You can’t browse Facebook or the internet without some article about how introverts are different, how misunderstood they are, how to identify them, how to identify yourself as one, and what their needs are. We’ve officially reached introversion saturation, much like we have with articles about narcissism or paleo diets.

I don’t say this to complain or because it’s a bad thing. It’s a natural thing–when something reaches that tipping point and takes off, it means it’s resonating with a lot of people and that its time has come. It’s also a good thing, as the saturation ensures we are slightly more educated about others (and ourselves) than we used to be.

But, as with anything that becomes a mainstream topic, everyone becomes an expert on it. I’ve read more articles on narcissism than I can count, and every one defines it differently and offers different signs of it. Some of the articles even contradict one another. And it’s the same with introversion.

So, to begin what will likely be a series on introversion, I’m going to take a look on how it’s currently being defined. Read More

 

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Starbuck from Battlestar Galactica is a good “Strong Woman” example. No father, abusive mother, running from her vulnerabilities. I loved her character, by the way…

People who dispense dating advice will often tell you that confidence is sexy, sexier than a good income or a great face, and a key to attracting the other sex. And they’re right. However, it’s more of a challenge to define what confidence is and how to convey it. Sometimes, it’s easier to offer examples of what confidence ISN’T.

Last time, I talked about confidence and why it’s important. In my mind, confidence is believing in yourself. It’s being comfortable in your own skin and making peace with your imperfections and insecurities. I allude to this in Changing Your Game and It’s Not Him It’s YOU. Confidence isn’t something you just “have” or “don’t have” — it’s something you build with experience. This is why older people are more confident in themselves than younger people, and why risk-takers have more confidence than those who avoid risk — they’ve experienced difficulties, faced some of their demons, and have learned that they can handle whatever comes their way. Read More

 

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Leonard from Big Bang Theory, the ultimate TNG

So I’ve been thinking a lot about confidence: what it is and what it’s not. People who dispense dating advice are always pushing singles to show confidence, saying that confidence is sexy, sexier than a good income or a great face. And they’re right.

The problem is it’s much harder to actually define what confidence is, and what it’s NOT.

 

 

 

What is Confidence?

Google defines it as: “A feeling of self-assurance arising from one’s appreciation of one’s own abilities or qualities.”

Fair enough. Read More

In my coaching practice, I work with a variety of people: men and women, those ranging from mid-20s to early 50s, and interesting people from various walks of life, from a small-town Mountain Man to a career woman in a big East Coast city. And while my clients seek me out for a variety of challenges, one particular challenge falls across my desk on a regular basis: a woman is dating a separated or divorced man.

In Dating the Divorced Man, I talk about the myriad of challenges a woman can encounter when dating these men. Clearly, not all of these men pose a problem; but the ones who do tend to have one thing in common: they aren’t progressing with the relationship. They get out of their marriages (whether by separation or legal divorce), begin a new relationship, but the relationship runs into an obstacle that keeps it stagnant. For example:

  • He doesn’t want to file for divorce because he’s afraid he’ll lose his kids/money/home.
  • He keeps sharing holidays with his ex and kids (his new partner isn’t invited) because he feels it’s better for everyone.
  • He gives his money or time to his ex, above and beyond what’s appropriate for a divorced couple, because she “has no one else.”
  • He won’t introduce his kids or family to his new partner, despite having dated for many months or even years, because he doesn’t feel they’re ready.
  • He isn’t taking the next step in the relationship, whether seeing one another more, moving in together, or talking about marriage/the future despite claiming he wants to.

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This well-known book was written by an engineer who’d learned to perfect her own gift of gab. I’ve met her and she’s pretty cool.

One of the things I hear over and over from introverted singles is that they hate small talk. This isn’t too surprising, as a dislike for or lack of skill with small talk is a common defining trait of introversion. Extroverts are the ones with the gift of gab, the ones who can talk to strangers about anything and always have something to say. Why? Because they love to talk! They enjoy the stimulation of shooting the breeze with other people, whether the talk is big or small. Introverts, on the other hand, may struggle with this.

Needless to say, difficulty with small talk can be a problem in dating. Dating, by its very nature, requires you to talk to strangers and make small talk. If this is something you hate or aren’t good at, you may find yourself either disliking the dating process or avoiding it altogether. After all, when you meet new singles, there’s small talk. When you go out on a date, there’s small talk. When you chat on an online dating site… yes, more small talk. It may feel like a conspiracy to keep you single.

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