Tips for the Shy Woman
by Terry Hernon MacDonald
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Tips for the Shy Woman
Dating can be
an absolute nightmare for shy people. You want to meet the right
person, but you’re too scared to do anything about it.
sticking out one’s hand and looking another person in the eye, can
be terrifying. The brain locks up as you scramble to think of something
relevant to say. You fall apart as soon as you’re asked what you
do for a living. You stammer. The heat rises in your face and under
your arms. You’re suddenly incapable of forming a grammatical sentence.
You think to yourself, “Why would anyone care about me? I’m really
not that interesting!”
Fear not. Many
shy people have succeeded in meeting new people and forming lasting,
happy relationships. With a little practice, you can too. Here are
some tips for taming your social terror.
1. Prepare a
pitch. The question, “So, Sally, what do you do for a living?” is
bound to come up, so have a ready answer. No need to brag about
capturing the company Tidy Break room Award; just state clearly
what you do for a living and don’t apologize for it!
2. Ask questions.
People love to talk about themselves (okay, except for people like
you), so ask questions. Come up with a list before you leave the
house, i.e., How did you get into that line of work? Where did you
go to school? Have you seen the new Brad Pitt movie? And so on.
3. When you
fumble, turn the subject to the other person. Whenever you find
yourself longing to throw a blanket over your head and crawl off,
try saying something like “And what about you?”
4. Listen to
what the other person is saying! This is important. Instead of fretting
about what you’ll say next, still the wheels of your mind and listen.
If a man tells you about his weekend on the golf course, and you
know absolutely nothing about golf, just ask him what he likes about
it, how he got into it, etc.
5. Smile. People
respond well to people who smile. No need to grin like an idiot,
but a disarming smile will get ‘em every time. Smiling conveys friendliness
and approachability. Show teeth whenever possible. Avoid looking
like a figure at a wax museum by practicing in a mirror before you
leave the house.
Whenever you feel your heart racing, breathe deeply and slowly.
If you really start to feel uncomfortable (your face has become
so hot you could use it for a wok), excuse yourself and go to the
the other person. Sincerity is key, so find something you like and
mention it. You may be freaked out by the idea of complimenting
a man on his soulful eyes, so mention his watch, suit, tie, or even
his shoes. No need to go overboard: “Nice shoes,” will do it.
8. Stay on top
of current events. You don’t necessarily want to bring up your stand
on Bush v. Kerry during a first meeting, but be able to discuss
less controversial issues intelligently.
the weather! Some people have the “gift of gab,” the ability to
make strangers feel like they’ve known them forever. They are fearless
about talking about the weather, gas prices, whatever. Shy people
worry that talking about mundane things will make them appear stupid.
But seemingly dull subjects like the weather affect everybody. People
relate to them.
10. Hold your
head up. It’s the simplest, most effective way to look confident.
Good posture, coupled with that fabulous smile of yours, gives you
a “winner’s vibe.” You’re guaranteed to be a hit!
Be warned: These
tips will not help you if you don’t leave the house. It’s just too
easy to watch a Friends rerun for the umpteenth time instead of
meeting people, but I promise you that Prince Charming is never
going to climb through your bedroom window.
Talking to strangers
can be uncomfortable, but with practice it will surely get easier.
If you have a bad night, congratulate yourself for making the effort.
When you have a good night, understand that you earned it. Know
that countless wonderful nights are on their way to you.
By Terry MacDonald
Hernon MacDonald is the author of "How to Attract and Marry the
Man of Your Dreams (Even if You're Not Rich, Thin, or Beautiful).
Please visit her website at www.marrysmart.com
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