It’s Pride month, a great time to meet new people, hang out, and be your most authentic self.
Everyone across the country is celebrating Pride with events like World Pride in NYC which offer plenty of opportunities to meet new people.
It’s time to take a bold step and put yourself out there.
If you’re worried because you consider yourself introverted, you might be surprised to know that the average extrovert is just as apprehensive about meeting new people as an introvert.
So, you’re in good company!
Just think — secretly, that guy or gal who “must be so confident” because they’re loud and outspoken may want you to make the first move.
Ready to Make Your Move?
Having worked with hundreds of gay men and women at the Gay Couples Institute, we’ve learned that you need to change your mindset before you can put yourself out there.
With the proper mindset, you will exude confidence — even if you don’t feel it.
Rejection is part and parcel of relationships, but even if they say no, it’s better to get rejected from time to time than to never take these chances.
Think of it like this — each rejection brings you closer to that person who’s going to say, “Sure, I’d love to go for coffee sometime!”
What do you do when you want to approach someone, but you’re too anxious?
“What if I say the wrong thing?”
Or worse, “What if they say no?”
You need an effective way to keep your anxiety in check — so, what’s the answer?
Getting Over Your Anxiety
Some people get anxious about meeting new people or being with a lot of strangers.
It is perfectly normal to feel like this, and there are ways to deal with it.
Chances are, the person you’re interested in has noticed you already and they’re just as anxious about approaching you.
It could be a huge relief for them when you make a move.
So, what’s the secret to overcoming your anxiety when approaching a cute stranger?
To start with, take a deep breath and compose yourself.
Think about what you want to say, then say it to yourself out loud.
It might feel weird at the time but imagine how much weirder it would be to walk up to someone and open your mouth, only for nothing to come out.
Hearing yourself say hello can help you to adjust your tone, so when you do eventually approach them, you will sound as relaxed and natural as possible.
Okay, next — you know the saying, the more, the merrier?
Well, it’s true. Have a friend with you when you approach someone you like the look of.
More people equals fewer gaps in the conversation — you know, those awkward moments where you’re desperately trying not to talk about your menagerie of cats.
Together, the three of you can come up with multiple topics that are of common interest.
Your friend will probably have a different point of view, fostering healthy debate.
Whether you’re making the move alone or with a pal, here are some great conversation-starters that exude confidence.
- Ask open-ended questions.
If you know the person you’re crushing on loves to travel, ask open-ended questions on the subject; questions that require more than a “yes“ or “no” answer.
Getting them to open up about a passion of theirs helps keep the conversation flowing.
- Give sincere compliments.
Comments like, “Hey, that’s a nice shirt,” are always good ice-breakers and generally make people more open to talking to you.
Some may shut you down, but the possibility of connecting with like-minded people is higher.
- Find common ground.
What do you share with this person?
Maybe you both live nearby, or you want to try a new restaurant that just opened.
Look for common interests to create a bond of similarity you can build on.
At Pride, you already share something in common.
Ask them what they think of the event or just people-watch together.
In these uncertain times, you might be afraid of being your true self.
By having the courage to have fun and the confidence to change someone’s life with a simple hello, you’re honoring those who came before us.
In those moments of fear, ask yourself, “What about our community makes me proud?”
For Alapaki and I, this year is all about living deliberately.
Social media influence has swayed a large percentage of the population’s thinking.
Being able to live deliberately and have a voice honors Pride, the LGBTQ+ community, and our allies.
Remember, many others walked this path before you. The road to our freedom and celebrating Pride was paved with countless struggles — but we made it.
If you’re still a little apprehensive about making the first move, head on over to our site and take our Communication Style Quiz. You will find it so much easier to approach someone you like when you know your own communication style.
ABOUT SAM GARANZINI, LMFT, LPCC, and ALAPAKI YEE, LMFT
Sam Garanzini and Alapaki Yee are Certified Gottman Method Couples Therapists and the co-founders of the Gay Couples Institute – the world’s only gay and lesbian couples counseling clinic. The Gay Couples Institute has locations in Northern California and Manhattan, as well as online counseling services available.
For more information about how the Gay Couples Institute can help you, please visit: www.gaycouplesinstitute.org