You Need Help: I Feel Like We Would Like You If We Met You

Welcome to You Need Help! Where you seek advice and we try our very best to give it.

This has traditionally been done by way of individual Formspring accounts, Autostraddle’s Tumblr and a Formspring Friday column, which has all been very fun and insightful. But, because Formspring has a character limit and we’re wildly optimistic w/r/t our time-management skills, we thought we’d go one further and let you use our ASS private messaging to share advice-related feelings, too.

For more info on sending in questions, see the bottom of this post. Let’s get down to bossing people around on the internet! Today we’re gonna talk about cookies, why you’re not an idiot, and The Great Equalizer.

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Q:
I met this girl who’s an RA in my dorm at college, and I’ve decided she’s probably my soulmate. Sometimes I go to library just so I can walk by the front desk when she’s on call and timidly smile at her, or ask for directions to the nearest bike shop (but I end up asking for a “bipe shok” because my mouth doesn’t work anymore).

The only concern I have about our imminent and beautiful future together is that I’m an idiot whenever I’m with her/around her/within a 20-ft radius of her.

It’s like, I take one look at her, with her flawless hair, and cute glasses, and perfectly-shaped eyebrows, and I’m jello. I’m weak-kneed, and brainless. And I don’t even get cute awkward — just weird and confusing and scared awkward.

I want to talk to her so bad and tell her about all the things we probably have in common, but I’m so sure that I’ll just end up giving her the impression that I’m an annoying helpless useless weirdo.

How can I learn how to talk to the cutest girl in the world without being an idiot?

A:
Shut up you are not an idiot! Do you know how many negative words/phrases you used to describe yourself in this one little email? Twelve! Twelve, Lorna. I’ve decided to name you Lorna (Doone, after Natalie’s favorite cookie) for the purposes of this article. Ok so, Lorna, listen up, the first thing you have to do is stop being such a bitch to yourself!

When I have nothing but negative things to say, Riese yells at me and tells me how good I am at whatever it is I’m complaining about. Doing the same for you will be kinda hard because we just met, but here’s my best guess: you are really funny and probably a lot of fun to be around! You’re obviously smart as a whip because here you are on AS, reading stuff and having ideas about the world, etc. You also seem really, really sweet. How do you feel about sweet, Lorna? I like it.

Here’s the thing: when you go into a situation expecting to fuck it up, you will probably fuck it up. This is a self-fulfilling prophecy, Lorna; you’re setting yourself up for failure. Having confidence isn’t necessarily easy, but you have to at least fake it. Fake it ’til you feel it Lorna! Oprah did a whole series on this, so you know it’s legit.

Can I tell you a quick story? Great! I’m super self-conscious, probably to an obnoxious degree, and I let it stop me from doing a lot of things that I’d really like to do. For example! There’s a 24-hr fitness center that overlooks this gorgeous pool with a hot tub and fountains and it’s free and right across the parking lot and I really want to go because I like moving my body parts around while listening to Beyonce/This American Life. However Lorna, I want you to know that I’ve only been once and that’s because I’m a self-conscious twat and I have nothing to wear. Basically I’m letting how I think I might be perceived stand in the way of how I want to live. That’s a bunch of shit, Lorna!

So you and I need to get over our terrible stupid ideas of ourselves and just go be the people we want to be. Who do you wanna be Lorna? Do you wanna be the girl who calls herself an idiot every fourth word, or do you want to be the girl who says BIKE SHOP and I LIKE YOUR FACE and DO YOU WANT TO GET A SANDWICH?

And it might not even work — the being confident — but at least you can say you tried, right? Right!

But Laneia, you’re saying, how do I actually have the confidence? How do I ready myself for the art of conversation? Here’s how!

1. Have a plan.
Think of at least three relevant things you think she’d be interested in talking about. Has she read the new selection over at Emily Books? Has she been to Monopoly night at the pie shop around the corner? If I had a pie shop I’d totally do Monopoly nights, or maybe dominoes.

2. Brush your teeth.
Or at least floss and use mouthwash. Clean!

3. Smile!
Sometimes timidity and terror can translate to aloof bitchery on your face. Smiling is better. Smizing is best.

4. She’s not a perfect, untouchable thing.
She’s just a girl, you know? I mean, she’s probably really lovely and I bet shimmery sparkles of goodness just flutter around her head, but seriously, she’s just a person like you and me! There’s a special thing you can do to help you feel more comfortable around girls like this, Lorna, and I’m going to share it with you now. Riese doesn’t like talking about it so I’m just gonna say it and be done with it and we’ll act like nothing happened: you have to imagine her sitting on a toilet. I don’t know why anyone says that picturing people naked/in their underwear helps calm your nerves — picturing her naked is probably what got you into this tizzy. Picturing someone on the toilet, just doing their thing, THAT’S the great equalizer. Think about Hilary Duff sitting on the toilet. See?

Here I found these things for you, too. We write a lot of articles!

+ How to Make Gay Friends and Meet Queer Girls
+ How to Pick Up Chicks: A Lesbian Guide to Girl-On-Girl Action
+ How to Date Girls: 10 Simple Rules for Properly Courting a Lesbian
+ Let’s Discuss That Straight Girl You Want to Cuddle
+ 8 Steps Every Girl Can Take to Get a Girl to Sleep Over < –gold
+ Rejection 101: A Lesbian’s Guide to Getting Turned Down, Keeping Your Head Up

Lorna I want you to remember that even if this woman doesn’t end up being your soulmate, you’re still a righteous babe and DAMN IT, you’re worth it.

