How to Make a Shy Woman Trust You

A shy woman needs more time to develop trust.
... Brand X Pictures/Stockbyte/Getty Images

Women who are shy have a harder time opening up in a relationship and must feel a good level of trust before choosing to be vulnerable. If you want to help a shy woman trust you, do things that show you are a caring and respectful person. Trust takes a long time to build and may take even longer with a shy woman. Don't rush the process or you may scare her away. Be genuine, considerate and a good listener, and her level of trust is bound to increase.

1 Keep a Slow Pace

People who are shy take a longer time to warm up to new situations. Don't push too quickly for the typical milestones in a relationship such as a first kiss, showing affection or meeting friends and relatives. The shy woman needs you to slow down to a pace that she is comfortable with -- otherwise she may feel threatened and shut you out completely.

2 Show Interest

A shy woman may doubt your interest in her. She may wonder why you want to spend time with her or think that you are likely to move on at any moment. Build trust by showing that you are interested in getting to know her better. Ask about her recent triathlon, where she likes to go on vacation or how she likes her eggs cooked. It doesn't really matter what you ask -- the idea is to be genuine in your desire to learn everything you can about her.

3 Keep Secrets Private

As with any relationship, a shy woman needs to know that she can trust you not to share her personal details. If she tells you something in confidence, be sure to honor her privacy and keep it to yourself. Those who are shy have a harder time sharing their thoughts, feelings and opinions -- and would be devastated to learn that a private matter had been discussed publicly with others. Be respectful of her privacy, and her level of trust in you will increase.

4 Be a Good Listener

A shy woman is more likely to trust you if she feels connected -- and heard -- when the two of you talk. The keys to effective communication include good eye contact, honesty, directness and empathic listening skills, says licensed psychologist Clifford N. Lazarus in the "Psychology Today" article, "Simple Keys to Effective Communication." Smile, nod, and don't interrupt, says Lazarus, if you want to make the other person feel comfortable. Also make sure that your nonverbal behavior (such as leaning in) matches what you are saying -- otherwise the shy woman may question your intentions.

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.