I live in a common rented house with a few girls. I like one, but have never had the guts to talk to her, because she might have different interests and choices than me.
She might not like the way I start the conversation and bam! I might lose the only chance I had. After that even being nice to her would make me look creepy.
Afraid to Start Chat
There’s nothing “creepy” about being friendly. In fact, by not talking to one of the young women living in a shared house, you’d eventually appear stand-offish. It’s more natural and pleasant when everyone at least knows each other’s name.
People can make wrong assumptions about those who don’t say a simple “Hi, how’s it going?” Especially here, where they see you fairly regularly in a house where you all live.
Since you’re socially shy around her, understand this: No one expects a first conversation to be a full-on discussion about shared interests. That’s why a lot of people start off saying something about the weather... because it is something in common. There’s nothing wrong on a day of pounding rain, to offer to do a coffee run for the few girls who are home.
Even if no one accepts, you’ll have shown that you’re a decent, friendly guy.
It seems that you’re not very experienced at dating, and that the object of your interest is likely also young.
So, if you suddenly started asking her many questions about herself and her special interests, it’s likely she’d be more put off than if you just smiled, introduced yourself with your name, and asked hers.
Next time you see her, you can say hello, and, if she answers or smiles back, maybe ask if she’s there to go to school or work? If she responds, you say a little about yourself.
After that, you’ll know whether there’s more to talk about, or not. My strongest advice, is to take it slow, be polite, and be helpful.
FEEDBACK Regarding a mother’s laundry and cleanup issues with her messy teens (July 28):
“You are right with the advice you gave about the conflict between the mother and her two daughters over their unwashed or clean, unfolded laundry and their messy rooms with books and papers strewn on the floor.
“When my sons were approaching their teenage years, I bought them each a clothes hamper for their bedrooms.
I then told them that, as teenagers, they now had to do their own laundry and showed them how to proceed. I also closed their bedroom doors when I didn't want to see the mess. No comment needed!
“The oldest son, who's very industrious, had no issues. The youngest one commented, as I showed him how to rub stain remover on a shirt, that he didn't like doing this. I pointed out to him that NO ONE does.
“I've made my share of mistakes as a parent, but this is one thing that I did right.”
Reader #2 – “Simple solution: Tie their allowance to their chores. If they’re already receiving an allowance, start bonuses (and deductions).
“In the working world when employees do well, they get raises and/or bonus. This then also starts to prepare 12- and 13-year-old’s for working life.
“To train a dog you give them treats. The topic of “Positive Reinforcement” was even an episode of Big Bang Theory (Sheldon “training” Penny with chocolates).”
Reader’s Commentary Regarding the grandmother's letter about all she did for her grandchildren, now alienated from her (July 23):
“She didn’t say that she was "asked" to do all she listed in glowing detail that she did for her daughter and grandkids. I know the type: overbearing and manipulative, with a long list of "look what I’ve done for you."
“The parents were guilted into letting it continue, and grandma took more ground.
“What broke the camel's back was when the dad thought she was too hard on the kids regarding homework. Likely that wasn’t the problem at all.
“But they needed to end her overbearing/manipulative ways. This was the excuse. The daughter probably never saw it as soon as the dad. I say good for them. The problem was the grandmother, not the parents.”
Ellie - You make huge assumptions about a stranger. Her story portrayed a sad conclusion to problems that could’ve been resolved.
Tip of the day:
Shy? Approach a potential date with a smile, a “Hello,” your name, and a simple comment. Build from there, slowly.