Help me learn to let my hair down (and maybe dye it too)
January 10, 2009 2:17 PM   Subscribe

Recently, during a movie, my boyfriend pointed to an actress and said “Hey, that’s a really nice color. I think it would look really nice on you.” And my reaction involved mentioning hair damage, fading, and a fear I’d never get my natural color back or that dyeing my hair might cause grays (I have none, and all my family members dye their hair and had a bunch of grays at my age). I love my natural hair color and texture, and if I could guarantee that after dyeing my hair, it would be exactly the same as before, I’d do it. So I tend to stick with what I’ve got because I’m afraid of what I’m going to get. I'd like to loosen up a bit....

When he asked me why I don’t wear heels above 2”, I cited how higher heels misalign the spine and can cause everything from back issues to foot ailments, in addition to lack of comfort. When he said he wanted to get drunk together last week, I mentioned that I’d been drunk once but I hated the feeling of being out of control, so I don’t do that anymore. Typical.

While we love each other for many reasons, this affects our relationship a tiny bit. One, I can rarely intentionally make him laugh. And I so want to. I don’t lack for trying. The relationship is solid. Despite my sort of serious streak, he said he “wouldn’t trade all the good that I am” for someone like one of his funnier, yet fickle exes.

I love to joke and make people laugh. I see myself as a silly, fun-loving person. He sees me as “about as silly and playful as a person [like me] can be”. Not a robot, but not exactly life of the party material. Friends and family have also called me serious. But I can be overly analytical. I’m careful. I weigh many decisions. I’m a curious sort, and a voracious reader and digester of trivia and information. On the other hand, I’m also sensitive, passionate, and emotional.

I’d like to let go and be more spontaneous, more lighthearted, funnier, and less afraid. I have a history of (social) anxiety and depression, which I have recovered from. But now I’m living in the aftermath of all that, and vulnerability is still not the easiest thing for me to affect after many years behind walls. I’m kind of a by-the-rules sort of person. I’m shy but that’s more of a result of my past and lingering fear, as I am an extrovert.

What has helped you? Anything from baby steps, tips, books, personal stories. I must note that telling myself stuff like "life is short, just start living now" only makes me feel frustrated because I want to but have this inability to let go.

I’ve spent a while searching and reading many related questions in the Ask archive, and will try some, but more targeted advice is extra helpful. Any direct responses can go to
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (31 answers total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
I took some improv classes, both short and long forms. Participating in them requires you to behave in a spontaneous way, inthe service of the "Yes, and..." concept, where in a scene someone does something --> you "agree" with that something ("Yes") and follow it up with a behavior that carries the scene further ("and"). It's scary, but it's very helpful in shaking things up!

This can explain improv a bit more.

I'll probably take a few more classes when I have the funds to do so.
posted by droplet at 2:36 PM on January 10, 2009 [2 favorites]

Why not try drinking with him? I know you said you didn't like it before. But you don't have to get plastered. Just get a couple bottles of wine and hang out alone together. Order dinner. Play a board game. Relax. Don't gulp the wine, just let it go naturally.

Again, you don't have to get wasted. And I'm not suggesting you do it all the time, either. Do it when you can sleep in the next morning. Drinking a bottle of wine over the course of a long night will definitely relax you. See what it's about.

There's a reason booze is called a social lubricant.
posted by jeff-o-matic at 2:40 PM on January 10, 2009 [1 favorite]

This is not a DTMFA, but I do need to say--my last boyfriend also said I was too uptight, too play by the rules, couldn't make him laugh, was too serious...I crack my current boyfriend up and will try pretty much anything he suggests. Sometimes the environment or the personality of the person you're with makes you less interested in trying things out. Again, not to say you need to dump your boyfriend, but keep this in mind--you just might be more uptight around him than you are around other people, and if that's the case, it's something the two of you need to work on together.

In terms of lightening up about things like dying your hair, or wearing heels, or being drunk--well, it helps to realize that life is short. Moderation is important in all things. Wearing super sexy uncomfortable high heels twelve hours a day six days a week is a problem. Wearing them for two hours a few times a year is not going to mess up your back permanently.

I also don't like being out of control drunk, and I choose not to get that way. But I can drink enough to get and maintain a pleasant buzz--is he wanting you to do more than that? Cuz it's not romantic to hold each other's hair back while you puke.

