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Posted: 9/16/2004 7:33:30 PM EDT
I didnt want to post this in GD because its kind of a sensitive subject and story. But Id like to get some other peoples perspective on this.

A guy I work with has been in what I call a 'funkified' mood last few months. So today, he's being extremely quiet and solitude. Me being me, I say to him jokingly, "Come on XXX, you been in a shit mood forever, whats bothering you. Tell your uncle Hank. He'll listen to ya".

I then picked up my paper and started to read it when he just starts talking. Literally talked for 15-20min straight without pausing. All this time he's just looking down at the ground and talking. No gibberish, but actually expressing himself about his life, girls, his carrer. I didnt think he had that many words in his vocabulary. But the part that gets to me is how he views himself. He blames all his problems on his lack of confidence. He evn told me what the reason for it, which I REALLY dont want to mention, ever. But I could see how something like that would strip a man of his confidence.

Hearing about how his last girl even told him she thinks he's a nice guy but the lack of confidence is such a turnoff. I know his ex and I remember asking her what went wrong( Im a noseybody sometimes) and she told me how he 'needs to grow up'. I took it as he must of just been a little immature around her. Im the same way sometimes. Now i'm not the most confident person either but I do know girls dont want some spineless jellyfish for a man.

So at the end of his soliloquy, he tells me, ' Bet you never expected that huh?', got up and went back to work, not saying a word all day. I couldnt say anything to him. I had the biggest lump in my throat after hearing him out. I wouldnt even know waht to say. It's not like he's my best friend, or even a friend. I know him from work and thats it. He never says ANYTHING. He is what i would call anti-social.

What the hell do I do? Part of me (the sarcastic side) wants to tell him to man the f up. Stop being a whiney bitch, grab your balls and be a damn man. But I think its way more complicated than that. By his accounts , this has been going on for his entire life. How the hell do tell someone how to be confident? I never really thought about it until now. Im lost. I dont know what to tell him when I see him next week at work.

Link Posted: 9/16/2004 8:03:49 PM EDT
IMO, confidence is something learned, not just something you have--you say there are reasons he doesnt have much, so this seems true

you have to decide now if you want to try to help him or whether it is none of your business

Link Posted: 9/16/2004 8:14:06 PM EDT
It doesn't sound like he was looking for advice at all, just someone to listen. He seems to know what his problem is, he just needs to figure out how to deal with it. I know guys don't deal with things the way women do, so it might be best not to make a big deal out of it, but let him know subtly that you did listen, and that you do care, then let it go. Would it be possible to take him out with you and the guys sometimes? Just be a friend, and treat him the way you would any friend.
Link Posted: 9/16/2004 8:16:37 PM EDT
We are womenz, and therefore you probably won't hear us suggest to just say shut the F up and grow some balls I also would not put him i the whiney bitch category since this appears to be the first time he has said anything about it. That's not whiney, that is someone reaching out for some help. He is probably embarrassed that he even said anything, but relieved he got it off his chest.

That said...It was extremely considerate of you to notice he was having an issue and confront him!

Maybe you could break the ice by asking him if he has anyone else (maybe family) he could talk to or has even discussed this with anyone before, and go from there.

Not sure what the "root" of his issue is, but you asked, he confided in you, and now you know his details. Help him out as much as you feel comfortable helping, without crossing over into the dredded "I feel gay" category. It's not gay to be a friend to someone who needs one. This guy sounds like he really could use one right now.

As far as helping him with his confidence, it depends on how he got the way he did. Confidence can't be instilled into someone over night, especially if it wasn't built upon during the "growing up" period of his life. Joining some kind of accepting group (church, hobby, etc) might help. Working out might help. Viagra might help. Hard to say without knowing what his main issue is.

Link Posted: 9/16/2004 8:19:22 PM EDT
I agree with Cat. I think he was more looking for someone to talk to -not expecting you to solve his problems.

Link Posted: 9/17/2004 12:16:43 AM EDT
Sounds like he might be legitimately depressed.
Link Posted: 9/17/2004 12:32:22 AM EDT
Link Posted: 9/17/2004 3:20:56 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/17/2004 3:21:33 AM EDT by MrsWildweasel]
Confidence is learned. You asked him what was wrong,now you need to decide whether you want to be a friend and help him out,and not tell him to man up and grow a pair either. He could have been put down all of his life and never been told he's doing things right,or doing a good job. Help him out if you can,otherwise see if someone else in his life can. Wish you luck.
Link Posted: 9/17/2004 11:01:52 AM EDT
In line with this, I also concur that he was just looking for someone to listen. However, I do have to play the cynic for just a moment. I have known a few anti-social guys in my life, and have noticed that they have a certain pattern when hitting on women. Instead of doing general guy stuff, they open up to women and start talking about their problems, figuring that one will take pity on him and decide to try to help him. There is a fine line with these types of guys, where a lot of women start trying to take care of them, which is what they want to begin with, so be careful in this situation, in case you decide to try to help. Some of them are just looking for a woman to take over the mothering role for them, allowing them to stay right where they are, and are not actually looking for a solution.

OK, cynic off. I have also known men who legitamately needed some help developing their self confidence, and generally they need some kind of kick in the butt. I had a friend who felt like a wimp and had no confidence in himself, and so I started taking him shooting with me. It was amazing to see just the minor transformation that the practice did for him, learning to control and master a firearm was a major turning point in his life, as it was the first "manly" thing that he had been able to accomplish. It gave him a spark of confidence, and he has run with it ever since.
Link Posted: 9/17/2004 11:11:57 AM EDT
With timid people, confidence is not something that can be beaten into their heads.
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