When we find a behaviour that works, we tend to get locked into it; we repeat it whenever that situation comes up. This is called a Strategy or Pattern.
Avoiding people at social situations is a pattern, and so is not showing your feelings, and so is not asking for dates or doing it poorly, and so is feeling sorry for yourself afterwards. Remember, if your nervous system is geared toward shyness, your subconscious considers these things good, thats why I said these behaviours work. But what you can do is, whenever you find yourself in an unproductive pattern, you do what’s called a Pattern Interrupt.
A Pattern Interrupt is anything suddenand unexpected that totally defies the pattern and therefore breaks its hold on you. It can be physical, like suddenly screaming at the top of your lungs or dancing wildly about the room. These are great if you’re in the privacy of your own home or you don’t mind making a fool of yourself. If you need something more subtle, you can do the interrupt in your head, such as experiencing a series of bizarre and totally inappropriate images or sounds.
Here’s one way I used this successfully. I was trying to ask someone out and was doing a lot of Ummm…. Uhhhh….and just generally feeling idiotic and screwing it up. All of a sudden I just said FUCK, with feeling (She was the type that doesn’t mind swearing). Instantly my internal voice went from Argh, what do I say, what do I do, what if she turns me down… etc. toJust quit your damn stalling and DO IT, dumb-ass!! and I asked her out. I didn’t get the date, BTW, but I think that was because we came from VERY different worlds, and she just didn’t have a good impression of me.
Actually, I was quite proud of myself for getting past the fear and taking the risk. Here’s another example. Supposing you really got a rise out of Dead Poet’s Society. A combination anchor/interrupt would be to declare CARPE DIEM!!! or SIEZE THE DAY!!!with gusto.
About Bobby Rio I'm Bobby Rio, one of the founders of TSB. I tend to write about what is on my mind so you'll find a mix of self development, social dynamics and dating articles/experiences. For a collection of some of my favorite articles check them out.