Last night, I went to a Post War Years and Everything Everything gig in Whelans. The performances were fantastic and the atmosphere was electric. Afterwards, because a couple of the girls work in Music PR, we went backstage. Having politely declined a pint of Guinness from a cute drummer, I settled onto a couch between two other gig-goers. Although they were lovely people and we had great conversation and laughs, I was clearly in my comfort zone.
I’ve never been the type to camp outside the hotels musicians are staying in and I’ve never even asked anyone for their autograph. I know it’s better not to swoon over somebody just because they’re famous but it’s healthy to be able to make eye contact with a celebrity. Famous people are still people after all. I’m sure they value being treated like normal human beings every once in a while.
Last year, I attended the I Can Do It! Scotland conference. During the lunch break, my friends got their books signed by some of the speakers. I went for a walk. While at the time I was glad of the fresh air and exercise, looking back it would have been good to have met Wayne Dyer, Robert Holden and Louise L. Hay in person.
I probably thought I was cool not to go gaga over the stars but there was something deeper at play. I obviously thought I was less than them in some way. I didn’t hold myself in high enough esteem. I’d always found it difficult to be myself around celebrities, attractive guys and even certain teachers. So I ignored or avoided them and became tongue-tied when I found myself in their company. I was closing myself off to a sizeable chunk of the population.
A couple of weeks ago, dating coach Matthew Hussey was interviewed on the Ray D’Arcy Show. Matthew advises people to engage with the human race by chatting up service staff and striking up conversations with customers in the coffee queue or at the gym. He advocates giving compliments and completing random acts of kindness. He tells people to make eye contact and smile. While Matthew is speaking about getting dates, I feel this can be done by everyone. Since I listened to that interview, I’ve been making an effort to follow these tips. And it’s made my days brighter, lighter and much more interesting. Also, once you’re more confident and used to chatting to lots of people, it will come more naturally when you’re faced with someone you fancy or admire.
As we were leaving the back stage area, I remembered Matthew’s words. One of the bands had started messing about on stage. I made a comment and a bit of banter ensued. When we jumped off stage, the band members shook my hand, asked for my name and I told them how great they were. They were just nice, normal, humble guys who delighted in the positive feedback and seemed surprised when we weren’t staying for another drink. It was that easy!
Today I pulled a card from one of Louise L. Hay’s decks. It read: “I am neither too little nor too much, and I do not have to prove myself to anyone.” How very apt.
Here’s one of the tunes Everything Everything rocked last night. Imagine a whole venue singing along to these lyrics… You wouldn’t want to be taking yourself too seriously. And from now on, I won’t.