“To see without being seen is a banal phantasm–this is the fate of the voyeur. Being seen without seeing is a more original move–this is the fate of the idol. Capturing the other’s gaze without returning it.” – Jean Beaudrillard
One of the most important aspects to becoming an attractive, confident guy is learning to be comfortable with being seen. It is about getting comfortable with being in the spotlight.
On Saturday night we arrive early at the bar to make sure we don’t have to wait on a line outside. It isn’t crowded yet, but there are people there. Some are standing at the bar. But there seems to be a larger gap in the middle of the room where no one is standing.
I walk over and stand in the middle of the room. It feels uncomfortable for a moment.
My body tells me it would much rather stay glued to the wall with a beer in my hand.
My posture tries to tell me that if I am going to stand all alone in the middle of the room that I probably should take up as little space as possible, that I should slouch down.
I consciously decide not to listen to either of these voices. I walk tall and confidently through the middle of the floor, as if I’m the only person in the place.
I stand for a moment, in the middle of the floor, all alone and look around. I do and show that I am comfortable with taking up space and having people look at me.
Getting comfortable being seen is something I’ve been working on for some time now. And the difference it has made has been immeasurable.
People look at me differently now because I react differently now when people look at me.
As a shy guy I used to avoid people’s gaze. I wasn’t comfortable with being looked at.
I was continually in an act of submission. My existence was an apology.
My natural tendency was to avoid social interaction because of the potential negative outcome. I was living my life with a posture of shame. I was acutely skilled at anticipating shame and which situations could lead to shame.
Any interaction with people could potentially leave me feeling bad about myself if I did the slightest thing to screw it up.
Taking initiative to talk to a girl I didn’t know. Speaking out when I was with a group of people. So I avoided putting myself in those situations.
I was afraid to take the lead and take risks in social interaction. And it showed through my body language.
Through my body language I was essentially telling those around me “Don’t pay attention to me.” I was communicating how unattractive I was.
There are a few things I’ve done to change this.
Eye gaze is probably the most important.
Hold eye contact with women. For months I practiced not looking way before she does. I used to think it creeped women out to hold eye contact. It is the opposite.
Avoid “stealing glances.” Don’t excessively look at her only when you think she isn’t looking at you. People can tell when you are looking at them.
Don’t give her gratuitous glances after the first initial eye contact. Particularly in social circle situations, excessive glances and body orientation without engaging her shows that you are afraid to approach her.
Speak Loudly and Coherently. As a shy person, I always wanted to call as little attention to myself as possible. I was used to speaking softly and inarticulately. This creeps girls out.
If you speak too quietly, practice speaking louder than you normally would. It is a huge aspect to being confident and attractive.
Be in the center of the room. Don’t be afraid to take the spotlight. Be the center of attention. Take the risk and lead in situations, even if sometimes you fail.
If you have difficulty with public speaking, think about doing Toastmasters or taking a public speaking course.
Take up space, physically. Walk around tall and proud. If you are going out to the park or the bookstore to approach women, don’t attempt to hide the fact that you are looking for people. It just makes it more conspicuous. Walk around tall and don’t be ashamed of what you are doing.
Soon you will start to feel more confident being the center of attention. People are able to sense this through your body movements, voice projection and eye gaze.
Becoming comfortable with being the center of attention is one of the most important things I’ve taken upon myself to become confident around others.