Imagine coming face to face with someone you find incredibly attractive. Your blood starts to boil, the pupils dilate, butterflies inside your gut start running amock, the palms start to sweat, a cacophony of thoughts flood the mind, words lose all sense – and you freeze. If you relate to this subsequent set of physical and mental occurrences, know that you are not alone at all. An immense amount of people truly believe they cannot make a good impression while talking to guys or girls, and often allow the opportunity to slip by in order to spare themselves from humiliation.
We are here to help you break the ice. It may take a little finesse, bravado, and practice but what is most important is coming to terms with yourself and facing your fears. To quote the queen of all drag queens, RuPaul: ”If you can’t love yourself, how in the hell are going to love somebody else?”
Why is it difficult to break the ice?
According to Comfort Puppy, unless you have a dog, the greatest ice breaker of all, your wits and charms will always be put to the test. But a number of reasons can literally stifle a person to muster up the courage and just be themselves in front of a person that sweeps them off their feet:
- Social anxiety is one of the most common culprits, the feeling of awkwardness or apprehension that floods the mind when people are around.
- Worrying too much about other people’s opinion, the dissonance of self-perception.
- Fear of rejection or abandonment, taking accountability for own’s sense of inadequacy.
- Poor understanding of body language and emotional vocabulary.
- Inability to readily make requests, ask questions, and decide what you want.
- Lacking proper motivation to approach or not having a clear understanding of what it is that you want from the other person.
And most of all, people refuse to approach someone because they are opening themselves up for evaluation and fear what the response is going to be like. It is like handing all the power to the other person who can easily “take you” or “leave you” without having much to explain.
This usually brings the question: Who would want to put themselves in such a vulnerable position? Being confident, assertive, and putting yourself “out there” has to come from a place of comfort and self-love. Everyone has confidence issues from time to time but how we choose to deal with that prospect can make or break our success in forming friendships, dating, and finding partners.
Techniques that keep the power in your hands
Asking for a favor
There is a little thing called the Benjamin Franklin effect, a phenomenon where people start to like others and become more involved when they do a favor for them. Even the simplest of requests such as “Excuse me, would you mind watching my stuff while I go grab some coffee?” or “Can you pass me some sugar, I’m all out?” can jump-start the conversation. So forget trying to take a person out for a drink and ask for one instead! Give them something to engage you. Help them help you.
Do not shy away from questions
Most people try hard to impress someone else and usually fail miserably. Insisting on deserving someone’s interest or affection won’t do you much justice, whereas establishing a dynamic where both of you encourage each other to express your mind creates a sense of trust. There needs to be reciprocity. So be curious and ask them to reveal their interests, thoughts, and views of the world – and show yours, too. Suspend the whole attraction thing, open up those ears and just listen. Give them space to show what they are like as a person without any judgment or preconceived opinions. Sex can come and go but how you relate to one another is gold. Just remember to keep the questioning light, fun, and not too excessive.
Be honest about yourself
Even if you are feeling anxious when talking to other people, it is far better to say that that is how you currently feel rather than to hide it and pretend to be something else. People are most attracted to the honesty of one’s self-perception, be it positive or negative. Vulnerability is power. It is a fundamental human component and knowing how to show not just your strengths, but also your weaknesses is what truly makes you attractive. So whenever you make a statement or ask a question, know that it will have a greater effect when it comes from a place of sincerity. If you can tap into other people’s empathy, you can connect with literally anyone.
Truth be told, it ain’t a picnic to break the ice. It IS easier said than done. But if you can abandon all preconceptions about others and yourself, you can make a fertile ground to grow your confidence and merits. You’ve got one life to live anyway so why spend it ingratiating yourself with others. To be worthy of love, you need to love yourself first.