Part 2: When He Doesn’t Like You Back

“Look good, feel good, do good.”  That quote was my inspiration to gaining back confidence after my little “thing” with Calculus Boy.  I wanted to stop beating myself up over everything I’d done.  I wanted to stop being nervous every time I saw him.  I wanted to be the best version of myself.  I wanted to be confident.

So I tackled the basics, the exterior,  first.  Below are the three things I did that made me look (and eventually feel) my best.

1. I went out and bought lace underwear.  Wearing pretty things underneath your clothes gives you a secret, a confidence boost, a little pep in your step.  And if the underwear coordinates with your outfit, life gets even better.

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2. I got a hair cut.  I had wanted to get bangs and layers for a while, but kept putting it off.  However, a flattering, new hair cut is very conducive to feeling your best.  Not only will a cute style make you look good, the newness of it will help you mentally start over with whatever circumstance you’re facing.  In my case, starting a friendship instead of a relationship with Calculus Boy.

3. I bought myself some flattering shorts.  I’m not saying to buy shorts every time you have a crisis; they wouldn’t be very helpful in the cool seasons of fall or winter.  But do treat yourself to an attractive piece of clothing.  It could be a good pair of skinny jeans, some red high heels, or a hot leather jacket.  Whatever makes you look your best!

Keep in mind that I did all of these things away from college by leaving Baylor for a weekend and visiting my aunt in Alabama.  Having a new and uninvolved perspective from someone I trusted was incredibly helpful in starting fresh.

The next week I went back to college with a sassy hair cut, new shorts, and lace underwear.  Obviously, such materialistic things didn’t completely eliminate my nerves.  But I did feel slightly better, especially when my friends started to compliment my new look.

Life went on and things eventually got easier.  I became myself again; I started feeling better and doing things to get ahead in life, to chase my dreams.  Calculus Boy and I became close friends and helped each other pass the class by having study sessions.  A few months later, we both entered into relationships with other people.  After I started dating Patrick, I could see that while Calculus Boy was never meant for me, he taught me valuable lessons.  He taught me to be myself.  He taught me to persevere in a hard college course.  He taught me to not let life’s circumstances rule my confidence.

Thank you, Calculus Boy.  I know you’ll probably never read my blog, but I’m so grateful for our friendship and all the important things you taught me.

Readers, don’t give up!  If you’re going through a hard time, know that there is an end.  There will be a time where you figure out why things happen.  There will be a time when you can appreciate the heartbreak or the disappointment.

In the meantime, I’m always here if you need a little pep talk.  Don’t hesitate to shoot me an email!
~Shellie

Part 1: When He Doesn’t Like You Back

I remember the feeling like it was yesterday.  He was tall, hazel eyed, and blonde.  He sat right in front of me in our calc class during my freshman year of college.  I laughed, flirted, and talked to him after our lectures.  After a few weeks, I was sure that he liked me back.  I was on Cloud 9 envisioning our future relationship; I was a ray of sunlight, a walking bit of euphoria, a girl in love.

And then it was over.  OK, not really over, but over for me.  It was obvious he didn’t like me back.  I cried, ate a lot of chocolate chip cookies, and watched chick flicks.  I would sit for hours rethinking every action, text, and word I had said to him, wondering where I had gone wrong.  I would sit in my best friend’s dorm room recounting every single thing that had happened between us.  She would be folding laundry, sympathizing, and telling me it would be OK.  I didn’t want to believe her, but I made myself hope for the better.

A little over a week went by.  I started getting sick of cookies and being overly emotional.  My practical side took over and I made a personal commitment to just get over him.

Easier said then done.

I began to realize that my self esteem was going down the tubes.  I was beating myself up for being too forward, too flirty, or too weird.  This had to stop.  I was determined to get back my confidence.

Before I tell you what I did to gain back my confidence, let me be clear about something: If a guy doesn’t like you back, don’t push it.  You’re obviously just not meant to be together right now.  So don’t ask him out, call him, or send him desperate texts.  Stay friends, especially if you see each other often in social or work situations.