As for your hair--well, maybe you can just consider his suggestions and say, "Nah, I like it the way it is" rather than spouting off scientific reasons not to. It sounds like he likes you for who you are (he's not trying to change you) but offhand comments from him get scientific, logical, defensive reactions from you. He wasn't looking for a discussion, just saying he thought a color would be flattering on you. It's ok to say, "thanks!" and leave it at that.
posted by peanut_mcgillicuty at 2:42 PM on January 10, 2009 [8 favorites]

To me, these sound like ways to make you seem different and/or sexier. Not that you are or aren't already, and it's conjecture, but wearing different clothes, dying your hear, or getting a bit tipsy usually imply "adventure" and "sex" in a relationship.

How's the rest of your sex life, anonymous? If it's been a bit slow, perhaps you could spice things up by surprising him with something unexpected (light bondage, a short skirt and a come-hither look, a new toy -- whatever works for you and would be edgy for him).
posted by ellF at 2:43 PM on January 10, 2009

Your responses are perfectly reasonable of course but not very fun. Have you thought of less scary alternatives? For the examples you mention these could be:

- Colour your hair with non permanent colour which won't damage your hair or permanently change your colour

- Wear nice high heels just for him for a romantic evening that doesn't involve more walking than car to restaurant and back...won't cause permanent damage to spine and due to extremely little walking it won't cause you discomfort.

You get the idea.

Coming back to the reason why you say no to suggestions like that - it's probably not long-term spinal or hair damage. I have found that it is very easy and almost instinctive to say 'no' to anything that scares you and brings you slightly out of your comfort zone - but if you make a conscious effort to just wait a few seconds before you actually say no even if you feel no and ask yourself why you'll be could then try to say maybe giving yourself time to get used to the idea and reason your way to embracing the suggestion (the same way you reason yourself out of it) by working our a 'safe' way to do the scary thing.
posted by koahiatamadl at 2:52 PM on January 10, 2009 [9 favorites]

You say you're not adventurous, but he's giving you the "in" to be that way. So instead of giving a litany of reasons why you shouldn't do something, just say you'll do it.

Hair grows back. Shoes can be stuck in the corner of the closet. You're not drunk tomorrow.
posted by smackfu at 3:03 PM on January 10, 2009 [6 favorites]

Okay, do you think you're uptight because it's just your personality, or is it a response to the situation? Are you secure in your relationship? Sometimes when people are not comfortable or are insecure in a situation, they will sometimes react defensively or seem generally uptight. Your reactions could be interpreted as defensive in the context you've got here.

For example, when you told your boyfriend that you don't wear heels higher than 2" because they could cause health problems and are uncomfortable, was that truly the reason that you do not wear high heels or did you just say that? Maybe you just aren't comfortable with how you look/feel in super high heels but his question made you feel like you should be wearing them, so you then react with the most logical, irrefutable reason you can think of, which makes you come off as serious & uptight. If this is the case, look at why you're reacting like that. The "Why don't you ..." phrasing might be a trigger for you to go on the defensive, and if that is the case, you might want to remind yourself that you don't need to be defensive, and if you really can't, then talk to your boyfriend about the phrasing, because I'm sure he doesn't mean to imply that you need to be different from how you are, and talking to him might make you more comfortable in general.

Can you think of any times or situations when you have been/are extremely comfortable? Have you ever been comfortable enough to relax and be a little laid back about something or joke around? What was it about that situation that made you so comfortable? Conversely, look at what you're responding so seriously to; things like shoes and hair are really not a big deal overall. You can take shoes off whenever you want and hair grows back. What would happen if you did dye your hair or wear 3" heels? Could you deal with your hair being different for a little while or a little foot pain? If you can't or don't want to, that's fine, but if you really want to "let your hair down" then really, just try doing new stuff. If you don't like it, you don't have to do it again.

I seem to remember reading about a guy who decided to just say "yes" to everything for a day or some other determined amount of time--you might not want to be that extreme, but whenever I feel myself starting to be excessively uptight or generally unresponsive I have found that forcing myself to then respond with "yes" (or even "yes, that sounds fun!") to everything for a short period of time (with some discretion) usually loosens things up. But it requires a lot of trust. Do you trust your boyfriend? If you don't, and especially if you aren't like this with everyone, then I think that you'll also find that as you build up trust for him then you also will start to be more relaxed with him.
posted by Polychrome at 3:05 PM on January 10, 2009 [2 favorites]

What has helped you?

