Here are some real life examples of how the "old me" vs the "new me" would handle different situations.
A friend and I a while back were going to hang out on a Thursday. So on Tuesday night I called her up, but she was busy at the moment and was going to call back. She didn't call back that night so I called and left a message. I didn't hear from her again until Saturday. She could have emailed me and said, "oh, I'm sorry I was caught up in things, so we can hang out another time." That would have been fine, but not hearing from her at all was really kind of lame.
Now, the "old me" would have said, "oh, it's ok, no problem" (When in fact I did think it was a problem). But because I wanted everyone to like me, I thought I had to be nice to them. Saying something negative didn't seem like a smart thing to do.
The "new me" told her, "you know, that was really kind of lame, saying we were going to hang out on a particular day, and then there was no explaination as to what happened. Just to send a short email saying what happened would be alot better."
I spoke up, my voice was heard, I wasn't being nice when I shouldn't have been. Other people have respect for that. Being nice all the time isn't always the answer.
When talking to women:
A couple of weeks ago in one of my classes (Fall 2002), I sat next to a really hot girl. Makes your head turn kind of hot. One of the most beautiful girls at my college. Well, what did I do?
The old me (even 6 months or a year ago), would have said,.."man, there's no way she'd like you (focusing on those negative situations in the past that you blew out of proportion). What in the world would you say? Would she really find me interesting? She'll just see you as this shy guy, you better forget it buddy. This is the kind of girl you dreamed about in HighSchool. Who do you think you are?"
The new me said "I can talk to anyone (my successes backed this belief up). I'm sitting with great posture, I'm relaxed, no problem." My mind didn't freeze up because I was relaxed and I wasn't trying to think too hard. "I think I'm funny and am a good person to talk to. I won't worry over what I say, I can't read her mind."
We did make some small talk, she was friendly (even offered me some of the candy she had), and we had a nice time in class. When the class was about over, I gave her a compliment about the good questions she asked in class (the old me would have thought, "how ridiculous").
No pressure, no worrying. I didn't rush to judgement. I didn't try to read her mind. My body language, eye contact made me look confident.
(Note: We stayed friends during the semester, she was a nice girl, now I have a new reference, talking to hot women isn't so hard after all, what else can I do that I once thought was hard)
This only added to my already long list of successes. I can see the headline now..."shy guy that use to think few people liked him talked to the hottest girl in his college and they were friendly".
What exactly changed for me? I didn't suddenly gain a super muscular physique. I didn't wear clothes that were very different. The only thing that changed was my body language, eye contact and my focus. If I had thought about how badly I was going to screw up, yep, I would have screwed up. Instead, I was just relaxed and wanted to have a nice time.
Remember that inner voice that was telling me all that junk? "Who do you think you are, you can't talk to her." Well, haha, I did talk to her! :) Because I give great eye contact, because I can make a girl laugh, because I realize that she's just a person too. Proving that stupid inner voice wrong can be a very rewarding thing!
Even starting this website:
The "old me" would have said, "what, I'm not an expert on shyness (notice the presupposition of having to be an expert to publish something on the net). Some people might think it's dumb (in fact some could, but who cares. There are alot of other sites that are far worst than this one will ever be)."
The "new me" said, "sure, why not. My voice is important. What I have to say could help others. I don't have to claim to be an expert. Just a regular person that others could identify with. If some people don't like parts of it, oh well, the intention of it is still very positive, that's what counts."
Just in general, here are the differences in my life:
The "old me":
Was virtually invisible to women. I didn't think they liked me. My confidence around them was about a 1 on a scale of 1-10 (10 being the best obviously). Very little if any eye contact. Constantly thinking negative thoughts. Almost forgetting about anything positive. Very few if any people striking up conversations with me. Didn't hang out with many people. I thought that everybody else thought I was "strange". I was worried over what I would say to people. Speaking in a group setting was very very difficult. I'd replay conversations in my head.
Before July 2002, I had never really interacted with those much older than my age group in any kind of social setting.
The "new me":
I don't get intimidated by women, no matter how attractive. Tons of eye contact. Totally relaxed (My frame of mind now, Feb 2003, is that I'm just going to prove my old stupid inner voice wrong that was giving me so many doubts. I'm going to kick shyness's ass! For me, it's been a fun motivating tool) I'm friendly with the same kinds of women that I thought wouldn't like me at all a year or two ago. Thinking about positive things and not making my mistakes too big of a deal. More people striking up conversations with me. Hanging out with alot more people. Interacting in a group setting on a weekly basis with those in their 30's, 40's and 50's. No big deal. To hell about worrying over what I'm saying!!! I don't have time for that anymore. Just in general, I'm having a really awesome time.