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To send your question via ASS personal messaging, choose an editor: Riese | Laneia | Rachel
Or ask any team member you’d like: Meet the Team
*If messaging is down, email us! There are so many options, you guys! You could send carrier pigeons!*
For 100% anonymity, contact us through Formspring:  Riese | Laneia | Rachel

Please keep your questions to around, at most, 100 words. Due to the high volume of questions and feelings, not every question or feeling will be answered or published on Autostraddle. We hope you know that we love you regardless.

Avatar of Laneia Nicole

Laneia is the Executive Editor and founding member of Autostraddle, and she thinks you're fucking rad. She's 33, has two kids, two dogs, one Megan, some personal essays and a lot of emails in her inbox.

Laneia Nicole has written 333 articles for us.

48 Comments

  1. Thumb up 0

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    YOU GUYS THIS IS HOW I MET MY GIRLFRIEND OF THREE YEARS.

    No joke. I am the RA in this situation! Okay so what happened was my Person came to this photoshop program i was doing and started talking to me. and then she was like “wait i don’t understand photoshop can you help me understand it better?” and i was all “yeah i’ll come over after my round” and then she was all “oh hey when i said understand you… on my bed” and um yeah! 3 years. Plus RA’s really just want someone to listen to them because they have to listen to everyone else all the time. And cuddles.

    • Thumb up 1

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      Also was the RA in this situation! RA was totally also into the other person in this situation but RA did not want to be The Creepy RA Who Hits on the Residents.

      All the icebreakers in the world could not compete with when she was confident and gutsy and asked if she could kiss me.

      Student housing is so gay.

  2. Thumb up 1

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    Having both worked in the university library and been a TA (not quite an RA, but 1 of 2 initials is pretty close), lemme tell you what worked on me.
    You already know two of her interests.
    1. Books (‘Cause she works at the library)
    2. Food (‘Cause she’s a human person)
    Go to the library and ask her something about books. If you can figure out what her major is, that might be helpful. Mine was English, so my girl asked about American lit. Make the question slightly complicated, so she has to actually think about it to help you. “Which way are your books?” will not do.
    Then, a couple days later, run into her “by coincidence” while carrying a container of delicious snacks you made yourself. Be sure to mention that you didn’t make them specifically for her (“On my way to take these cookies to the SGA meeting…”), but since you ran into each other and you owe her for the help, she should enjoy a delicious snack.
    Now, you two have had an actual conversation. You’ll be less nervous. She’ll remember you as the cute girl who charmingly gave her treats.
    Win-win. Ask my girlfriend.

  3. Thumb up 0

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    WORD! Especially to no. 4. As perfect as she seems right now, maybe it would help to find one of her (adorable) flaws, just to bring her down to earth and make her seem like a normal person. Because she is.

  4. Thumb up 1

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    It’s like the song; I’m brave but I’m chicken shit. Confident in most aspects of life except when standing in front of that pretty girl with her glasses and her adorable, pointy nose and broad smile.

    I’m not an idiot. I’m not an idiot.

  5. Thumb up 1

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    My girlfriend pretty much said MUSIC YOU’RE REALLY CUTE LET’S GET TEA.

    Get tea turned into get dinner turned into walk around campus turned into getting home super late and texting my really good friend and saying, “OMG THIS GIRL TOOK ME ON WHAT I THINK WAS A DATE BUT I DON’T KNOW BECAUSE I’M STRAIGHT (hahahaha, I totally wasn’t) WHAT DO I DO SHE SMELLS NICE AND HAS REALLY CUTE FRECKLES BUT I’M STRAIGHT HELP ME.”

    And we’ve been dating for thirteen months. IT WORKS!

  6. Thumb up 0

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    People of Autostraddle, I just equalized you via your avatars. Sometimes it didn’t quite make sense, but it was still great.

    También: This advice is smart, and sweet, and fun to be around. [Something I would definitely watch, MTV: "True Life—I’m a self-conscious twat and I have nothing to wear"]

  7. Thumb up 1

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    Can someone please make a tumblr of cute, furry woodland animals saying sweet, encouraging things? This bear makes me feel like I am loved. Like a Disney princess, somehow so inherently likable that even talking woodland creatures feel compelled to alleviate her sadness.

  8. Thumb up 1

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    I am of course not questioning your advice, but I’m concerned you’ve brainwashed her in your hyperawesomepumpedup pep talk, and she’s going to go over to this girl and introduce herself as Lorna….
    which could be awkward, unless she changes her name…

    • Thumb up 0

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      OMG how fantastic if this RA in question reads AS and this girl goes up to her and is like, “I’m Lorna, AHEM” and the RA is like “OMG YOU THINK I’M CUTE AND YOU GOT SUCH GOOD AS ADVICE AND EVERYONE IS ROOTING FOR YOU RIGHT?!” and then they make out in the library while eating yummy snacks? That is so fucking cute I am dead. Please let that happen! I want an update on the Lorna situation asap!

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