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Is there a part of you that wishes you could be like those people who seem to easily go up to anyone and know what to say and have everyone like them? Do you imagine not being nervous about saying something stupid or having people think you’re boring?
That’s really what you worry about with dating. You actually have to talk to someone. Face to face. For an entire coffee. Or dinner. You may think about dating, but you then hesitate and wonder what you would do during an awkward silence.
Maybe you’ve convinced yourself that you suck at dating and there’s no point in continuing to try. You’re tired of putting in the effort and energy — only to clam up, feel a loss for words, and then get rejected.
If you’ve all but given up on dating because you’re convinced you’re too shy to be successful, then I want you to think again. Here are some tips to get you out there:
While there’s absolutely nothing wrong with being shy, if you’re allowing it to keep you from dating, then your shyness has become an obstacle to meeting people.
Ask yourself what you believe about yourself because you’re shy. Do you say to yourself “I’m shy, so I’m…”
If you have any of these misconceptions about yourself just because you’re shy, then try to challenge these thoughts. If you’re like most shy people, then you’re actually one of the most interesting people out there because you’re very introspective and think a lot. The only issue is that all of that is stuck inside of you, struggling to come out.
Try telling yourself instead “I feel shy sometimes and because of that…”
If you look at the two lists above, the first negative list is all about how you ARE as a person, while the second list is about how being shy affects your life.
If you believe negative things about yourself, then you’re bound to feel bad and convince yourself that you’re not good enough for anyone to want to date.
But, if you’re able to see how being shy affects you and does not define you, then you have the ability to change how it affects you. Just because it’s hard for you to start a conversation doesn’t mean you can’t work on that. There’s nothing wrong with YOU as a person.
I would bet the vast majority of people dating find dating anxiety-provoking, especially in the first few dates. Remind yourself of this the next time you’re getting ready for your next outing with someone new.
Take a big deep breath as you’re about to walk out the door to leave for your date and say: “We’re probably both nervous and worried about putting on a good first impression and not getting rejected.”
Throughout the date, it might be a good thing to continue to do this as you notice your mind racing or your nerves taking over.
People, in general, love to talk about themselves. Before the date, try and come up with (or even look up) some great questions to ask someone when you’re first meeting them. Try and review the questions before the date, so they’re fresh in your mind.
Some common questions may be:
Typically, it’s best to stay away from politics, religion, and past relationships until you two are further along in your relationship.
If you can choose the where and what, then its likely that you’ll be comfortable with not only the environment, but you’ll also have more to say about what you’re doing. This could help reduce the instances of your going blank when it comes to conversation.
Being somewhere you’re comfortable instead of at a location completely new to you will automatically reduce your anxiety. Plus, by choosing the place and activity, you’re automatically revealed a lot about yourself with the other person without even saying anything.
When your mind is racing away with thoughts about what she’s thinking about you and if you’re saying and doing the “right” things, you’re not actually present in the date. Overthinking is distracting and won’t allow for true connection or flowing conversation.
All too often shy people are trying to say and do what they believe are the right things because they want to be liked so much. They don’t really take the time to be in the moment and actually notice how they’re feeling around the other person or whether they find them a potential partner.
Remember, you’re not the one being judged here for approval. You’re both there to see how you feel about each other. If you’re so in your head and just want to avoid being rejected, then how do you know you even like the person? It’s great to be liked, but only if it’s by someone you like as well.
Make it as easy as you can on yourself when you get out there. If you’re already self-conscious about what you’re going to say and do, at least wear something you feel attractive and comfortable in. The last thing you need is to be worried about anything more than you need to be.
Trying to wear something that’s out of your norm because your friends said it looked good on you or because it does look good, but it’s completely uncomfortable, is not the best idea. Go to your dates thinking and feeling as good about yourself as you can.
Imagine just starting off by telling her: “You know what? I’m so shy that I actually considered not dating because I feel like I’m so awful at it. There are moments when I just find myself drawing a blank about what to say, and it feels so awkward.”
If you just put it out there when one of those awkward silent moments happens, you can say something like: “See, here’s one of those moments I was talking about. I would love to say something totally fabulous and interesting, but there’s nothing. Total blank.”
It could be a conversation in and of itself, and, if you play it right, it could actually be quite comical rather than awkward.
If you want to get better at doing something, practice can help. Shyness is no different. Here are ways to get better at conversing and socializing:
The more you place yourself in situations where you can practice overcoming your shyness, the more comfortable you will be socializing, including dating, going forward.
The bottom line is that yor being shy is nothing to be ashamed of. Nor is it something that has to get in the way of you having a happy, healthy, and loving relationship. So get out there and start dating!
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