Drinking a little bit every now and then. Sometimes we can get a little too used to routine, so doing something to shake it up can be really funny, especially if you're doing it with someone you care about.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 3:10 PM on January 10, 2009

Not an answer to your real question, but just a tangential fact: hair dye does not make your hair go gray; early gray is a genetic trait that it seems you've been lucky enough not to inherit.
posted by you're a kitty! at 3:18 PM on January 10, 2009 [3 favorites]

Somehow I seriously doubt that dying your hair will cause grays. It seems a whole lot more likely that your relatives were dying their hair to deal with their gray hair, than that dying their hair caused the grays.

There is nothing inherently lame or boring about disliking heels, hairdye, or alcohol. But if you really rattle off a laundry list of nervous reasons why you won't do anything different from what you normally do, you're going to come off like a serious stick in the mud. And you do sound like a bag of nerves.

How about, whenever you get the slightest inclination to break out of this rut of yours, immediately follow up on it, before you can come up with a bunch of irrelevant rationalizations, and before you get scared. This has worked for me in similar situations.
posted by Coatlicue at 3:18 PM on January 10, 2009

Whatever you decide to change about yourself, be sure you are doing it for YOU, and not for this guy. If you see yourself as silly and fun-loving, I'm sure there's someone out there who will feel the same.
posted by smalls at 3:24 PM on January 10, 2009 [8 favorites]

Aww, I'm sorry. That doesn't sound like a fun place to be.

I would break it down to two steps.

1) Figure out whether these are things you truly, honestly want to change about yourself for you, and not for your boyfriend. If they're not, then you can tell your bf this and hopefully he will understand this and back off.

2) if they actually are things you want, or maybe some of them are and some aren't, then at least you know. It sounds like you have some fears around them and that's totally understandable. I think it's important to let yourself acknowledge the fear, not pretend like it's not there, or (ugh) force yourself to jump into situations that are uncomfortable for you. Sometimes the fear will go away if you listen and figure out where it's really coming from.

I don't know if that helps, but being gentle with myself is the only thing that's ever worked for me before.
posted by eileen at 3:25 PM on January 10, 2009

Stop trying to control and over analyze everything, and just let go. This is the only life you've got and when you're 80, you'll look back and wish that you did the things you were too afraid to do. One day you won't have the hair to dye. One day you'll barely be able to walk, let alone put on a pair of high heels. Instead of looking for reasons not to do something, look for reasons to do it.
posted by MaryDellamorte at 3:39 PM on January 10, 2009 [1 favorite]

With the heels and the hair, I think you may be overthinking things. Sounds to me like your boyfriend just wants you to sex-up your image a bit. You might find that if you buy a pair of sexy heels and a long blond wig and wear them in the bedroom, he won't care what you wear to do the grocery shopping or go to work.

Remember that part of becoming a stronger personality is developing your ability to speak your mind and set your own boundaries. Telling your boyfriend straight-up 'no, I don't wanna do that' without feeling the need to make up an excuse is just as valuable as learning to please him by letting go of some inhibitions. Saying 'OK, let's drink, but just one bottle of really nice wine - I don't wanna get smashed' is better than thinking you have to go along with whatever his idea of a proper night's drinking is. There's gotta be give and take.

Since your boyfriend feels free to suggest that you should do particular things to please him, I hope you are also making suggestions to him. Your question really makes it sound like he's just dandy and you're the only one who needs to change. Well, it should be a two-way street. If there's something he could do for you, let him know (hopefully with a bit more tact and sensitivity than he seems to display when he asks you for something). If you both feel free to express desires, it turns the whole situation into a mutual journey of exploration, instead of what it is now - you fretting about meeting his standards and not setting any of your own.

Oh, and forget about trying to make him laugh. I make my girlfriend laugh all the time, but when I say something funny, I say it to amuse myself. If she laughs, it's a bonus. I mean, your boy is not the ultimate arbiter of comedy. If you think something's funny, it is.
posted by ShameSpiral at 3:44 PM on January 10, 2009

There are times when my SO says "I'd really like to see you wear that/try that/do that sometime" and because I know that he really means just once or once in a while he'd like to see me dress up or take a class or something, I'm able to think about it as a thing I'd be willing to try rather than a change I need to make.

