Don’t tell me I’m cute!

When guys tell me they like me, I get really awkward. How should I act? Being yourself is always the best option, says our elder.

Dear EWC

I’ve had some guys say that I’m cute or they liked me. I don’t know how to act or treat them afterwards. I try to be natural and act like it’s no big deal (which it is) but I just get so flustered and awkward around them. I’m not looking for a relationship either, so I don’t flirt because I feel like it’s really a waste of my time and effort. I usually act normal but I might avoid them if possible (not very likely).

Ms.Mary replies

How to act is a difficult question. Of course, you’d like to be less flustered, but as much as you want that, it’s hard to “act” a way that you don’t feel. I could tell you to act like it is no big deal, but that wouldn’t help. I wouldn’t worry about being awkward. I think most of us experience feeling awkward when complimented. I’m in my sixties, yet I would feel the same way if some old dude said I was attractive. And, I too would try to ignore the guy in the future. That happened once in the grocery store. It was extremely embarrassing because my husband was walking a few feet behind me. Obviously, the guy didn’t put two and two together.

The funny thing is that the guys probably find your awkwardness endearing. I commend you for not flirting if you aren’t interested. Perhaps the best thing to do is accept that you feel flustered and not worry about it. If you tell yourself it is OK and stop trying to fight it, it probably won’t be as noticeable. It is when we try to cover up how we feel, that it gets worse. Let it be okay.
You could just be honest and say, “Thank you. Now I’m embarrassed.” Once you admit to it, then you can be yourself. Or you could say something funny, but then they might think you are flirting with them. If you know these guys well, you could ignore what they say and change the subject by asking them a question. That way, the attention would be on them, not you.

Do you know how you would like to act when these guys say that you are cute? If so, spend time imagining the situation and seeing yourself as confident and comfortable. If you can visualize how you’d like to feel, then gradually you will feel that way. That’s my favorite option.

Those are some ideas. I wish there were an easy answer. In the scheme of things, this is a good problem to have. Many of the advice-seekers who write to EWC would love to be in your shoes. The bottom line, being yourself is always best, even that means being flustered. With time, I think it will get easier. I am sending calm, confident, and cool thoughts your way!

I’m happy to talk with you further if I can be of more help.

Letter #: 454240
Category: Dating/Relationship

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