Renée is our incognito “Dear Abby,” if you will. Veteran marriage counselor and published author, Renée gets to the heart of it without prevarication. Enjoy this week’s truism on Ask Renée…
Q: “My problem is not that I don’t encounter attractive people or individuals that catch my attention. My issue is I’m shy and I don’t know how to approach people I don’t know. Any suggestions?” –Katy R.
Thanks for reaching out. First, let me say that being shy is not a “problem”. It’s just a part of who you are–and not to psychoanalyze, but I’m willing to bet that you thinking it’s a problem is a part of what’s immobilizing you.
A shy disposition is sweet and gentle. We’re all apart of a patch-work quilt–and not everyone who is brash and aggressive is found attractive by everyone else. Although inside you might feel a little apprehensive or insecure, shyness often translates as calm and easygoing.
So, don’t play your shyness down. Play it up instead. When someone catches your attention, don’t worry so much about what you’re going to say. Instead, just make eye contact. Remember, 80 percent of communication, especially effective communication, is expressed with body language and energy. If someone is interested too, they’re going to notice you looking at them. The awesome thing about this approach is you don’t have to go through the feelings of rejection in the same way those who approach people do because…
If someone doesn’t want to engage, you can play it off and move on.
Just make sure that when you look at them, you smile. It doesn’t have to be all “tops and bottoms” of your teeth. Just enough to let them know that you’re looking in their direction deliberately.
And in the meantime, always keep in mind that you are deserving of someone approaching you, gazing at you, flirting with you. When the time is right—and if the person is truly interested in getting to know you…there will be no wondering.