow for “judging” appearances like any other person who does turn up their nose for minor reasons.

        You sort of said it for me. The face may be a lie. So, why bother considering it other than as some diversion from the rest? It’s when we let the face get to us that we let our guard down. Right? Take the “puppy dog eyes” look for example. Some buy into it. Others don’t. It’s not deceiving? It sure is!

        Trust the gut reaction. I’ve heard from plenty of sources that it is the right way to go. Anything else may have already been influenced by emotional debris. You don’t have to let first impressions spoil a workable relationship. But, never forget your instinctual reaction until you make sure it’s invalid. I am sure we all would avoid have the hurt we experience socializing if we honed in on our instincts every time we met someone. Ask ourselves what sort of energy is this person giving off.

        I disagree. People are looking for answers. But, when someone hands them answers on a tray, they may get suspicious like with compliments. Who are you to judge/compliment me? It goes both ways. Sometimes people looking for answers just forget to open their ears/minds/eyes. A form of denial or self-harm in defense. Just like a computer that can’t properly download or open a file because of an overly high security system.

        I have no interest in sitting through someone’s emotional tirade at the risk of them harming themselves. Either I can do something to change their mind/mood, or I should leave. Otherwise. their mood could be contagious. I don’t read many depressing posts online for that reason. I cannot afford to bring myself down.

        Do you like talking about yourself?:P I only do it once someone opens my can. So, maybe I do it subconsciously. But, if you asked me to talk about myself, I’d bottle up. I don’t like it for whatever reason. Perhaps, because plenty have made a point of telling me I talk too long/much. So, talking at length (since I am not a concise guy often) only makes me feel ill.

        Now, if only we could pop the cork on people and put all that talk through a blender or processor to paint a picture that would spell it out for the person…let them see what they are saying in a new light that does not offend or upset them outside the realm of healing.

      • Yeah and Hollywood doesn’t want to mess with the standard. That’s why they keep making remakes of old movies.

        Haha it could be seen as rude but I can’t help it. It is just so predictable and it’s not like I am 100% right. So I could be wrong.
        I couldn’t agree anymore. I think a lot of Hollywood movies all about fancy effects and explosions. I’m not saying I don’t like to see computer graphic improve but I miss having really interesting story lines.

        Yeah most of my friends say the same thing about me. I can over analyze people and situations and make things worse for myself. It’s hard not to judge based on appearances because we are preconditioned to do so.

        I still think we are thinking about it differently. Sadly, I don’t trust people, like anyone, which is probably something we don’t share. For this reason, I can look at a person as a whole and each of their expressions as puzzle pieces. The face is only deceiving if you don’t understand the underlying reason for their deception. Experience and understanding is how I uncover what people are really saying.

        I understanding what you are saying but I guess I don’t have any faith in my gut. It is highly unreliable for most situations, especially for ones I am already uncomfortable in.
        I think you misunderstood me. People are looking for answer in life, yes of course, however, most people aren’t looking to receive any. Like you said people don’t want the answer given to them because humans learn best through personal experience. But what people want most is just for people to hear them, to listen to their problems, so that they can verbally explore for a solution. I am not saying people don’t learn from other but it is rarer.

        That depends on the emotional rampage that the person is going through. I will normally talk with a person and I have left when there was no point. However, all actions have consequences so I prefer to help the person rather than just leave.

        It doesn’t bother me to talk about myself but most people would consider me quiet. However, my friends might consider me more talkative but not a lot. Though, I normally open up when I am having a one-on-one conversation with someone as a way of getting to know them.

        One has to be either a great writer or speaker to accomplish such a task.

      • I am sick of the remakes!

        I think us analyzers make excuses for our OCD criticisms:)

        I don’t think we think as differently as you seem to sound like my mother who just won’t agree with anything pointed at her:P hehe My mom will get all flustered, I’ll tell her she needs to calm down because she sounds flustered, and she will snap, “I am not flustered!” Why? She clearly is. Some days, you tell her the sky is blue when it is, and she will swear it’s grey.

        Oh, I have my own trust issues. But, without some measure of trust loaned to people we meet, we’re never going to connect. If train cars never trusted other train cars, no trains would be formed.

      • A little confusing since if I sound like your mother than doesn’t mean we are the same. I actually agree to a lot of stuff people point at me, but when it is a bases for opinion than I have my own, same as you. Ahh, I never like people who tell people to calm down. It’s just demeaning to the persons emotions and it like telling them that they have no reason to be whatever emotion when they obviously do. But yeah, I don’t know why people can’t admit what they are feeling. Who knows the sky might be grey to her. Our brain just creates an interpretation of the world not the reality of it, only she knows how her world looks.

        Yes clearly everyone has to have some trust. I mean I expect the banks to not steal my money. So I guess its just what level of trust.

      • Telling someone to calm down need not be rude. If you are breathing too fast and risking hyperventilation, why would it be wrong to tell someone to slow down? Would you rather I let you pass out? Or, how about I make you more frustrated, agitated or nervous? A suggestion to calm down is for both the listener’s and the speaker’s benefit. A speech coach might tell a training speaker to slow down/pace him/herself. ‘Same thing. It’s not always someone saying, “Shut up.”

      • In no situation has anyone ever told me to calm down because of risk of hyperventilation, but I see your point. There are situations when a person can say calm down in a suggestive manner towards their breathing or pace. However, you say you told your mother to calm down for being flustered which is what I was talking about. I did not mean it in the general fashion by which you are explaining. Also, if there was a chance someone was going to be passing out, I would probably tell them to breath. Nothing is going to make them calm other more than breathing.

      • Well, I couldn’t stand being around her while she was flustered. There’s no way to talk to her in that state, and it unnerves me. It’s no different than her telling me to slow down when I get worked up. Of course, knowing her and I, we both would be somewhat irked by the suggestion when firing all cylinders. But, it’s only natural to ask/suggest that. I suppose if you didn’t want to upset someone with words, you could hand them a paper bag. But, that might not be any better.

      • I totally understand that. I can’t stay around long when my family start to argue and heat up. I know that if I don’t leave then I will probably fall into the hole that they are digging. Like you said though, I know I used to get irked when someone told me to calm down. I don’t know where I would the paper bag in the first place, but I don’t see it being any better either. Unless they asked for it, I guess. Ahh, people are tricky sometimes.

  3. Did you make that “How to…” cartoon to look like you or did you just happen to find that?

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