Thinking, "I'm going to wear high heels to dinner this Friday" is a lot easier than planning "I'm going to wear high heels on every date night from now on because that's a change I need to make in my life or else my partner will leave me." So that's what I do: I think of it as doing something different from my usual routine for my SO's benefit, not changing a flaw I need to change in order to be a desirable partner. That's what works for me.
posted by Meg_Murry at 3:46 PM on January 10, 2009 [2 favorites]

There are some very good comments above, but I'd suggest that you try to push the boundaries of your comfort zone as long as you stay in your safety zone. Assuming that everything else in your relationship is OK, you may find that pushing your own boundaries may lead to good results. And I mean both personally and in your relationship. People end up in routines, habits or situations simply because they are comfortable and change is a challenge. It is very easy to justify not doing anything different. A lot of personal growth is a result of those changes. If you don't like it, don't do it again.
posted by Hali at 3:52 PM on January 10, 2009

I took a harder look at some people I respected - (respected them either for their character or for what they had achieved or were doing) - and noticed that:
1) A lot of what they did above and beyond me stemmed from opportunities that had cropped up for them
2) My life was not without similar opportunities
3) They often said yes - even when it seemed crazy to do so. I often said no.

Yes is scarier than no. No is comfortable and the status quo. There is enough time in the day for no, and no ensures that things remain good.

Yes is the way up and forward.

Learn to catch yourself when you're about to decide against something because it's outside your routine, or would be a pain in the ass, or otherwise inconvenient, and think about whether it's also an opportunity - an excuse even - to try something that might pay off.

And if it doesn't work out, well, your boyfriend suggested it, your excuse can be you did it for him (heheheh), so now he owes you one.
And if it does work out... everyone wins!

As the wear-sunscreen song goes, do something that scares you every day.
posted by -harlequin- at 3:58 PM on January 10, 2009 [6 favorites]

[My answer operates under the assumption that things your relationship is, as you say, very solid and happy, and that he's playfully suggesting some things you and he might enjoy, rather than trying to make you adhere to some arbitrary standard of his. You're the best judge of this.]

It's easiest to feel playful in secure, comfortable circumstances. Have you considered trying some, or all, of these things in private, where the stakes for discomfort or embarrassment are low? (Since he's the one suggesting you might enjoy these things, he's unlikely to poke fun if you choose to try them out... or if he does, you've learned something unpleasant about him.)

If you feel like it, you might really enjoy playing dress-up in private. It's remarkable how much a different hair color changes one's appearance, and a wig (even an inexpensive one, which is a good place to start) can being surprisingly freeing: you're in costume, and being in costume can ease you into relaxing.

It may free you to smile and flirt over the rim of your glass of champagne [sub in "your pint of Guinness/ your Pimm's cup/ your can of ginger ale/ your glass of chocolate milk," as you like] and behave ever so slightly out of character.

Heels can be fun, too --- they have a startling effect on the posture, and I always feel sexier on the rare occasions when I wear used to wear them, much more aware of my hips, my butt, my walk, my swaying. Sadly, a recent back injury means I cannot wear heels... if I'm on my feet. Did I give away the kneehigh boots with 3-inch heels that I bought days before the injury? Hell, no! I just save them for romantic evenings at home, when I'm unlikely to be on my feet for more than a few minutes.

If you feel like it, it might be fun to buy an inexpensive pair of heels you can wear at home, when you're not on your feet.

If doing any of this stuff makes you feel inadequate or like you need to be something other than yourself to please your boyfriend, that's not fun and playful, and it's worth finding out why he's suggesting these things. There's nothing wrong with your hair color, your heel height, or your temperance, unless you want to change.
posted by Elsa at 4:09 PM on January 10, 2009

I tend to be reserved and to wear clothes that don't draw attention. My husband hasn't ever tried to get me to change, but he has encouraged me to try things that I'm shy about.

Significantly changing hair color and wearing very high heels just wouldn't "feel like me." But I'll do it if I didn't have to make a big commitment. I'd wear a wig; now and then I do wear heels as tall as I can safely manage if just have to walk from the valet stand to our restaurant table and back again. There's no way I would intentionally get very drunk, but I like to get tipsy with my husband at home a couple times a year. The "not me" feeling can be a good thing -- at least interesting.

Try dressing differently or any of the things you mentioned -- just start with something that feels safe and is easily reversible. If you never experiment with little matters of personal style, the issue will continue to vex you -- but if you try one or two unfamiliar things and dislike the feeling, you can just decide it's not for you.
posted by wryly at 4:36 PM on January 10, 2009

When I feel anxious about something like coloring my hair, I often ask "what's the worst thing that can happen?" The answer was "I have to color my hair back" and that wasn't so bad.

