Thursday, July 31, 2008

Security Guard Stare (Marnie)

So I’ve been religiously trying out my goal of smiling more and being more friendly at church and church functions since my last post. I’ve even been practicing while at the store and in the car! I know that sounds like such an easy thing to do, but if you know my full “history” you’d understand this is scary stuff for me. It’s not because I’m shy. In fact, at times I’m probably too outgoing for some people’s taste. But if someone of the opposite sex shows too much attention towards me, I sometimes feel threatened and feel like I have to retreat into my “steely eyes” look to put them off hoping they WON’T continue to show too much attention. (My “steely eyes” – as one man described it – are what I pull out when walking down deserted dark alleys and parking lots to help warn a potential attacker that I am more scary than they are – not a good tactic when trying to meet potential interests.) I am proud to say I haven’t used “steely” eyes to scare off guys for quite some time…I get props for that, right??

Where did I get “steely eyes? Well, I went through many years where if a guy approached me, showed interest and even pursued me, I’d run faster than a speeding bullet. Away, that is. Why? Geez. I couldn’t really pinpoint it. Fearing lack of control? Fearing the unknown? Fearing of being trapped into something I wouldn’t know how to get out of? I’ve had nightmares all growing up (and still occasionally) of getting married and then waking up the next day realizing it was the biggest mistake of my life because he wasn’t right for me. And I think somehow along the way, I convinced myself that I had to make SURE I didn’t “fall” for just any guy without making a very calculated, wise decision to fall in love with a very safe man that I knew I could really trust. Yeah, not very romantic or realistic. I like to blame that idea from all those Love Boat episodes I watched while growing up. How many of the guest stars – and even the Love Boat crew - made stupid and ridiculous “love choices” because they got carried away with their emotions and hormones? Well, I wasn’t going to be THAT stupid. I was going to be smart about love!

That has put a real damper on my social and dating life in the past. I had crushes ONLY after watching a guy for some time – you know, watching in the wings, not really making any connections until I felt he was trustworthy and safe. And if it was his idea and he came on too fast or too strong, no matter how cute he was, I just gave some justifications and rationalizations as to why he wasn’t the right guy for me.

In fact, The One peaked my interest because of his initial approach. When I first met him, he gave me a compliment, which was very flattering and caught my attention (why don’t normal men give compliments anymore???). We had a 20 minute conversation and then he disappeared to the other side of the room for the rest of the night and just kind of watched me. Not a creepy watch, but an observing watching. If he had spent all night with me, I would have totally felt trapped and would have pushed him away making him NEVER want to talk to me again.

Anyway, I digress. So I’ve come a long way from my normal “pretend you don’t notice you are walking down the hall past 5 single guys and be sure to not make eye contact” to now my “big smile” and a scan across each of their faces as I walk by….well, you get my drift.

I can’t tell you how empowering it’s been! I’ve had some men notice me that hadn’t in the last 2 months because of my new Security Guard Stare. (see my last post for more details about the security guard that inspired this all) My Security Guard Stare works this way, you catch a guys gaze, smile pleasantly and remain in the gaze until you slowly say in your head “security guard.” That’s a lot of seconds for a girl like me! BUT it seems to be working.

And so the experiment continues…

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Love Boat messed up a fair number of us. I really like the rule of saying "security guard" in your head. I must try this!