"Ummm, why would you think that I want to talk to you?"
I've heard many girls, including my friends, say this to guys who got up the courage to come talk to them. They dismiss them without even a second thought. I feel so bad for them. I wish they would respond by saying something like, "I'm sorry. I didn't mean to cut in front of all the other guys waiting in line to talk to you. Oh wait, there aren't any."
It's these types of encounters that make it hard for strangers to approach each other. Even when you're walking down the street, people ignore each other. I've been ignored a few times when I say hi to people in my apartment complex. It can take a toll on your confidence.
But it's that fear of rejection that so many people have that opens up an opportunity for those of us who have learned to just laugh it off. This is what Seth Godin's book "The Icarus Deception: How High Will You Fly?" encourages. Choosing to do something unpredictable or brave is rare, so your competition is limited. It sets you apart. It gives you the chance to actually meet someone because while you may get rejected 80% of the time, the person who doesn't try at all fails 100% of the time.
So this week's challenge is to be brave. I won't ignore a chance to talk to a guy just because I'm afraid that he'll blow me off. That he'll actually question why I would ever have the nerve to interrupt his day when he's clearly too cool for me. And I'll be happy that he realized that it does take guts to do just that.
It's these awful reactions, these mean people, that will keep many of us from ever trying, which is truly sad, but I hope you won't be one of them Be brave. And laugh.
Being mean is just exhausting. And ugly.