Dating can be an absolute nightmare for shy people. You want to meet the ideal person, but you’re too scared to do anything about it.
Introductions–sticking out one’s hand and looking another person in the eyecan be terrifying. The brain locks up as you scramble to think of something relevant to say. You stammer. You think to yourself,”Why would anybody care about me? I am really not that interesting!”
Fear not. Here are some tips for taming your social terror.
- 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 do not apologize for it!
- Ask questions. Folks 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 in that line of work? Where did you go to school? Have you seen the new Brad Pitt movie? And so on.
- When you fumble, turn the topic to another person. Whenever you find yourself longing to throw a blanket over your head and crawl off, try saying something like”And what about you?”
- Listen to what another person is saying! This is important. Rather than fretting about what you’ll say , still the wheels of your mind and listen. If a guy 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..
- Smile. People respond well to people who smile. No need to smile like an idiot, but a disarming smile will get’em every moment. Display teeth whenever possible. Avoid looking like a figure at a wax museum by practicing in a mirror before you leave the house.
- Breathe. 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 restroom.
- Compliment another person. Sincerity is key, so find something you like and mention it. You could be freaked out by the concept of complimenting a guy on his soulful eyes, so mention his watch, suit, tie, or even his shoes. No need to go overboard: “Nice shoes,” will do it.
- Stay on top of current events. You don’t necessarily need to bring up your stand on Bush v. Kerry during a first meeting, but you should be able to discuss less contentious issues intelligently.
- Remember the weather! Some people have the”gift of gab,” the ability to make strangers feel like they have known them forever. They’re fearless about talking about the weather, gas prices, whatever. Shy people fear that talking about mundane things will make them look stupid. But seemingly dull subjects like the weather affect everybody. People relate to them.
- Hold up your head. It’s the simplest, most efficient way to look confident. Superior posture, coupled with that fabulous smile of yours, gives you a”winner’s vibe.” You’re sure to be a hit!
Be warned: These tips will not help you in case you don’t leave the house. It is just too easy to watch a Friends rerun for the umpteenth time instead of meeting people, but I guarantee you that Prince Charming is not 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’ve got a good night, understand that you earned it. Know that countless terrific nights are on their way to you.