However, just because he doesn’t like you back doesn’t mean you should stop acting likable.  See how I bolded “right now” in the previous paragraph?  Just because something doesn’t work out in the present doesn’t mean it won’t come together in the future.

Pretend you briefly caught a fish, but you lost him.  The next step is to focus on not only catching him again, but reeling him in to you.

This is the approach I took to Calculus Boy.  I didn’t push anything relationship wise, but I set a personal goal of being the most likable, intelligent, witty, beautiful girl he knew.  Even if he never worked out, I was striving to be the best version of myself, and is there anything wrong with that?

No.  In fact, being the best we can be should be a daily goal; we should be trying to express ourselves to every person in every moment of our lives.  But it isn’t that simple.  Sometimes, it takes someone special, someone you really, really like, to bring out the best in you.

Check back for my follow up post where I explain HOW I gained back my lost confidence!

Have a beautiful day! ~Shellie

 

Flirting 101: Breaking the Touch Barrier

One of my best friends from college, Maggie, called me up yesterday needing advice:

“Shells, I have a serious dilemma.  I really like this guy who I work with, and we’ve been friends for a long time, but I have no idea how to make it obvious that I’m interested in him.”

“Well, what’s your typical interaction like?  Do you make him laugh, hug him goodbye, what?”

“Oh no, our relationship is very professional.  We talk when we see each other, but I never hug him, just a wave.”

“Mags, are you kidding me?!  You’ve never broken the touch barrier?”

“The touch what?”

And so, dear readers, this blog post will be devoted to one of the most important tactics of flirting: breaking the touch barrier.

Every time you touch someone, a chemical called oxytocin is released in your brain.  Nicknamed “the love hormone,” oxytocin is responsible for helping people bond.  For instance, after giving birth, a large amount of oxytocin is released to help the mother bond with her baby.  A large amount of oxytocin is also released during sex.  On a side note, this is why it is so hard to break up with someone you’ve had sex with; the large amount of oxytocin has made you bond to that person much more than you would have without sex.

Although merely touching or hugging someone doesn’t release as much oxytocin as sex, it does release some:

In humans, oxytocin is released during hugging and pleasant physical touch, and plays a part in the human sexual response cycle. It appears to change the brain signals related to social recognition via facial expressions, perhaps by changing the firing of the amygdala, the part of the brain that plays a primary role in the processing of important emotional stimuli. In this way, oxytocin in the brain may be a potent mediator of human social behavior.[1]

As you can see, a little oxytocin is a great tool when flirting with someone.  However, you have to make sure that you don’t touch with too much forwardness or creepiness. Below are 5 ways to break the touch barrier in a subtle yet noticeable way.

1. Hugging 

This one is pretty obvious, but can only be used in certain circumstances.  If you’re like Maggie, hugging would be too forward in a work scenario.  It would look out of place and obvious for Maggie to hug Mr. Perfect goodbye when she gives waves to everyone else.  However, when in a more casual situation, hugging is key.

2. Admirable Touching

Let’s say Maggie notices Mr. Perfect has a new watch on his wrist. “Oh, I love that watch!  Is it a Tommy Hilfilger?”  Then, she can lightly touch his wrist as she ooohs and ahhhs in admiration.

3. Needing Protection

Let’s say you’re walking down the street and a car drives by really fast and close to the sidewalk.  If you’re frightened, or want to pretend to be frightened, you can grab the guy’s arm in fear.  This not only allows you to touch him, but also builds him up as a man by recognizing him as a protector.

4. Playful Punching

Again, this tactic should only be used in more casual situations.  Pretend you and your PBF (Potential Boyfriend) are joking around or playfully bantering.  If he starts to tease you, you can playfully (and gently) slap his arm in flirty, reprimanding way.  This is even more effective if he use his name while doing so.

5. Laughing

If you’re standing or sitting close to Prince Charming and happen to be laughing, try to move your head so it touches his arm or shoulder.  For instance, my friend Bridget was adorably flirty with her crush, Matt, at a dinner party this past weekend.  Someone started to tell a funny and embarrassing story about Bridget, making her throw back her head and laugh. While laughing, she touched her head against Matt’s shoulder, feigning embarrassment.

