When we’re feeling shy, we tend to focus too much on ourselves and worry that others are thinking negatively of us, which is often irrational and not at all based on reality. We fear social rejection and find it hard to connect with people as a result.
But the good thing to know is that many of us experience mild to extreme shyness, especially in a nerve-wracking situation such as a date (I know I do!).
And although breaking out from your shell won’t happen overnight, with time, effort, and a few helpful hints, you WILL be able to overcome shyness and hook your dream man.
Once you’ve agreed to a date, the first thing you should be comforted by is that your date is likely to be feeling just as nervous about it as you are. Meaning he is just as likely to be worrying about what YOU are thinking of HIM as you are about what he’s thinking of you.
And luckily, there are many ways in which you can prepare yourself before your date, so that you can reduce your shyness as much as possible and have a great time with the man you are seeing.
Continue below to find out 9 simple steps which will make an amazing difference in your levels of dating confidence.
Steps to beating your shyness and having a great date:
1. Plan your date to suit you
Having a good plan of your date will help you to overcome shyness by distracting your mind from any stress-provoking “what-if” scenarios.
If you have a good idea of what you will be doing and what to expect, you are much less likely to encounter any unwelcome surprises.
It’s important you choose an activity or setting for your date that you feel comfortable with. For instance, if you don’t want to go somewhere really crowded, suggest a nice cosy café, or perhaps a picnic somewhere outside where you will have some privacy.
2. Look good to feel good
Why is your appearance so important when it comes to a date? Because when we feel that we look our best, we feel good about ourselves. And this goes a long way in reducing feelings of shyness on a date.
So give yourself a decent chunk of time to get ready and do some pampering. Treat yourself to a relaxing bath, shave your legs and spray on some light perfume.
Wear something which looks great on you, is comfortable, and is suitable for the occasion. And add a touch of light makeup to accentuate your best features.
Now look at yourself in the mirror and smile – ‘I am beautiful’.
3. Think positive
No doubt your mind can conjure up a hundred different scenarios in which your date goes disastrously wrong – majority of these involving your date rejecting you.
But this is just that silly voice in the back of your head speaking, and is in no way reflecting reality.
So push that voice out of your mind and start thinking positive. It’s important not to dwell on any dates you’ve had in the past – from now you are starting fresh.
I want you to close your eyes and literally visualize yourself having a great time on your date, as if you’re there right now. Think about being happy and comfortable, engaged in a warm and funny conversation with your man.
Engage your senses and your emotions. What do you sound like on your date? What are you doing? What can you see? How are you feeling?
Every day before your date, spend at least 5 minutes visualizing how you want it to go. Because if you go into the date with this positive image, you will feel mentally prepared and truly will have an amazing time.
4. Tune in to your body language
Our body language says a lot about the way we are feeling, and we are often treated by others based on the messages our body is sending. So it’s really important to try to show a warm, open attitude through your body language when on your date.
If your body position is defensive or withdrawn, your date is likely to feel uncomfortable and have a hard time communicating with you. But if your body position is open and approachable, you will invite him to connect with you and relax in your presence.
The good news is that you can practice perfecting your body language beforehand. The first thing to consider is your posture.
Standing or sitting up straight will give the impression that you are self-confident and receptive to your date, whereas hunching and keeping your head down will just create a barrier between you.
Try to keep your arms uncrossed, and lean slightly towards your date rather than back. And keep your hands and feet calm – constant fidgeting will give the impression that you are jittery and nervous.
It’s important to try to make frequent eye contact with your man, especially during your conversations. Making eye contact and smiling will give your date the message that you’re friendly, warm, and are having a good time with him.
As a final note, please remember that getting distracted by something such as your phone on a date will be the clearest signal that you are uninterested and disrespectful of the person you are with – so avoid this at all costs!!
5. Allow yourself to relax
If you find yourself feeling tense during the date, try taking a few deep breaths to calm your nerves. You should feel your body instantly relax.
Think back to the scene you visualized and smile. Remember, you are here to have a good time and get to know each other a little better.
If that negative voice tries to surface in your head, give it the flick and instead bring back those positive thoughts that make you feel good inside: ‘I am really enjoying myself.’ ‘My date is having a great time with me’.
6. Consider what you already know about your date
Knowing a little bit about your date before you go out together will help you to be able to initiate engaging conversation, ask interesting questions and pay him meaningful compliments.
People usually enjoy talking about themselves (unless they are feeling very shy of course!).
So if you can draw him in by asking about how his football team is going, what’s been happening at his office lately, and what he most enjoyed about his big OE, he will be really flattered by your interest in his life.
7. Be honest
If you are feeling a bit shy, it’s OKAY to admit to your date that you are shy at times.
Showing that you’re human is not a bad thing – in fact it is only likely to make him feel warmer towards you. And chances are he will tell you he is feeling the same thing!
Letting your date know you’re a little shy will also prevent him from getting the impression that you’re not interested in him or are not enjoying yourself.
I hope that after reading these 9 essential tips you are feeling EMPOWERED to take control of your feelings of shyness, and break down any negative thoughts which have been holding you back.
8. Keep the conversation flowing
There are a few key pointers to remember when it comes to keeping a conversation flowing along nicely, rather than crashing into an awkward dead-halt.
The first of these is to add a little detail to your answer when you are asked a question, so that your date has something to work with.
For example, say he asks you “What’s your favorite type of food?”
Instead of saying “Chinese,” you could say, “I love Chinese, especially sweet and sour pork”.
That way, he has something to comment on, keeping the conversation going.
Instead of replying, “Oh, cool”, he’ll probably say something like “I agree, sweet and sour pork is amazing!”
It’s also ideal if you always try to ask your date the same question back, because usually when someone asks something, they want to share their own views on the topic as well.
So, for example: “I love Chinese, especially sweet and sour pork. What’s your favorite kind of food?”
Lastly, when you are initiating a new topic of conversation, try to ask open-ended rather than closed questions.
This allows more room for discussion, and reduces the likelihood of the conversation coming to a sudden end.
For example, asking “What do you think about the new sports center in town?” instead of “Do you like the new sports center in town?”
9. Focus on your date’s feelings and needs
The best way to overcome shyness and ensure you have a great time on your date is to actually focus on making your HIM feel comfortable, rather than yourself.
Concentrating on your date will take your mind off your own self-consciousness. When we focus our mental attention on others, we stop being able to be worried about how WE are coming off.
So try to really engage emotionally with what your date is saying and respond empathetically. Put yourself in his shoes rather than your own, and you will soon find that all of your own anxieties fade away.