This post is not as detailed as my previous ramblings as I have to be honest I have been avoiding the more ambitious tasks. Due to the head start I acquired prior to the challenge start date I admit on September 1st my determination waned a little.
But don’t be disheartened because the very next day I ticked ‘find out the hot concierges name’ off the list. Ever since ‘the hot concierge’ started working in our building I’m ashamed to admit I mentally reverted to a teenage girl with a crush. Although I’ve been curious about him I have never been able to muster the courage to do more than squeak a “hi” in his direction whenever I walk past the front desk. So almost as soon as I set myself this challenge I tasked myself to at least find out his name so maybe future interactions could be slightly better than a hurried “hello” while I inwardly cringed at my social ineptitude.
During the week before the challenge start date my flatmate CP would “helpfully” send me a warning text whenever he was at the front desk. As soon as I saw a “he’s there” flash up on my phone my heart would inadvertently beat a little faster and a knot of anxiety would form in my stomach at the thought of manning up and asking his name. (I really do have problems). However the warnings turned out to be anticlimactic as he was either not there when I went down or one time in particular he was actually already talking to someone so I was unable to make my move.
The day I found out his name, it was a Wednesday, I actually left the flat before CP. I’d devised a plan in my head (during the missed opportunities) of what I would say to him, so when I saw him behind the desk sitting all alone I blurted out my pre-prepared speech. It was something along the lines of I’d realised that I didn’t know his name and how rude that was of me. I think I spoke so fast he just about understood what I was saying, but it worked, he told me his name, I told him mine and I left for work that day with a huge smile on my face and I felt ready to conquer the world.
Thursday was pretty uneventful the only thing I can really report is that I noticed an attractive guy at work who I hadn’t seen before as he works in a different department. I was going to get a coffee and I opened the door as he was heading towards me, I sized him up in the 2 second window you get before a stranger notices you checking them out and I came to the conclusion that he wasn’t bad. I looked him in the eye and smiled and clearly said “Hi” he responded with a “thank you” as I held the door open for him and that concludes our interaction. Although it was at work he was a stranger so I’m chalking that one up as a win.
However for the rest of that day and the next I was still on the look out for more opportunities. I tried to make eye contact with as many men as possible but I’ve found that people in London actively don’t look around themselves as if making eye contact with a person is the most terrible thing in the world. I’ve thought about this though and the hardest part about making and holding eye contact is that you don’t want to give the wrong signals. I’ve realised that my preferred method (let me know if you agree) is to make furtive eyes at a person while their attention is elsewhere engaged, so that I have adequate time to make a proper decision about whether the person is worth making committed eye contact with.
While at Uni my friend CAY and I coined the term “eye rape” to describe the uncomfortable situation you may have found yourselves in where you accidentally make eye contact with a person who is interested in you and then you become the unwitting recipient of their undivided stare while you try your hardest to look anywhere but at this person who is determined to look at you. It can feel really intimate but it’s a fine line before it tips into the uncomfortable staring zone.
With this in mind I’ve realised the reason I dread approaching guys, or even making too much eye contact with them is that I can’t bear the thought of someone having negative thoughts about me. I had a conversation with my Aunt last week in which she informed me that I “don’t like being told off”. Although I am aware of this fact her comment really made me explore the fact that I don’t deal with criticism or any sort of negativity directed at me very well.
I’ve never really thought of myself as the type of person who needs approval but I think in a way my inability to handle negative stimuli directed at me must ultimately mean that I do. This is why after what has been a slightly less than successful start I am even more determined to continue my challenge and smash as many of these targets as I can so that I can hopefully assuage my very extreme fears of rejection.