To give you a bit of my background, I am an 17 year-old guy, only-child and am going to an all-boys school. Often times, I find myself being incredibly nervous around girls who I see around my town. I usually have no problem talking to or hanging out with girls at my church or ones that I’ve known for a while. It’s just that I get anxious/scared whenever I see a semi-attractive stranger, say, at a grocery store or library or Starbucks. Am I crazy? What can I do to build more confidence?
(I made you anonymous just in case.)
I completely understand you because I was exactly this way through most of middle school, high school, and college. I became this uptight, weird, unlikely version of myself around the opposite sex, and all my friends noticed.
The truth is, many confident-looking guys are overcompensating in some areas to look more confident, when they’re really not. Either by money or looks or clothes or using a smooth-talk script they heard from a bad friend or stupid movie, they’re riding on a false machismo that isn’t really cool: underneath it is still a scared twelve year old that is worried for the future. Those “Make-Over” shows use the concept of external change to create a new “attitude,” but it’s nothing more than a crutch for a broken ego.
And you know what? It’s really okay to admit that you have worries, fears, and anxieties. It’s okay to be a little awkward. When you focus too much on how awkward you are, you become even more awkward anyway. So let all that hang out and say: Yes, here’s me, I am sometimes a social weirdo and this is how God made me. I don’t mean in a prideful way, but in a way that you don’t take yourself so seriously. You almost dismiss yourself and trust God with who you are: and that’s when you really find yourself.