If you believe you were born with a preference for shyness, you may believe that there is little you can do to overcome it. However, as mentioned in an earlier article about shyness and relationships, even shy introverts can overcome inhibiting shyness. (It should be noted that if you believe your shyness is linked to a larger issue, such as a mental disorder, you should see a mental health practitioner or doctor for more information and support.)
If you often feel shy due to the fear of negative judgment or low self-esteem, you can still experience a normal and happy love life. Here are four dating tips for shy introverts.
Recognize the strength in your shyness.
As a former painfully shy introvert, I understand how difficult it can be to view shyness as a strength. However, this is the first step to raising your confidence and experiencing less shyness in dating and relationships. Realize that the majority of people have experienced or do experience shyness, especially when it comes to dating and relationships. Many individuals are attracted to shy introverts. Your shyness may be seen as endearing, mysterious, and cute.
Let yourself feel the shyness, then let it go.
An attractive stranger approaches you at a party. Immediately you panic, but you try to suppress the panic to seem cool. However, that suppression will actually hinder the interaction. If your primary focus is on suppressing fear, you can’t have a normal conversation with anyone. Instead, take a moment to completely feel the panic or fear. A few seconds of silence or an awkward greeting is better than a terrible or nonexistent conversation because you let shyness and fear take over the entire situation. As mentioned above, some people may even appreciate or be attracted to initial awkwardness. So feel it, live it, and own it.
Turn overcoming shyness into a game.
Being shy doesn’t mean that something is wrong with you. Just like high-performing shy children who train their brains to workaround shyness when taking exams, you can train your brain to overcome shyness in dating and relationships. The idea of turning it into a game may not work for everyone, but for the more competitive or goal-oriented introverts, this can be the equivalent of learning to beat a challenging video game or solving a jigsaw puzzle. When overcoming my own shyness, I found that setting goals for each day helped me to grow more confident when approaching others. They would start small, such as, “smile at a random person in the hall today,” and gradually get more difficult. Today I do things I could never imagine doing five years ago, and I believe that setting goals and training my brain to overcome shyness played a big part in this.
Imagine the best case and worst case scenarios.
Shyness is often the result of focusing on the worst thing that could happen if we were to step outside our comfort zone. But often the worst case isn’t really all that bad. In reality, our worst case visions rarely occur. Instead of focusing on the negatives, spend an equal amount of time focusing on the best case scenario. If you ask the attractive woman you’ve been chatting with online on a date, the worst thing she can say is no and never want to talk to you again. Good. You just saved yourself time. The best thing she can say is yes, you fall in love, and live happily ever after. When you think of inaction as sacrificing something potentially amazing, the action suddenly becomes much easier.
Being shy doesn’t have to mean that you’re perpetually single or unhappy. As you should know by now if you’ve been following this series about shyness and introversion, there is nothing wrong with being shy. It’s actually perceived as a positive quality to many people. If shyness is negatively affecting your life now, that doesn’t mean it has to forever.
Shyness In Careers
In the next article in this series, I’m going to talk about shyness in careers. How are shy people viewed at work? Does shyness affect work performance? Are shy people less likely to get a raise or promotion? Are there career benefits to being shy? How can you overcome shyness in the workplace? I’ll answer all of those questions and more in the next blog post.