What Most People ACTUALLY Think Of Your Conversation Skills

When I tell people about the restricting experience that I had for a lot of my life, they often say exactly the same thing: “You! Shy?? No way! I just can’t see it.”

Even though their surprise is more statement of fact than compliment, I always get a little happy bristle. For so many years, I felt like I was behind a glass wall when I went out to places. My friends would all chat away to new people, but I stayed mute.

These were friends who knew that, when it was just us, no one could shut me up. So as well as feeling deep frustration, I got to feel some shame and humiliation.
*awesome*

The reason I never spoke to them wasn’t 80’s-inspired Stranger Danger. It was usually because…

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How To Get Anybody To Talk To You

“I find it frustrating because I know exactly how you feel”, I told her.
She shouted back,
“If you know exactly how I feel, then you should leave me alone!”,
She slammed shut her bedroom door.

My plan had gone horribly wrong

I was 19 years old and in my first year of university. Jenna was my flatmate.
In that warm way that sometimes happens, she and I had bonded within seconds of meeting.
I always like to think of that as your souls bumping.

On this particular night, we’d been out at the local student bar with my sparky friend Alice. I’d engineered it, wanting these two beloveds of mine to spend some time.

The evening was awful.

Whilst Alice chatted away, Jenna…

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The Weird Belief I Used To Have

Looking back on it, the guy in the bowler hat almost certainly fancied me. But at the time, I thought he was talking to me for a completely different reason.

I was 15 years old, in a warehouse in East London. Techno music and strobe lights filled the room. Two of my best friends were dancing nearby: hot pants, tight tops, arms trailing through the air in front of them. I danced, facing the wall, long sleeves pulled over my hands, shuffling to the music, trying hard not to be seen.

The guy in the bowler hat (it *was* the ’90s) came up to me and started asking me questions about myself. I don’t remember what they were. All that I remember is…

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My Terrible Admission (and Why It Might Not Be True)

I am a little nervous to tell you this. Depending on where you stand, you’ll either: narrow your eyes, smile, and nod in agreement OR narrow your eyes, scowl and exhale in disgust. My big confession All of my life, I have never been a dog person. I’ve never understood why people like dogs.  …

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Why I Hate “Networking”. (But Don’t Hate networking)

Everybody thinks they know what networking is. Almost all of those people are wrong.   It’s one of the reasons I have a HUGE problem with the word. I have to use it a lot – given that my title is Networking Mentor – but I try and replace it with other words and phrases…

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Why The Girl Guides and Boy Scouts Were Right, Part 2

When I tell people what I do, one of the first things they often say is, “I hate going to events on my own! I’m always too scared to go up and talk to people I don’t know!”. In last week’s blog, I talked about preparation, and how it can help you with this. Today,…

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TV’s Tallest Man Reminds Me Why The Boy Scouts Were Right

I can’t decide between the moment where the boat crashed or the point where we spotted the warthog. Those were the two most surreal bits of my Saturday morning. What should have more odd, was trying to have a casual, relaxed conversation with someone – someone who is 6 feet 8 inches tall – whilst…

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My 10 month old Niece Is Teaching Me How To Network.

  Right now I’m in Thailand, visiting my brother and his baby. She’s pretty bloody cute. I know everyone thinks that about their sibling’s offspring, but look at this. Ridiculous, right? (that’s her going on a boat trip, just rolling with things) We talk a lot. Well, I talk a lot, whilst she sort of…

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You’re No Different from Anyone Else. That’s A Good Thing.

I felt sick with nerves. Actual, genuine, nausea. It was my own fault. I cursed myself for being so rash. It was early Sunday morning and I was biking to the Women In Biz Network conference. I’d never been before. I’d actually never been to a conference before where I didn’t know most of the…

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