Ask Angelo - Angelo Pezzote
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By Angelo Pezzote, MA
I am outgoing at work, but when I go to clubs I become very shy. How can I bring that outgoing person to the club?
Thanks, Very Shy
Dear Very Shy,
You already have what it takes. Just apply your strengths from work to the club. But to do this you first have to move out of the comfort zone you have built up at work.
Recognize that perhaps meeting people while working is easier for you because you might have to interact in order to do a good job. It is encouraged to be aggressive in business. Maybe it is also easier for you to be outgoing at work because you know just how to act in your business role. Work can also be less personal. There are established, insensitive, even ruthless business rules that keep people at a distance so they can "make a killing." So, you may think of the role you play at work as being removed from the real you.
But meeting gay guys in your private life is scarier. There you are being seen for more of who you really are. Approaching other gay men involves strong mushy feelings, fears, insecurities and risky stuff like rejection. Many men try really hard to avoid such vulnerable feelings. It is not easy to put yourself out there. It is mentally and emotionally challenging. There is not a lot of social support for this.
Men outside of business have a lot of barriers to break through in meeting each other. Gay men have the help of strong attraction to assist them, but it is still hard for us to meet too. We see evidence of this at the gay clubs. Things like posing and attitude may be how some gay men deal with the rule that men cannot be physically and emotionally close to one another outside of sports, war and tragedy. Drinking and drugging may be ways that help still others let down their guard to overcome that rule. We may have also learned to avoid other gay boys when we were young to escape being picked on or outed. So, thanks to homophobia, it is still hard for many of us to break the ice.
To bust out, do not take the club too seriously. Be yourself. Transfer your confidence at work to your social life. When you are at the club, use your courage by acting as if you were at work, and as if it was just business. Simply integrate what you already do well at work, being nice and outgoing, into the club scene. Just stick out your hand, smile warmly, and say, "Hi, Im very shy." Theyll be sure to love you.
Two years ago (when) I met this really great guy, I didnt think he was my type. Well to make a long story short, he said I was the kind of guy he could have a long term relationship with. I said yes. Since then, he seems to love to party. I have done my party time. I dont want to lose him, what can I do?
Signed, Lost In Love
Dear Lost In Love,
It is hard when your partner behaves in a way that does not work for you. I would like you to do the following exercise with me to take your relationship inventory. You may be thinking, "thats dumb" or "I dont have time." But it is worthwhile to do this for yourself to know what you want so you can find the answer that you need. Find a meditative place to do this in and try not to rush it.
Make a long list of all the things you want in an ideal partner. Good. Now circle just the things on the list that you must have in a partner. Great. Put your list aside for a moment. We will come back to it. Now, make another list of things you like about your partner. Well call this, "his list." Wonderful. Now get your list, the one you put aside. Circle the items on his list that match the circled items on your list. Notice the areas that are the same. Take a moment to have gratitude for all that is good in your relationship. Try not to take those for granted. Let him know how much you appreciate him for those things. Next make another list of things you do not like about his behavior. OK. Now circle the things on that list that are opposite of the ones circled on your list. Those represent areas in which your partner lacks what you must have in a partner. In fact, in those areas he has the opposite qualities of what you need. Notice these things. Which are non-negotiable? Is partying one of them? Are there a lot more? What does this mean to you? Give your partner a chance to do the same exercise. Talk about possible solutions with each other.
The security of a relationship can protect us from the fear of being alone. But recognizing the difference between the picture of the relationship you want and the one you actually have is important. Often its a balancing act. Through this exercise, my wish for you is that you become empowered to take the action that you need towards the relationship you want.
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Angelo Pezzote, MA, All Rights Reserved