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You Asked: I'm Too Shy

You Asked: I'm Too Shy

Dear Sugar,

I'm a very shy girl who can't seem to strike up a conversation with anyone I don't already feel comfortable with. All of my friends are outgoing and carefree, and I cant even get a date to save my life! I've convinced myself that there is no one of the opposite sex that would possibly be interested in me, which in turn fuels my feelings of loneliness. I've tried to put myself out there but I don't know what else to do when I seriously lack confidence. How can I approach males without feeling like a complete idiot?

— Low Confidence Lila

To see DearSugar's answer,


Dear Low Confidence Lila,

I think you already know the answer to your question; it's time to get your confidence up and learn to like yourself, shyness and all! First things first, being shy is not the same as having low self-esteem, so learn to embrace your shy side. It's part of who you are and that's OK. But you can't just be a wallflower and expect the world to come to you. That's where the confidence comes in handy. Figure out how you want to be defined outside of "shy." Maybe you're a stellar baker or maybe you're more of the private artistic type, but whatever you are, embrace it.

If you start thinking of your unique characteristics as positive attributes, you may be surprised to find how quickly you start to feel better about yourself — confidence really is all about your state of mind, even if you have to fake it at first. Once you've got your head in the right place, try boosting your confidence through various solo activities. Do something you'd never thought you could, like eat out alone or join a running group. After all this, approaching a guy (or getting a guy to talk to you) will be no problem! Sure, it's going to take time, but just be patient because the rewards are worth it.


Join The Conversation
sarah100682 sarah100682 8 years
You can try and fake confidence, but if you don't really have it, it will never work. If you approach a guy in a totally bold moment, but can't keep it up for real, it isn't gonna work. Don't look at this like fixing your guy problem, but as fixing yourself. And stop caring about what your friends are or aren't compared to you...thats probably part of your problem. I don't know what you do for work, but if you can, find a job where you are FORCED to talk to the public, so you can get used to just striking up conversations with people in general...and at least this way if you see someone you were interested in, you could have an excuse to start a conversation and move on from there.
hills hills 8 years
when you feel yourself being hard on yourself stop it, the more your good to yourself the more natural it will become and you will feel much more less stressed, you are worth being good to yourself as well! dont be your own worst enemy, i know its easier said than done but just be natural and confident around boys, do an actress, im not saying overly confident just like how you are around your friends...get your eyebrows done professionlly put on a lick of mascara, paint your toenails and wax your legs, maybe yourl exhale abit..but the important thing is not to sit around, go out as much as you can, even if its just for walks, don't stay in and over think, try your best, thats all you can do, good luck hun and chin up!
Jude-C Jude-C 8 years
Work on your self-esteem and your expression of self-confidence, not to attract guys, but for your own long-term happiness and satisfaction with yourself and life. (I find that the more you do anything specifically to attract guys, the less it will work, anyway.) As for meeting guys, you don't necessarily need to approach them ;) Eye contact and a smile will bring them to you if they're attracted to you!
watereatsrock watereatsrock 8 years
Love yourself. Get to a point in your life that you wouldn't even need anyone else around to make you happy, and suddenly people will flock to you. I speak from experience. O yea...have you ever read the book "Why Men Love Bitches"? I think you should read it.
sourcherry sourcherry 8 years
Why do you think being shy is such a bad thing? A lot of men are attracted to shy girls; it can be a very charming and very sexy characteristic. Just smile and don't try to change yourself. Make it work in your favour. ;) And don't compare yourself to your girlfriends, every one has their particular charm. As soon as you start to embrace the way you are, and actually be proud of it, your new found confidence will make it a lot easier to meet people. Repeat this to yourself everyday, believe it, and you'll be fine!
honeysugar28 honeysugar28 9 years
Its not easy to fight a battle against low self esteem but you have to remember to be your own best friend and always strive to improve. I think one important thing is stay busy. When you have a life full of activities you're bound to meet lots of new people. If you're a student try arranging study groups or maybe a part time job, also going to the gym is a good idea not only will you feel better from all the endorphins of excercise you'll be fit and meet new people. I know its not easy to not be nervous but just relax and be yourself a simple hello and a smile can strike a conversation before you know it you'll make lots of new friends.
myladybloom myladybloom 9 years
I know where you're coming from. I'm very introverted myself (to the point of which my social life is practically non-existent), so obvs, shyness is a BIG problem. But there are times when I can be outgoing, let my hair down, and really have fun. Like you, however, I just need to find an outlet to express that more frequently -- and less chaotic surrounding, because I really don't thrive in that. So yes, all this advice is very good.
TheMissus TheMissus 9 years
Oh Lila! Don't fear not being liked! Just be yourself, and you will attract friends. And always remember, as Mae West said, "It's better to be looked over than to be overlooked." So just be yourself, and know that it doesn't matter what others might think. When you're confident, you will attract good-energy people.
GlowingMoon GlowingMoon 9 years
Learn to like yourself. If you don't like yourself, no one else will.
ilanac13 ilanac13 9 years
i have to agree - that just because you're not as outgoing as your friends - that doesn't mean that you're not great and you shouldn't have higher self esteem. for myself - i know that i'm at times really outgoing- but then there are times when my low self-esteem pops through....and that's real. i don't like much of myself most of the time, and i don't think that i'm worth attention from anyone - so that's the big difference. trust me, there is someone out there who will definitely appreciate you - because of your quiet demeanor not in spite of it - and you'll find happiness - probably more so than your friends who bounce around from person to person because their boisterous personalities allow them to.
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