First off, on behalf of my fellow aggressive people, yeah sorry about that. It’s not that we don’t try, shy friends, but it’s that we’re not thinking through what we’re saying in the way we should.
Stop me if you’ve heard this one.
You’re at a bar, Shy Friend, and you see someone who seems cool or attractive. Your aggressive friend, such as myself, might come up to you and say “Go on, head on over and just say something, it’ll be fine!”
You’re at work, my dear Shy Friend, and your boss is across your place of business. You want a raise, and I or someone like me come up to you and say “just go over there and ask them for a raise!”
I’m reminded of the proverbial bow tie tutorial. “Pick it up, cross it and tie a bow tie.” Basically, we’re just saying “Oh, you’re feeling shy and timid? Just don’t!”
Obviously, that’s useless. So again, sorry. Now, let me try to help. I’m an aggressive person. To us, these are just intrinsic things, as instinctive as breathing.
Or, well, to most of us. But some of us started off shy.
So here are some things I think I can impart as someone who learned how to be aggressive and assertive instead of being born that way that go into more detail than “just do it.”
Starting off with personal stuff, like being out socializing. A lot of my own shyness stemmed from fear of rejection (or rather, the assumption I would be rejected). So one thing I’ve learned is that in a social setting the average person will at least give you a chance when you approach them. And I don’t mean romantically, necessarily. Even just making friends can be hard for shy people. So to do that try to go to things related to your interests. I have a lot of shy friends I met at punk shows, for example. And you can use things from these events as an “in,” such as asking which bands they are there to see, or some other equivalent.
Also, remember that if someone brushes you off for no reason that’s on them, it doesn’t reflect on you. And if they’re douchey about it then that is also on them for being a douche. But every time you are rejected socially the more easy it gets, the less harsh it feels and after a while you may start to realize it isn’t because you have some kind of flaw that pushes people away.
I hope that helps, next week we’ll do tips for being more aggressive in a professional setting, where you also have to act with a specific etiquette.