Bye Bye Shy, I’m giving Brave a Try

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in 6th grade i met this guy that i fell really hard for. We would always joke around with each other. Then i moved away and had many crushes but the thing is i could never really get him out of my mind. Finally i realized he was my ideal guy and that’s my standard for guys. At the beginning of this year, my junior year, I moved back to where i lived before….and he still lives here. the first semester i only saw him in the hallways…. i know he recognized me but he never said anything to me and i never said anything to him. I’m an extremely shy person and could never walk up to a guy and talk to him. i’ve been thinking about writing him a note telling him i’m sorry for anything i ever did that i might have hurt his feelings in 6th grade or is that just too much?

—Still Hung up on You

Dear SHY,

Step away from the note paper. Back. Away. Slowly. Also from the post-its.
Are you standing far away? Good.

Here is what I *wish* you would do instead: walk up to him and say “Hi! I feel goofy doing this but we knew each other in sixth grade and we always used to joke about [insert thing you joked about]. Remember?” And start a conversation  like that.

You could even add something about how you didn’t say this to him sooner because you were afraid he would have forgotten about you and no girl likes to hear that. When you’re talking to people, admitting you’re nervous or joking that they might not remember you both helps to make those feelings go away and also suggests a certain amount of confidence, which can be pretty appealing.

Think about it: it takes some guts to say “I feel silly doing this.” Yes, I hear you yelling “but I’m SHY! I’d never do that!” and I’m ignoring it. Because this is the best way. Chances are the reason he hasn’t spoken to you is because he’s shy too and worried you don’t remember him.

Doing this doesn’t have to be scary as long as you’re prepared. You can practice what you’re going to say ahead of time in a mirror or in writing. My old journals have pages and pages of dialogue complete with recommended hand gestures that I wrote to practice what I would say to guys I liked. Today I have absolutely no recollection of any of those guys, or how any of my suave talks (“Those shoes you were wearing at practice today were really cool. [Flip hair and point with index finger. REMEMBER TO PAINT NAILS!!!] Where did you get them?”) went over. Which is to say: no matter what happens, even if its embarrassing in the moment, it won’t scar you for life. Or probably even for a week. And also to point out that I know where you’re coming from. And that is why you should do what I say. [Nod head]

You have nothing to lose by initiating some kind of contact with him. Either he’ll be nice, (which I anticipate) in which case you’ll get to have a great friend and possibly more. Or he won’t be, in which case you’ll find yourself getting over him very very quickly. Because we do not like guys who are not nice to us do we? No, we don’t. [Shake head].

Airkisses,
Dr, J

P.s. if you stillllll refuse to talk to him, even though that is the method most likely to get good results, you may write him a note, but NOT an apology note. Apologizing for something you might have done five years ago makes you seem both kOoKiE and insecure, two qualities not likely to get you onto anyone’s Person Of Interest list. Make the note short and funny, maybe something like “Hey remember me? From sixth grade? I thought I’d pass you a note to recreate that elementary school feeling. How are you?” [Smile at him as he looks up after reading it.]

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