I did want to dye my hair purple, but I didn't have the guts. I wasn't "the kind of girl who dyes her hair purple". My hairdresser thought I was joking when I suggested it because I'm so conservative.

The first time we did streaks with semipermanent dye. I discovered I liked it and the next time I did more, and now I'm ready to lighten my hair and go all the way. I took it in baby steps and did it at a rate I found comfortable and now I love my hair. Maybe you will too.

(If you hate the idea, though, don't do it. I wore my hair long most of the way through my 20s for my ex and I'm still grumpy when I see those pictures of my lank, fine hair that never looked good until I cut it off after the divorce. But if you like the idea, do the baby steps.)
posted by immlass at 4:37 PM on January 10, 2009

Can I ask you something?

Why do you think you need to change? Why not just be who you are?
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 4:38 PM on January 10, 2009 [1 favorite]

There are two ways to look at this - and you're the only one who can decide which one is more accurate.

Either, he's trying to change who you are - to make you into someone/something you're not OR he's simply hoping to help you push some boundaries, explore things from a different (drunken) perspective, and, as you said, let your hair down.

The thing to keep in mind is that he's a boyfriend. And while that may, indeed, last many years and become a permanent relationship (in whatever capacity you choose) it may also be a temporary thing to some extent. There's no way to know for sure which means that if you really DO want to be more carefree and more fun-lovin', you have to make sure it'll be in a way that makes YOU feel good long-term.

I'd advise starting small. Before you dye your hair flaming-pink (which I happen to favour, personally), paint your fingernails some gaudy colour with sparkles and be amused at how they look. Before you get into a shot-doin' contest at the local dive bar, try sipping some white wine while you eat cookies together. Before you buy a whole new wardrobe of wild-n-crazy-sexy clothes, buy yourself a bright red, sexy jacket... etc..etc.. Think small changes that you don't have to live with permanently so you can adjust!

I totally appreciate your desire to be safe and cautious and, well, educated in your decisions. All the details you cited above are valid and reasonable. But the flip side is that wearing higher heels once a month won't damage your back forever and getting a little tipsy with your boyfriend, at home, may be a good alternative to getting tanked in public and actually being out of control.

I'm a reformed control freak who didn't like to take chances - but by starting small I learned that not all the things I feared were terrible (and some were quite fun!). Some led to more experimentation with "crazy! wild!" stuff and some were definitely "meh" and not repeated. Keep an open mind and don't let your boyfriend or anyone else tell you how to be more "out there" - do it at your own pace and in your own style.
posted by VioletU at 5:34 PM on January 10, 2009

I get like this at times. When I get like this, it is because I am unhappy and scared.

I can't offer more advice than just to try to find out why you might be unhappy and scared.
posted by Ms. Saint at 5:50 PM on January 10, 2009

There are times when my SO says "I'd really like to see you wear that/try that/do that sometime" and because I know that he really means just once or once in a while he'd like to see me dress up or take a class or something, I'm able to think about it as a thing I'd be willing to try rather than a change I need to make.

This is key.
posted by Netzapper at 5:57 PM on January 10, 2009

Also, marijuana. Just a toke, not huge bong rips, at your stage.
posted by Netzapper at 5:57 PM on January 10, 2009 [2 favorites]

I agree with VioletU!!

Instead of going with the suggestions of your boyfriend, you could make a list of quirky, easy, different and fun things to try... things that YOU want to do.

When you try these things, take a moment to see how you feel about it.

Once you start feeling better about letting you hair down in ways that you decide, then you can start considering the hints or requests of your boyfriend.

Also, I would ask boyfriend to ask me directly, as in: Would you wear heels for me sometime? I think its perfectly fair to make direct requests, because you can just say yes or no. But I find insinuations and suggestions to be very annoying. That's why you are giving such complicated answers... just tell him to ask for what he wants.

And thirdly - being serious is FINE! You can work on becoming more relaxed and playful, but still insist on feeling great about who you are now.
posted by Locochona at 6:11 PM on January 10, 2009

follow-up from the OP
- It isn't him asking me to change. As for the hair, I've been considering going red since way before I met him. (And he knows that.) It's fear hindering me. As in many things.
I'm not averse to wearing bright colors or standing out (I even like colorful makeup) so I'm not mousy or anything, but those things can come off instantly.

