As I'm sure you've noticed, I've been in a little bit of a self-confidence funk this week, which sometimes happens. ANYway, yesterday, I chatted with my buddy Karen Salmansohn, a life coach and the best-selling author of "How to Be Happy, Dammit," to ask her for some tips on how to boost my own ego. Here's what she had to say ...
TIP #1: THINK OF YOUR PAST (HAPPY) RELATIONSHIPS AND YOUR FAVORITE FLIRTATIONS
ME: The thought that defeats me when I try to flirt with a stranger is this: Why would any cute guy at a party or bar--or my novelist crush--want to talk to me when he could be talking to someone younger? Or prettier?
KAREN: Slap, slap! Maura! It's time to pour yourself a cocky-tail! You need to get high on you. Remind yourself of the times when different guys have approached you or hit on you—they've wanted to talk to you, haven't they?
TIP #2: THINK OF HOW MANY WOMEN--OF ALL SHAPES, SIZES, COLORS AND AGES--ARE MOVIE OR TV STARS THESE DAYS
KAREN: See? And also think of your past relationships, when guys have treated you like the princess you are. Also, don't forget that while our culture used to send the message that men only want girls in their 20's, that's just not true any more. Think of Demi Moore, Diane Lane, Cheryl Hines, Madonna, and all the women on "Desperate Housewives." Men love them—and they're not young.
ME: True, true. And thankfully, also, there are more women of every size, shape and color in Hollywood these days--like Jennifer Hudson and America Ferrarra. ... But they're beautiful! Whereas I'm more of a Patti Smith, apparently.
(Jennifer Hudson, center, with America Ferrara, right)
TIP #3: FOCUS ON WHAT'S UNIQUE ABOUT YOU ...
KAREN: Come on, Maura. If you want a Prince Charming, you've got to feel like a princess. To do that, focus on the things about you that are unique. For instance, no one has the same sense of humor as you do, nobody's warm and friendly in quite the same way you are ... Focus on what makes you special.
ME: For those of us who aren't quite sure what makes us special: How can we figure that out? Should we think about the things friends always compliment us on?
KAREN: Think about what you're able to bring to a relationship. Is it good communication skills? Patience? Are you supportive? Can you make a person laugh, even when he's down? Looks fade for all of us, but personality is forever.
ME: Okay, I like that.
KAREN: And if you really want to approach a stranger and talk to him, focus on the fun and not the fear. Make it into something fun for yourself, and that will help you get past the fear. Ask questions you think are interesting, or talk about a topic that genuinely intrigues you, and then you win no matter what happens.
Also, one last completely random tip: Men love the scent of vanilla, even better than flowers. I cannot tell you how many men I've met just because I've put a little vanilla extract on my pulse points; guys come up and want to know what I'm wearing! Give that a try.
So there we have it, straight from the Salman's mouth.
Have a good weekend, guys!
PS : Lady Rae, Eclair, good ol' Edwinna: So, the book party actually already happened; sorry if I was unclear about that! But I think you guys have encouraged me enough that I'm gonna do it ... it might just take me a little while to finally move forward with it, because life is SOO busy. And I'm already reading three books--one of which I have to write a piece about for Monday! So I'll be chained to my apartment, working, most of the weekend. But I'll keep you posted on my progress, of course. Thanks for the support.