Dear Doc:

I've known this girl for about a year now and I like her a lot. To cut a long story short, I've lost her twice now because of my lack of confidence which stops her from seeing me as more than a friend. She knows I'm interested and we almost had something but I pushed her away because of my fear of being inexperienced with women and messing up. Now more than ever I want to put aside my fears and try to be with her but I get stuck.

I know the way she sees me changes a lot. Sometimes I'm just a friend and other times I'm more than that.

How can I get her used to seeing me as more than just her friend? Can you offer any advice on boosting one's self confidence?



Let's begin with confidence.

Most people mistakenly believe that confidence is something you own. It's not. It's something you get for brief periods of time. I like to say that you never own confidence, but you get to rent it when you need it.

You can take the most confident person in the world and even they lack confidence at some time or another. For instance, many of the most accomplished people can't speak in front of groups - especially if they know nothing about the subject!

On the flip side, you take people with no solid skills in a particular area that can entertain a large crowd. These people have learned how to tap into confidence and turn it on and off.

You can too!

Unfortunately, there's not a single "switch" for everyone. Some people like to remember times when they felt totally and completely confident and "project" it into the current situation. Others like to listen to heavy, motivating music. Others like to see scenes that make them feel confident, etc. What's your trigger?

You can find out by thinking about times when you DID feel totally and completely confident. What was the circumstance where that happened? How to do you transfer that confidence to a particular situation? These are personal things but if you can get hold of them, you have the first key in instilling confidence.

The second (and frankly, far, far more important key) is education. Think about this: if you know exactly what to do, say or how to act in any particular situation, you instantly feel confident, don't you?

This is the most important skill I teach my students. Many come to me to learn how to approach women anywhere, any time. They also lack confidence in doing this, but by learning the techniques, they know what to do in any situation. In effect, they BUILD confidence through knowledge.

This situation with your friend is a good example of that. You don't know how to deal with her and thus, you lack confidence most of the time you are with her. Learning to read someone's body language and their communication cues are two skills that help greatly in this area.

I can't tell you how many women I've talked with (and continue to talk to every single day) that are looking for that "rock". What is a "rock"? Simple: it's the guy that can be solid when she's falling apart. It's that guy that can recognize what she needs and not necessarily give it to her, but be there to boost her up when she needs it.

This is part of a larger formula I call the "Love Formula" where you learn to instill safety and security. Frankly, very few women can resist that!

Unfortunately, you've done just the opposite with her. You've denied her safety and security! You've done that by "confessing your feelings" for instance. Why is this a bad thing? Simple: what it does is tell her in plain, clear "womanese" that you can't move things forward and that you want her to do that for you. You want her to come back and say, "Oh! Baby! I feel the same way! Please take me!"

Wouldn't it be easier if that actually worked? The problem is that it doesn't - and never has. Women don't work this way. They are looking for the guy that can move things forward and NOT make them do your work for you! That is the type of "confidence" she's looking for.

You have a lot of work ahead of you to fix this huge mistake - if you even can. You might want to consider that only 5% of friendships turn into more. That means you have a 95% likelihood of failure! Those are terrible odds.

More to the point, one of the best ways to change this is to start dating OTHER WOMEN. Why does this help? Simple: it shows that you were able to move things forward with them! We call this "social proof".

Interestingly, this may be your key with this girl, but then, if it doesn't work, who cares? You're now dating one or two or 10 other women anyway!

Best regards…
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Copyright (c) 2009, Dr. Dennis W. Neder
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Author's Bio: 

Dr. Neder is known around the world as a tough, but fair relationship expert, dealing with all sorts of dating, sex and relationship issues from a man's perspective. He has written 14 books ("Being a Man in a Woman's World™" series) and is working on 2 others. He's also written hundreds of articles, answered over 30,000 reader/viewer questions and has been on over a thousand radio and TV shows. "Dr. Dennis" is funny, direct and intuitive and has a unique ability to get right to the heart of the issue.

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