- When it comes to making him laugh, once again, it's me that wants to change that. He's perfectly content with that aspect, but I'm not. I want to be able to make him laugh (intentionally).

- Yes, I really do simply react to decisions like this naturally. I weigh pros and cons of most things. I'd like to feel less like an actuary and more spontaneous and at ease with trying stuff and thinking less.
posted by jessamyn at 8:12 PM on January 10, 2009

Ask yourself what's the worse that can happen.

Would it really be that terrible if you dyed your hair a color you didn't love? What would be the ramifications? Perhaps you wouldn't be able to get your natural hair color back instantly, but you might be able to dye it another color that's okay.

If you really want to change, start acting in a way that's in accordance with the person you would like to be. Just make those jokes. Go out and buy a box of home hair color, even if the idea terrifies you. And own whatever the results are, even if you're cringing inside. Repeat this until you no longer cringe inside at making "mistakes", taking risks. Remember that you are in control of your inability to let go. Remember you are in control of whether or not you let go. When you take these risks, tell yourself that this is a choice you're making, and you have your own best interests at heart.

You might find that, in the end, your goals were off, or that you still don't like doing some of these things--hell, I totally despise heels, despite being a risk-taker with my appearance otherwise. But once you try, you can at least say you tried; you can speak from experience, rather than defensiveness.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 7:51 AM on January 11, 2009

I really do simply react to decisions like this naturally. I weigh pros and cons of most things. I'd like to feel less like an actuary and more spontaneous and at ease with trying stuff and thinking less.

And my reaction involved mentioning hair damage, fading, and a fear I’d never get my natural color back or that dyeing my hair might cause grays...if I could guarantee that after dyeing my hair, it would be exactly the same as before, I’d do it. So I tend to stick with what I’ve got because I’m afraid of what I’m going to get.

When he asked me why I don’t wear heels above 2”, I cited how higher heels misalign the spine and can cause everything from back issues to foot ailments, in addition to lack of comfort

Playing devil's advocate here - you're not really weighing the pros and cons - you're just finding (extreme) cons (aka excuses) to get out of trying something you're scared of...there's of course nothing wrong with your current self - but it appears that you would like to find a way to actually try some of these things :)
posted by koahiatamadl at 9:55 AM on January 11, 2009

You know, you'll probably always be something of an actuary, and that's fine. You may just want to figure out how to add into the pros and cons list things like "the amazing fun it might be" and "the fact that this thing makes more sense to do when you're younger, so don't miss the chance."

On the other hand, in some ways I've totally changed who I am just by visualizing quite clearly that self I wanted to become. It took about three years to feel like I'd gotten there (and in one case, I decided to change back pretty quickly, so be careful and thoughtful about exactly what you wish for). But if you clearly imagine yourself as this person you want to be, you might get there. But you have to fully want it, which might mean figuring out why you're resisting it.
posted by salvia at 11:06 AM on January 11, 2009

I can't help noticing that all the things he's asking are sexifying things which are not really pleasant for you. I guess it jumps out to me because I don't do any of them myself - I currently don't drink for medical reasons, I almost never wear heels and I don't do anything with my hair. If my SO asked me to do these sorts of things I would probably find it kind of annoying, unless it was somehow integrated into a mutual fantasy or at least it felt like he was making an effort to be doing something, too... but if he's just kind of trying to get you to match his ideal better by making you do stuff or dress in a way that is not really your natural style - I dunno, what's in it for you?

Do you want to be different? A more heel-wearing, blonde looking, martini drinking type girl? Or are you perfectly ok with the serious trivia geek that you are? "letting go" can be fun, and it is pretty easy if you drink, and even if you don't, really, if you can just decide you don't care and get lost in the atmosphere of a party (the way people can get "drunk" on the unspiked punch...) but do it for yourself, and in a way that you like, not to fulfill someone else's fantasy.

And don't imagine that people who dye their hair, wear heels or drink are the ones who "aren't afraid" - I did plenty of that in high school, and I think I'm probably less socially fearful these days, at a time when I don't happen to - I don't think there's much of a correlation, basically. Choose to if you want to, and don't if you don't, but don't feel pressured or think that it says anything about how much fun you are (do I sound like an after school special? ... and don't do crack.)
posted by mdn at 4:38 PM on January 11, 2009

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