It’s hard to be social with strangers when you’ve been hurt by someone you trust.
I’ve done a lot of work on myself in the past few years to grow my social confidence so as I can talk to anyone, anywhere, any time.
I pride myself on being able to be cheeky and have authentic conversations with strangers.
It makes up the fabric of who I am and it is what people love about me.
Recently I had an incident that shook me to my very core. I didn’t handle the conversation well and I couldn’t look after myself in that moment.
I’m not going to get into the specifics.
But the outcome is that I now find myself shying away from strangers.
I avoid smiling at people and making eye contact, to protect myself, just in case they have ill intentions.
It makes me wonder,
Is this why the modern dating scene is how it is?
One person was a real shithead once, so now, we’re all protecting ourselves by not giving anyone else the opportunity to hurt us.
We’ve all been hurt by someone, so we’re all not talking to each other anymore because it sucks to feel hurt.
I get it.
But that means we all lose.
We're isolating ourselves and sitting in the hurt forever.
The Social Collective is always telling us to start conversations with people, to be cheeky, to be charming, to be charismatic.
I’m starting to understand why it could be easier said than done. Why it could be easier to just, not let people in.
It’s not necessarily a fear of rejection. I can take a no and get on with my day.
It’s a fear of being hurt.
It’s a fear that the person I’m trusting with my loveliness is going to be mean spirited, sleazy, grubby or have an awful way of looking at the world that is going to kill the good vibes I’ve worked so hard to build up.
When I stay in my safe cocoon I’m in control.
I can avoid other people’s negative energy.
But you know what?
I was so much happier when I was chatting and laughing with people throughout my day.
I was happier when I could trust that my loveliness wouldn’t be taken advantage of.
I needed a refresher on the teachings that helped establish my extreme social confidence in the first place.
So, I reached out to Russy Ross, for some sage advice, after all he's been in the dating space for so long and I know that he had his own journey of hurt in the past.
I said, Russy,
How do I get past the hurt caused by a shit person and learn to trust people again?
Here, what he said...
I’m so glad you’ve brought this up, because you’re right, fear of being hurt stops a lot of people from putting themselves out there.
Being hurt is one the leading causes of dating fatigue, and it's totally okay for you to take a break, to detox, reset and remember all the things you love about you.
Give yourself the time and space to heal, but remember, it's just a break, you will get back on the horse (so to speak).
There are 2 main things I want you to keep front of mind right now.
1. Their reaction is not important, it’s how you handle that reaction that counts
In your traumatic case their reaction was extreme and unprecedented, and you don’t think you handled it well in that moment, but you are still in control of how you think about the situation and how you handle your ongoing emotional reaction.
You have a choice.
You can continue to be hurt by their reaction and choose to broad-brush every other human as a potential clone of that person;
You can choose to reflect on how you could behave in the future in the unlikely event that you find yourself in that situation again.
It’s happened once, it won’t be a surprise next time.
You don’t need to learn to trust people again, you need to learn to trust yourself again.
Trust that you’ve learnt from that experience and can handle that same kind of reaction better in the future.
2. Don’t class one bad experience as total failure
How many years have you been having great conversations with strangers and making new besties in bars?
You’re right, that is what we love about you.
You’ve personally enriched my life with randoms on many a night out.
It’s easy to focus on the negative experiences and let them be what is front of mind.
Stop for just a minute and reminisce on all the times it has worked out for you.
That fascinating chat with the divorce lawyer that kept you out till midnight on a Tuesday
That time you helped a random on the street break into a house because you’re sporty and they genuinely looked like they were locked out
That time you convinced a stranger on the train to share his phone and ear plug with you because yours was dead.
Nothing bad happened to you then.
And it wasn’t because you were lucky.
It’s because you’re a good judge of character and can handle yourself socially.
You had one bad experience.
Don’t let it define you.
Be the you that makes you happy.
When you’re happy, everyone around you wins too.
These words haven't been a magic wand that have made the hurt go away, but they have given me a new perspective on how I can begin to try trusting myself...
To be chatty again.
To be cheeky again.
To be charming again.
If you want to talk about something that's holding you back, we're here for you. Reach out any time.
P.S. I know dating can be hard and it can sometimes feel like its more of a mind f*ck then you actually signed up for.
If this is how you feel right now, the have a quick read of our Dating Detox Guide.
It might help get your head in the game. Download it here.