How to Find Love When You're Shy

Shyness doesn't have to hold you back from finding love.
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It's the weekend and you find yourself without a date again. What can you do to find love when you are awkward and shy? Shyness doesn't have to prevent you from meeting your match, as long as you are willing to do things to break out of your shell. Shy people make great long-term partners as they are less likely to leave a relationship, says John Daly, professor of communications at the University of Texas at Austin, quoted in the article, "Shying Away," on the university's website. Once you do find a mate you are likely to stay together for a long time.

1 Develop an Interest in Others

People who are shy tend to focus on themselves instead of noticing the world going on around them -- which can interfere with finding love. One way to overcome shyness is to become genuinely interested and compassionate toward others, writes Alex Lickerman, general internist and assistant vice president for Student Health and Counseling Services at the University of Chicago, in "How To Overcome Shyness" on Psychology Today's website. Listen when the new girl in class talks about missing her hometown, or when the cute guy in history complains about not understanding the latest assignment -- and think about how you might help.

2 Avoid the Negative

The tendency among those who are shy is to focus on the negative aspects of social situations. You might think that the guy you like could never be interested in you, or that you will be tongue-tied when on a date. Focus instead on the positive possibilities in any social situation, suggests Jeremy Nicholson, a social and personality psychologist, in the article, "How to Reduce Dating Anxiety" on Psychology Today's website. Enjoy the moment by focusing on laughter, interesting conversation and the possibilities for romance. You can't know what others are thinking, and often your assumptions and beliefs are negatively skewed. You will be more open to love if you are positive and optimistic.

3 Develop Communication Skills

Shy people who successfully navigate life and love must learn the skills needed to communicate and thrive, says Daly. Developing skills to overcome shyness might mean finding role models who are outgoing, practicing social encounters and rehearsing conversations. If a friend is experienced at meeting new people and going on dates, watch how she communicates and model it yourself. If you do find yourself preparing for a date, rehearse questions that you might ask to keep the conversation going.

4 Use Nonverbal Communication

Those who are shy often have trouble initiating conversation or being the life of the party, but there is no reason they can't use nonverbal flirting. Hold eye contact with someone across the room for more than a second. Stand close to someone when you are talking. Both are easy ways to show that you are interested even when you are shy.

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.