Talking to someone cute is not some easy thing, despite what we see in movies. There is nothing wrong with being shy. Most of us are a lot more shy than we want to admit. Confidence is praised, after all.
The problem is that we often let our shyness defeat us in romantic situations. You don’t want to be alone, but you’re so nervous in social situations (and afraid of being rejected) that you opt for staying in and watching Netflix over going out and meeting people.
Luckily, we have some workable solutions to help you overcome your shyness so you can get out there and find a cute boo to join your Netflix marathons. It’s cuffing season, after all.
Change your attitude
According to Dr. Kristie Overstreet, a psychotherapist and clinical sexologist, you should change your whole outlook on dating. Instead of a defeatist “What if they reject me?” look on dating, have a “so what?” attitude.
“If [they aren’t crazy about you or the date ends in a disaster say to yourself, ‘So what?’ So what that it didn’t work out,” she says. “Remind yourself that it’s not the end of the world and your happiness doesn’t reside in a date that isn’t into you.”
Look at the bigger picture. In a few days, this won’t matter. You’ll be back on Tinder or Bumble, talking to someone new. Dating is practice. Most of the time it isn’t great. So, really, so what?
Remind yourself that you are awesome
You are an eligible, cool, funny person. Even if you don’t believe that about yourself, trust us. You’re great. You’ll make someone an awesome boyfriend one day.
Overstreet suggests making a tangible list of everything positive about yourself. “Take 5 minutes and make a list of all of your strengths. Doing this and referring back to it, will be a reminder that you are enough as well as worthy to be around [them].”
Sometimes a little thing like looking down at a piece of paper with your best qualities can help reinforce some much needed confidence. Positive affirmations really work!
Take a chance
Take steps to start taking more chances. Maybe you don’t go right to a bar and ask someone out. Start by making a dating app account. Chat with a few people and see where it goes. There is no pressure to follow through. Once you’re feeling comfortable, ask a person you’re into out for coffee.
“If you make a move or ask her out, what’s the worst thing that could happen?” Overstreet says. “She may say no but you can deal with that. If you don’t take the chance you will regret it.” If you don’t take a chance, you’ve played yourself.
Communicate your shyness
Don’t be afraid to tell someone you’re shy, especially before a date. It’s OK to be open about your feelings. You don’t have to play some part where you’re this “super confident guy” when you’re actually super nervous.
“Be honest if your feeling shy. Don’t be afraid to tell [them] that [they] are so hot that you feel a little shy around them,” Overstreet tells us. They may actually find it very flattering and adorable.
“Be ready to be surprised when [they] smile at you after being honest,” Overstreet says
Your crush might be shy, too
No matter how sexy, cool, or funny this person is, they may be shy as well. “Don’t assume they aren’t feeling shy too,” says Overstreet. “You may not be the only one that feels shy. When you break the ice about how you are feeling, they may do the same.”
If you’re both aware that you’re nervous, you can take off that pressure. Even if they aren’t nervous at all, a kind person will be empathetic about your feelings and be aware of them. We’re all just a bunch of weirdos trying to get by in this world. It’s easy to say, “Don’t worry about it!” but when it comes to dating, we really should worry less. None of us know what we’re doing!
Take a deep breath
Take a big, full-bodied breath. Hold the breath for four seconds and then release it for four seconds. Do this a couple of times before you go into the date. If you get nervous during the date, lose your place, or aren’t sure what to say, take another, quicker deep breath.
“Your body will automatically begin to relax when you take a deep breath. This will help you feel calmer,” Overstreet says. “Don’t take a dramatic deep breath where [they] hear you because [they] may make an assumption about it.”
Not to freak you out, but if you’re constantly taking deep breaths, this person may think you’re hyperventilating or are frustrated. If you need a breath, take one. A good time to do this is when they’re telling you something about themselves (aka: doing the talking). Take a breath in, let it out as quietly as possible. You have got this!
Good posture goes a long way
Your physical appearance is important on a first date. No, we don’t mean you have to be a perfect 10, but you can do small things to help your date see the best version of you. Iron your shirt and pants. Brush your teeth. Since you’re shy, work on your posture.
“Hold your head up at all times. You can appear confident even if you don’t feel it by holding your head up and shoulders back. At least try to look the part,” Overstreet tells us.
Get a little perspective
“[They] agreed to be in a space with you. Whether you are on a date, in bed, or sharing the same air at the bus stop, [they] are there. This means that they haven’t run away so [they] don’t mind being around you,” Overstreet says.
They can leave any time they want, but they’re choosing to be here with you. It might be a little scary, but try to remind yourself that they enjoy being with you.
“Take this as a sign that they are agreeing to be near you and let it remind you that you are doing something right. This can help counteract your negative self-talk which is increasing your shyness,” Overstreet adds. A little perspective can go a long way.