How can I beat shyness?


How can I beat shyness?


your avatar   "Alone and Shy," 28-year-old man

I'm 28 years old, male, 6', 190 lbs., good build, not bad looking. Sometimes I think I look really good. I'm not into religion or against it. I have one brother and one sister who were always good to me. I have my parents who would bend over backwards for all 3 of us. I not sure what I should really be putting here I hope this is enough.

My problems is I don't know how to start a conversation with a woman, even if I'm getting the right signals from her, such as at a night club, and we are making good eye contact. My friends will say go talk to her but I chicken out. I just don't know what to say. Now if the woman starts the conversation with me I'm fine, I have no problems with that. I have a great sense of humor and I'm very easy to talk to. I'm also very kind and romantic. My problem is I just can't start a conversation with women, and it's killing me. I'll see a female who I've been making good eye contact with, but I'm to shy to talk to her. Later when I'm at home I yell at myself for not trying. I know they're not all going to come to me. It really bothers me that I'm so shy. I'm really afraid that if this keeps up I'll miss my chance to find my one true love.

Now I have had plenty of relationships before but they were mostly though friends or someone I live around. I also have just gotten out of a relationship that lasted for almost 11 years and I have 2 wonderful little girls who I love a lot, but I know I need to find someone for me. So what does one do to overcome this problem? It's killing my life. I'm tried of being alone.


    Jerry Button, L.M.H.C.

Dear Alone and Shy,

The one thing I'd like to know, you don't tell me. Is the inability to start a conversation with a woman a life-long problem or has it become a problem only since you have ended a very long relationship? I'm going to assume that it's a recent problem.

I don't think you're shy. You say you are only hesitant when contemplating starting a conversation with a woman (not men, not children) and, probably, (again I'm only guessing) not women in business or family situations. Furthermore, you say you have no problem talking even to women after the original contact is made. If I'm guessing right, then, you only experience this problem in circumstances involving approaching a potential mate.

You spent eleven years in a relationship. You have two children from that relationship. (Are your children with you or are they with your former partner?) That relationship covered your entire young adulthood. In many ways you must be defined by those relationships and now you are alone. This leaves a large empty hole in your life.

You're alone, lonely and without a clear sense of how to fulfill an important role in your life, that of a "family man". Finding a new mate becomes extremely important in these circumstances. You say that you're afraid that you may miss out on your "one true love". I think you've hit the nail squarely on the head! It seems to me that what you are really experiencing is FEAR.

If you're on a mission to find that true love so that you can recreate the lost family relationship that you clearly valued (or as you put it to find someone for you), then success or failure as you approach a new woman takes on super-importance. You're putting a lot of pressure on yourself. You've got to come off as desirable to someone that you don't know and who may turn out to be uninteresting to you. It's a kind of performance anxiety.

In reality, of course, there is no one true love; there are many possible partners. Also, you do not have to find one today. You are only 28. This gives you ample opportunity to find a satisfying long-term relationship. If you can make yourself more cognizant of these two facts you will, hopefully, be able to decrease your "desperation level". That should, in turn, make it easier to talk to women even if they fall into the potential mate category. If you don't have to prove yourself each and every time, you may even find that it is enjoyable to just talk to a new person, to get to know her better and (this is most important) to let her get to know you for yourself.

Incidentally, the woman will appreciate not having to be super important to you before she's even met you. She'll be able to be relaxed and that will make it easier for you to get to know her for herself. Somewhere among all the women you talk to and get to know will be the one who is right for you.

Jerry Button, L.M.H.C.

This question was answered by Jerry Button. Jerry is a psychotherapist, personal development trainer, workshop presenter and relationship coach practicing in Delray Beach, Florida. He believes that the key to quality of life lies in relationships. His approach to interpersonal and emotional problems is relational and psychodynamic. Jerry is experienced working with individuals, children and families and welcomes challenging opportunities.For more information visit:


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