If you use these 5 tactics in the right situations, you will succeed in releasing oxytocin in both yourself and your love interest.  However, pay attention to how the guy responds; if he draws away or acts awkward, don’t push it.  He may not be interested and not meant for you.  However, if he responds enthusiastically by hugging you back, smiling, offering protection, or laughing, be encouraged and keep up the good work!

Have a wonderful rest of the week! ~Shellie

[1] http://ucsdnews.ucsd.edu/archive/newsrel/health/02-08LoveHormone.asp

5 Ways to Develop a Fitness Routine

Salutations, readers!

As promised, here is my follow up post on exercising!  I hope the following tips help you in your fitness goals.  As always, feel free to email or comment with questions! 

1. Invest in well-made, comfortable clothing.

When I first started running, I hated how much my feet hurt and how chaffed my inner thighs would be at the end of working out.  I had no idea I could’ve avoided both of those things if I had invested in good shoes and clothing!  For instance, I run in capris to prevent chaffing.  While Capris can be very expensive at stores like Nike or Adidas, you can actually find well-made and affordable ones at stores like Academy.  Price wise, shoes are a little bit different.  I recommend splurging on a good pair of Brooks or Saucony as they’ll offer more support and last longer than your typical shoes from Nike, Adidas, or Foot Locker.

2. Find a good place to work out.

Do you prefer being outside or inside?  While I prefer exercising outside, my sister prefers the gym. Do what works for you and sign up for a gym membership, find a pretty park or lake nearby, etc. 

3. Sign up for an event.

If I don’t have a deadline in front of my face, I’m lost.  Signing up for an event, big or small, will serve as a reminder and motivator to stick to your routine.  It doesn’t have to be an overwhelming ordeal.  Start small and then work your way up.  For instance, I signed up for a 5k two years ago and just ran my first marathon this January.  I merely increased the distance of each race I signed up for; first the 5k, then a 10k, a 1/2 marathon, and now a whole.   

4. Use an online training schedule.

It’s really hard to know how much to train for an event since you don’t want to over exert yourself or train the wrong way.  It’s really easy to find training plans online by just using Google.  For those of you interested in running, Runners World is my favorite site for training plans. http://www.runnersworld.com

5. Integrate music or light reading.

When I run, I love switching around my music.  By using different sources, (my iTunes Library, iTunes Radio, or Pandora) I can keep my beats fresh and fun!  When I cross train, I like to read books when I bike or use the elliptical in the gym.

~Shellie

“Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy. Happy people just don’t shoot their husbands.” – Legally Blonde

Happy Thursday, readers!  I thought the quote above was appropriate for the topic of today’s post – exercise! 

Now, before you roll your eyes and “x out” in an attempt to escape yet another exercise loving, adrenaline junkie post, let me tell you that I DON’T like exercising.  It is truly something that I have to push myself to complete.  I hate having to wear smelly clothes, make the time to get up early in the morning, and shower after I get all sweaty. 

Despite my annoyances at exercising, I have found that the cons are extremely outweighed by the pros.  During my Baylor years, I developed a regular fitness routine and was shocked at how much of a difference it made in my daily life.  I found myself happier, sleeping better, less stressed, and able to think more clearly when studying or making hard decisions.  What I felt can be attributed to endorphins.  What are endorphins, you might ask?  See below.    

When you exercise, your body releases chemicals called endorphins. These endorphins interact with the receptors in your brain that reduce your perception of pain.

Endorphins also trigger a positive feeling in the body, similar to that of morphine. For example, the feeling that follows a run or workout is often described as “euphoric.” That feeling, known as a “runner’s high,” can be accompanied by a positive and energizing outlook on life.

