Some times we forget that some people are really shy in social situations. They want to talk to others and flirt just as much as us who are social butterflies but feel uncomfortable doing so. I myself can be shy in certain situations and feel completely at a loss for words (believe it or not). So this time around I want to speak to my shy, socially inept friends. I promise, it won’t hurt and I know you will find something in this article you can use today.
1. Baby steps – If you are shy, you usually aren’t one to go out and just start up full on conversations with someone. So in order to get you started with approaching people in general, try just saying “Hi” or “Hey, how’s it going?” to people throughout your day. It could be to the barista where you get your coffee, the mailman, a co-worker, the cashier at your grocery store; literally anyone! I prefer the “hey, how’s it going?” line because it seems a tad bit more genuine than just “hi”. Also, most people who work with the public are constantly saying hi and don’t care but if someone asks them how THEY ARE it gets them to stop the blind routine, and actually talk to you. You might not get a full on conversation but that’s ok. You are just trying to get yourself more comfortable with approaching.
2. Look at me – You don’t have to dance around, drink way too much or wear crazy clothes to get attention. If you are shy you definitely aren’t going to do any of those things and frankly, that’s good! This is all about you making eye contact with someone and smiling. Don’t glance at someone and quickly look away. No more of that! You pick someone you want to say “hey” to and catch their eye. All you have to do is look at them and smile. If you are in a social setting, this could very well work to get them to approach YOU; which will take all the stress off of you, win win! Just be selective with whom you connect with. Try not to be creepy staring because well that’s just creepy. The point is to make yourself seem approachable and friendly. Some times shy people give off a “stay away” vibe when really all you want is for someone to talk to you. So, open up a bit with a little eye contact and your gorgeous smile.
3. Bring a friend – Going to any event alone is a bit nerve racking for anyone, let alone a shy person. This is why I recommend bringing a friend to even the lamest gatherings. The key is to not bring another shy friend though. You need to bring that friend of yours who is more social than you. Not crazy-annoying social, just more comfortable with talking to others than you might be. Someone who would be a good wingman and help you ease into conversations with others. This person should understand you want to become more social and be respectable of your boundaries. Someone you trust and who isn’t going to push you off on someone or ditch you so they can have their fun. You are in it together from start to finish.
4. Inner circle – The people whom you call your close friends, know you better than anyone else. If you are shy they have probably tried to get you out of your shell on more than one occasion. If it hasn’t worked yet, this is what you do: pick one person out of your inner circle that you trust the most and ask them about things they do with others outside of your inner circle. They might have a hiking group they meet up with every week. Or some other small group of people they do things with on a regular basis. Whatever it is, see if you can tag-a-long with them to one of the meet ups. You might not be into the activity 100% but if its at least 75% interesting to you, go for it. What this will do is get you out of your comfort zone for a few hours, put you around other like minded people (hopefully) and still give you the safety net of a close friend who knows the group well enough to make you feel at ease. It’s like going to a bar where the bartender knows your friend and you are automatically cool by association. You might enjoy yourself enough to do it again. Alas, if you don’t enjoy it and you didn’t meet anyone interesting, guess what…you don’t have to ever go again. You probably won’t ever see these people again either, so no harm no foul. Your friend can cop for you if anyone asks why you aren’t at the next meet up. But remember if someone does ask about you, it means you left a good impression and you might want to reconsider hanging out again.
I believe no one is born a social butterfly. Everyone learns at an early age how to be social or in some cases get’s held back from being social. Being shy and introverted can be a very intense emotion that you deal with every day. If you have a little part of you that wants to be more social and more comfortable around others, then you can do it. Just take it slow, ask for help and don’t worry about failing. You deserve to be happy just like anyone else. There are like minded people out there who want to know you, so take a deep breath and start baby stepping. You are to awesome to keep to yourself!
Ready, Set, Go!!!
Now, because most shy people have trouble with just the act of talking to others and being relaxed, I am going to suggest a few places that don’t have any social pressures to them. They are places you can kill 2 birds with one stone, so to speak.
For my geeks and nerds:
740 S Sepulveda Blvd
El Segundo, CA 90245
You always seem to need something for your computer, phone, tv or whatever gadget you are working on to make better, faster, stronger (who got that?). Best Buy or any electronic store is a great place to practice talking to people about what YOU enjoy and to be comfortable doing so. Remember this is just to help you get comfortable with takling to others but you also get to impress them with your knowledge. Even if you don’t or can’t afford to buy a laptop right now, go in, tell them what you are looking for and let them show you around. You will automatically come up with more questions as you get more relaxed. The employees are paid to talk to you, give them something interesting to do besides organizing bad music and cable wires.
For my green thumbs:
Peter’s Garden Center
814 N Pacific Coast Hwy
Redondo Beach, CA 90277
Do you enjoy growing your garden and taking care of your “babies”? Enjoy the outdoors and all awesome things nature has to offer right in your yard? Then go to a nursery and get something out of your comfort zone, to grow. The great thing about this is you HAVE TO talk to someone because you don’t know what you want to plant. So go, soak up some sun, smell the flower and meet someone who will enjoy sharing their gardening experience with you (you should share yours too) and hopefully you will come out with a new friend of the plant and human variety.
For my clothing lovers:
2621 Artesia Blvd
Redondo Beach, CA 90278
Shopping can be fun but in big department stores you don’t get the same attention as you would from smaller stores. I have heard nothing but good things about Aaardvarks for years now. They carry fun costumes and vintage clothing. Maybe there is a party coming up you want to wear something different to. Or even just add something vintage to your wardrobe. Either way, the people here are friendly and helpful with getting you something cool. You might not talk to them as much as you would in the other two places I suggested but the point is to just talk to people and not feel pressured to socialize. You will make new friends and hopefully find something interesting enough to wear to your next outing.
Dedicated to my dear friend Sadies. Everyone should have someone like her in their lives.
If you have any specific situations or questions you would like for me to address please feel free to leave me a comment or email. Be sure to hit “subscribe” to get updates on all my articles! Thank you for reading!