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shyness + massive miscommunication

I'm pretty shy as is and I really don't like being in crowds. So, of course, when I'm in gay bars I close in on myself and go into super-introvert mode. Which I realize that some people find cute. The problem is that most people find me to be intimidating. One might describe my body type as "bouncer in training". To make things more difficult, my face and my emotions tend to not match up. When I get nervous people around me tell me that I look like I'm about to kick someone's ass. One guy actually apologized to me for walking into my line of sight. :shock: On the rare occasions that someone approaches me, people assume that I'm a top, which I am not, and that I'll be very aggressive in my flirting, which I won't. It's a bit of a problem. I feel like things wouldn't be so hard if I were more able to approach others and be more relaxed. So, in short, how does one overcome shyness in crowds? Or seem more approachable?

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Well, the facial expressions are easy. Practice in the mirror. You know what a welcoming face would look like. Just imagine someone you'd see as approachable, and try to mimic that expression in the mirror. Then, when you're in a group setting, keep that expression in mind. Pretty soon, you'll have that "approachable face" on without even thinking about it.

As for approaching people, well, you just have to suck it up and go for it. "No" can seem like a pretty big word, but I'm sure you've heard it before, and you didn't die. Just remember that, and try to make a goal of saying hello to at least one person a night. You can follow it up with, "What do you think of this DJ?" or "I like this bar, but I'd like to branch out. Do you know of any other places around here?" It's an easy way to let them take the reins of the conversation. Also, when you approach someone, there's a 50/50 chance that you'll end up meeting someone awesome. If you hide in the corner, there's a 0% chance of that, for the most part. Which odds would you rather have?

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