Endorphins act as analgesics, which means they diminish the perception of pain. They also act as sedatives. They are manufactured in your brain, spinal cord, and many other parts of your body and are released in response to brain chemicals called neurotransmitters. The neuron receptors endorphins bind to are the same ones that bind some pain medicines. However, unlike with morphine, the activation of these receptors by the body’s endorphins does not lead to addiction or dependence.[1] 

OK, so you get that exercise is important, that it will improve your life.  Now you’re probably asking yourself HOW you’ll get the motivation to commit to an actual routine.  Well, you’re in luck!  My next post will cover just that, so check back soon!  


[1] WebMD – Exercise and Depression:

http://www.webmd.com/depression/guide/exercise-depression

 

Flirting 101: How to Grab a Man’s Attention with Your Eyes

Thursday, January 30th, 2014

I walked into my apartment after a long day of work to find my roommate, Victoria, slouched over on the sofa, crying.  I fixed her a glass of water, sat down beside her, and waited for her to calm down.  After ten minutes or so, she began talking.  “There’s this really, REALLY good-looking guy in my sociology class.  I mean, drop-dead handsome.  He’s got gorgeous black hair, and gorgeous green eyes, and gorgeous tan skin, and he’s just so gorgeous.  He even got glasses recently, so now he looks gorgeous AND studious.  Anyway, I tried to get his attention all during class last week; I mean, I kept looking at him, and staring at him, and after the first time he saw me he literally refused to look at me again. And then today, I saw him walking to the library on campus, and he was with another girl.  He was laughing and smiling and didn’t even notice me wave.  Why don’t boys pay attention to me?!”  More sobs.  I thought for a few minutes about what to do, and then it hit me.  “Vickie, honey, it’s times for a lesson in Flirting 101.  Trust me, this will be the best ‘class’ you’ll ever take…”

Flirting Basic 101: How to Get a Man’s Attention with Eye Contact:

A good way to grab a man’s attention is with eye contact.  “Eye contact directly activates brain arousal systems and/or elicits a strong emotional response.  This raised arousal or emotional level then influences subsequent perceptual and cognitive processing.”[1]  Eye-connection can be greatly used to a girl’s advantage when it comes to the male species.  It is, however, an art that must be perfected.  The eye contact must seem natural and unforced, a moment of fate rather than a hound dog stare.  Follow the steps below and you’ll have that fateful eye contact in no time!

  1. Control your feelings.  People say the eyes are the windows to the soul, and the truth behind this saying is that the eyes often reflect your thoughts, feelings, and intentions.  In order to make the subtle, inviting eye contact, you must clear your mind of any man-hunting thoughts you have, lest your eyes make you look like a prowling lion.
  2. Connect your eyes for the right amount of time.  Connecting too briefly gives the impression you are nervous or unsure, while connecting for too long sends the signal you are creepy or intruding.  A good rule of thumb is to connect with them and think, “I like you,” then end it.  This is a good amount of time. Short enough to be friendly, long enough for them to notice.  Also, thinking, “I like you” will be reflected from your eyes.
  3. How to end eye contact?  Ladies, look slowly down and to the side.  Never jerk your eyes away.  This will make you seem like you were doing something wrong or having eye convulsions.  Never look up, as this can be mistaken for rolling your eyes.  Never look directly to the sides.  You will seem shifty.  Rather, tuck your chin, and bring your eyes down and to the side.  A small, closed-lip smile will season the moment with a dash of bashfulness, counteract the bold move of making eye-contact, and make the man’s heart beat faster.

Eye contact should be used to grab a man’s attention, not frighten him away.  After making eye contact the first time, see how he responds.  If he seems interested, try it again a few minutes later.  If he seems uninterested, don’t push it.  There are other ways to get his attention. The main point is to gain positive attention, so don’t overdo it.

Be sure to check back on my blog soon!  Eye contact is only the first of many successful flirting techniques I’ll be writing about.  Soon, you AND Vicky will be flirting pros!


[1] Senju, Atsushi, Johnson, Mark. “The Eye Contact Effect: Mechanisms and Development.” Trends in Cognitive Sciences 13.3 (2008): n. pag. Trends in Cognitive Sciences – The Eye Contact Effect: Mechanisms and Development. Centre for Brain and Cognitive Development. Web. 30 Jan. 2014.