The shy girl’s guide to breaking the ice

Are you brazen and able to flirt with anyone, anywhere, as if it’s your job? To you we say, carry on Admiral Audacious!

Or are you more of the blushing bashful type? Good news: Your natural flush and coy stance is kind of hot. So, we’re not here to change that about you. (We always want you to be yourself.) But—should the time come when you want to make the first move and feel that shyness is getting in the way—here are a few tips to help.

  • Practice. This article for shy guys suggests practicing your moves by approaching someone for a friend. If this minimizes the risk of rejection and gets you talking to people, we say try it. You’ve got nothing to lose with a tactic like this.
  • Ask questions. If you’re face-to-face with the object of your desire and not sure what to talk about, ask them about their work, interests, opinions, experiences, etc. People love it when someone shows genuine interest in them, so this will absolutely make you stand out and keep the conversation going. The trick is listening to their answers and using those answers to ask the next layer of questions.
  • Pay attention. Sometimes shyness goes hand-in-hand with self-doubt and you might feel invisible. But you could never be invisible. We bet someone has already noticed you and is waiting for a little eye contact, a smile, or some small sign of reassurance. Stay open to your surroundings and look around to see who might be interested in you, then acknowledge them with your body language. This is a subtle icebreaker, but can draw people to you.
  • Breathe. Social anxiety happens. If you’re tripping out at the thought of mixing, mingling, and meeting someone new, breathing in and out to a slow count can calm you down. And a calm you is usually friendlier, more relaxed, and better able to engage, so do what they teach you in yoga and breathe through it.
  • Act fearless. The key word here is “act.” Think of an extroverted friend who has no trouble approaching people and act like her. Seriously. Play the part and see what it feels like. You might like it. (Here’s more on overcoming your fears.)
  • Believe. Santa. Batman. Werewolves with perfect abs. They’re all better when you believe in them. And you’re better when you believe in yourself. If your shyness comes off as lack of confidence, it’s time to think positive and truly know that anybody is lucky to meet you/know you. Remember this when flirting with someone you know or going in cold and approaching someone totally out of the blue: You give off what you believe.
  • Don’t worry. Nobody clicks with everybody. If you give it a shot and the conversation fizzles, be proud that you tried and move on. (Without obsessing over it.)

Interested in the psychology of shyness and more ways to deal with it? Read “20 Ways To Overcome Shyness.” And please share some of your own tactics by commenting on this Frisky Friday over at Bedsider. We’d love to know how you break the ice.


P.S. It’s National HIV Awareness Month. Here’s an article to help you stay informed and healthy.

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