Lekcja 14


kurs przygotowany przez szkołę JDJ Bachalski dla portalu angielski.edu.pl

Short story: How can I beat my shyness?

Some two hundred years ago at a classy party, nobody would dare to approach you with their hand outstretched and say: "Hi there. I'm Mick. Fancy a drink?" Back then people behaved in a more orderly fashion. When a person of the opposite sex spoke to you, blushing and incoherent speech were the most charming way to show that you liked that person very much. These days, however, modesty is no longer cool and it certainly does not pay off either. All well-paid jobs - media, business, law - call for lots and lots of self-confidence and charm. Even if money is not a top priority for everybody, finding a steady partner usually is. Being shy, however, may ruin one's private life, too. After all, blushing does not really work in poorly-lit pubs, not to mention the Internet chat rooms - in fact, statistics show that people who go out often, even if their dates are lousy, are more likely to find their match than people who waste time hoping that one day they would simply bump into the love of their life.
What if, however, you simply lack self-confidence? Are you to remain an underdog till the day you die? Of course not. There are some tips that may help you beat your shyness.
1. When you meet new people, don't think too much about how you feel and what you think. Restrain your emotions. They are usually negative. Use breathing exercises to decrease the physiological symptoms of stress. Alcohol will not help you - it is just a short-term solution. Besides, you can't go through your life stoned.
2. When talking to somebody pay attention to what they say. Ask questions and try to remember the answers they give. The more you know about the other person, the safer you will feel with him or her.
3. Avoid talking about yourself until you are comfortable with it. Stick to general topics. If nothing interesting comes to your mind or you can't catch up with the rest of the company, do your homework - read papers, watch news, be up-to-date with what's going on in the popular culture. 4. Remember this simple truth: Nothing is perfect, and nothing has to be. This includes your social contacts. You are likely to stumble, and you are likely to fall. The most important thing is to keep trying.
5. If you have a particularly difficult time talking to somebody, or you feel intimidated in their company, it may be so because those people are jerks. If this is the case, say goodbye, go home and watch some telly.

outstretched - wyciągnięty
to fancy - mieć ochotę
to blush - rumienić się
incoherent - niespójny
to pay off - opłacać się
poorly-lit - kiepsko oświetlony
to restrain - powstrzymywać
to bump into - wpaść na
underdog - popychadło
short-term - krótkoterminowy
stoned - pijany (potocznie)
to stick to - trzymać się czegoś
to catch up with - nadążać za kimś
jerk - palant (potocznie)

JDJ Bachalski

Vocabulary exercise

Use the words from the glossary to complete the sentences.

1. Did you hear what that man said to me?! What a ______ !
2. I've been working hard, but I can't ________ my group.
3. Studying hard doesn't always ________. Sometimes it's the cheaters who get the best grades.
4. He was _________ while he was asking me to go out with him. It was so sweet.
5. He had been an _________ for two years, until one day he told his boss what he thought of him. 6. Was she really driving a car in spite of being totally ________ ? Is she crazy or something? 7. Do you _______ something to eat? 8. She thought that it would be a _________ relationship, but they have been together for two years now. 9. Yesterday I ______ an old friend in a shopping mall.
10. If you _______ your emotions at work, you will not be so stressed-out when you come home.

Joke of the week

A certain man had been feeling depressed for some time, so he thought it would be a good idea to visit a shrink. He got an appointment, sat in the armchair and started to talk about how bad his life was.
The doctor listened very carefully, noted a few things down and asked a few inquisitive questions. Then he thought for a moment and said: "I think I know what your problem is."
"What is it?" asked the patient.
"It's low self-esteem. It's a very common thing among losers like you."

shrink - psychiatra (potocznie)
inquisitive - dociekliwy
self-esteem - poczucie własnej wartości
loser - fajtłapa, osoba przegrana życiowo

Answer Key:
1. jerk, 2. catch up with, 3. pay off, 4. blushing, 5. underdog,
6. stoned, 7. fancy, 8. short-term, 9. bumped into, 10. restrain

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© JDJ Bachalski sp. z o.o. 2006

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