How to Get Closer to a Shy Girl

Shy girls need more time to warm up to new situations.
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Has a shy girl caught your eye? Getting closer to a shy girl requires patience, persistence and respect. Shy people have particular trouble with introductions, according to the "Psychology Today" article "The Cost of Shyness" by Indiana University Southeast professor of psychology Bernardo Carducci, Ph.D., so it will be up to you to make the first move if the two of you are not already friends. If you do succeed in getting a shy girl to open up, a long-lasting friendship or relationship could be in bloom. Shy girls tend to be stable girlfriends, asserts Dr. John Daly, professor in the College of Communication, in the University of Texas at Austin article "Shying Away," because finding dates and making friends is so hard for them.

1 Show Interest

It is your job to let the shy girl know that you are interested in getting to know her better. Shy girls tend to doubt themselves a lot; she might be saying things to herself such as "Does he really like me?" and "I doubt he would be interested in me." Don't bring up her shyness or put her on the spot, as this will just make her feel more self-conscious. Look her in the eye, ask sincere questions and smile often. Your goal is to earn the trust of the shy girl, and you can do so by showing her that you are genuinely interested.

2 Alone Time

A shy girl may feel awkward opening up to you in the presence of others. Unlike the captain of the cheerleading squad or the vocal class president, the shy girl from your science class prefers to blend into a crowd, or escape the crowd altogether. If you want to transition into deeper conversation, make sure you get to spend some one-on-one time with your new friend. Suggest an outing that the two of you can do together, such as going for a slice of pizza at lunch or grabbing a slice of cake at a coffee shop after school. When you do eventually settle down for a quiet chat, respect her privacy by not asking overly personal questions.

3 Online Communication

In the virtual word, there are more options for getting to know a shy girl than there are in meeting face-to-face: email, text messages and chat. In fact, she may open up more easily through electronic communication than she would in person. According to Carducci, shy people are even at risk of disclosing too much too soon when hiding behind a computer screen because they don't have a lot of experience setting boundaries in personal relationships. If you find things moving quickly via text or chat, consider conducting the bulk of your communication in person. For safety reasons, it is always preferable to virtually correspond only with those you already know from in-person interactions.

4 Give Space

When getting to know a shy girl, the best advice is to take things slow. What all shy people have in common is a "slowness to warm up," says Carducci -- she will need extra time to get used to new situations and become comfortable in conversation. Be aware that everything will take a little longer. If you are interested in romance, build a strong friendship first. Honor her physical boundaries by respecting her personal space until she is more comfortable with you. Eventually, with patience, you will earn her trust, and the relationship will blossom.

Arlin Cuncic has been writing about mental health since 2007, specializing in social anxiety disorder and depression topics. She served as the managing editor of the "Journal of Attention Disorders" and has worked in a variety of research settings. Cuncic holds an M.A. in clinical psychology.