You've noticed a shy guy in your algebra class that you would like to get to know better, but every time the two of you cross paths he bows his head and averts his eyes. When a shy guy seems awkward or aloof in your company, it doesn't necessarily mean he is against getting to know you better -- but rather that his shyness prevents him from opening up. Encourage a friendship with him by appreciating his positive qualities and creating opportunities for the two of you to connect. You will need to be the aggressor and do a lot of the work in the beginning, but once he feels comfortable, you may find you have made a friend for life.

Make Conversation

If you haven't already met the shy guy, smile, walk up and introduce yourself. Make a comment about something that you have in common or the setting, such as "The last assignment in algebra was killer -- how did you do?" Stick to small talk topics when first getting to know a shy guy to keep him comfortable, advises Dr. Laurie Helgoe on Match.com. Talk about the weather, news, sports, celebrity gossip, hobbies, music and movies, and save more sensitive and personal topics for when you know each other better. Ask him open-ended questions to find common interests, and be accepting if he doesn't open up right away. If he does share something personal with you, be sure to keep it confidential. A shy guy needs to feel he can trust you not to share what he tells you with the world.

Make Him Feel Good

Give him sincere and specific compliments to make him feel good about himself, recommends psychologist Diana Kirschner on her Love in 90 Days website. For example, tell him how much you liked the article he wrote for the college newspaper, and ask what he is working on for the upcoming issue. Show that you are interested -- and impressed -- and he will feel more comfortable opening up. Kirschner also advocates using his name a lot in conversation, and even coming up with a nickname, to endear yourself more to him. Using his name will make him feel more at ease and help to bring the two of you closer.

See Him in His Element

If you are having trouble getting to know a shy guy, Kirschner suggests seeing him in his element. For example, if the guy from your algebra class is also the star quarterback for the football team, make sure to go see one of his games. Take the opportunity to talk with him after a winning game -- his confidence will be boosted from the activity and he might be more open and receptive to your growing friendship. Another way to see a shy guy in his element is to ask him for help with a problem that you are having. Perhaps the guy you know could help you with that strange noise your car has been making or the troublesome pop-ups that have plagued your computer as of late. When he does come over to look at your laptop, be sure to ask questions to help get to know one another better.

Appreciate His Nature

Beyond trying to get to know a shy guy better, take the time to appreciate his quiet and reserved nature. Although some people who are shy suffer with low self-esteem and feelings of inadequacy, others may simply need a bit of time to warm up to new situations and may actually prefer quiet settings, asserts the TeensHealth website. Get to know him on his terms -- in a quiet park, at the library or wherever he seems to open up the most. Let him know that you appreciate his quiet and sensitive nature, and how it makes him an interesting and caring person. A shy guy can be a great listener and can make a great friend -- you just need to give him enough time to open up and appreciation to want to do so.