The shy guy you know may only be a friend but you want him to be more than a friend.
Or maybe you’ve been dating a shy guy for a few months now and you’re looking for tips so that he might fall head-over-heels in love with you.
Either way, relationships with introverts require some understanding of their temperament but can be great once you figure out how to deal with them.
Understanding why he is moving as slow as molasses in opening up to you can make the difference between enjoying your relationship and becoming impatient with it.
Trying to figure out what makes him tick in matters of the heart can help you relax, while you wait for him to let you in.
In this article, I’ll round up the 20 main ways to make your shy guy feel comfortable around you. After that, I’ll reveal the 7 telltale signs he’s into you too!
20 ways to make a shy guy comfortable
1) Take the lead by making the first move
A shy guy may not feel comfortable making the first moves in a relationship.
Yes, he may be romantically interested in you and wanted to tell you that but his shyness just kept him from putting himself in such a vulnerable position.
This is because shy individuals tend to doubt themselves, which makes meeting new people or starting conversations become too scary a task for them.
Diana Kirschner, a psychologist who wrote an article on “flirting tips”, recommends that you take the lead to show a shy guy that you are looking to take things to the next level.
If you are really into him, don’t let your pride get in the way of making the first move.
If a shy guy is someone you just met, introduce yourself and start up a conversation.
If he is a friend whom you’d love to turn into a romantic interest with, drop hints like telling him about a place in the city you’d love to visit.
If you are already dating a shy guy, lean in and kiss him first.
If he’s really into you, you’d know.
And if indeed he is, taking the first move just saves you a whole lot of time wondering whether he likes you…or he likes you not.
2) Initiate and arrange plans
Shy guys often find it hard to make plans for a date because it brings them enormous pressure.
Save him the stress and plan it yourself.
When planning dates, you’ll need to make an effort to cater to his comfortability.
Try activities that are less communicative early on, such as going to see a movie together or spending an afternoon at the driving range, instead of inviting him out to a jam-packed bar with a huge group of friends.
Shy guys usually prefer low-key dates where they can just relax and open up slowly over ones that make them pressured to be outgoing.
3) Ask open-ended questions
When you’re dating a shy guy, you will probably need to put in a majority of the effort needed to keep the conversation flowing.
One good advice is to avoid asking questions that can be answered with a “yes” or “no,” as they may create awkward pauses and make the conversation feel forced.
Instead, aim for questions that encourage him to provide more than just a quick, one-word answer, like open-ended questions.
Good examples are “How did you end up in the city?” or “How did you get interested in carpentry?”
These questions can help a shy guy open up and talk about himself and can also lead to him feeling known, liked, and comfortable with you.
4) Pick the right topic
Shy guys are often petrified when forced to start a conversation. More so when they’re dragged in a topic they know less about.
While it might be easy for you to talk about what you like to do, a shy guy may have trouble adding to that conversation.
For instance, he probably won’t have much to say about your recent experience at the nail salon (you’d be surprised if he does).
To avoid awkward silence, ask about his interests instead.
Not only does this make the conversation smoother (and easier) on his end, it also makes him feel that you’re interested in getting to know him better.
Talk about each other’s favorite things — sports, movies, online games, books, etc.
When sharing about each other’s likes and dislikes, you might hit on something you both love and explore the topic deeper.
This will instantly make the both of you feel more bonded.
5) Say his name often
Shy guys love to hear others say their names because it brings a personal touch to an otherwise general situation or conversation.
Not only will saying his name strengthen the bond between you two but it will also quicken the bonding process.
You can also give him an endearing nickname based on one of his qualities that you admire.
6) Make subtle physical contact
While you’re spending time together, make physical contact with him.
Physical contact releases oxytocin — aka the bonding hormone, which helps make him feel liked and close to you.
Try touching his arms lightly and briefly to communicate assurance during a conversation.
Touching him breaks through a kind of barrier that will help him feel less nervous, and it also (subtly) permits him to make an affectionate gesture toward you later on such as holding your hand, putting his arm around you, or kissing you.
7) Be direct
After a day of hanging out, make sure to tell him you’d like to see him again when you part ways.
Verbal clarity will assure him of your true feelings and desires, which will ease his uncertainty and draw him out of his shell.
Also, pay close attention to his reactions when you say things that directly hint your interest in him.
If he responds enthusiastically — by smiling, nodding, or saying “yes” — he may be feeling the same attraction to you.
8) Explore other modes of communication
If you find it hard getting him to open up in person, try using a different mode of communication.
Maybe he feels too intimidated and pressured to say the right thing face-to-face but is more confident talking to you behind the safety of a phone or computer screen.
Give him the chance to do this until he feels more comfortable talking with you both online and in person.
Conversations online and through text messages are slower in pace, thereby giving him enough time to compose his thoughts when he wants to open up.
Message him on Facebook or Instagram to keep the conversation going.
9) Ask him for help
Shy guys often feel more strong and more masculine when they get to help others, especially women.
Ask him to fix your computer, car, bike, or anything else you think he might know how to fix.
And while you’re there, ask him questions about the steps he’s taking to make the repair — this will get him talking more. Just a caveat, though, not all guys know how to fix things.
Make sure that he’s knowledgeable about what you’re asking of him or else your plan may backfire and he might end up feeling embarrassed.
10) Compliment him
If you notice something worth mentioning about him or something he does that you like, give him a sincere compliment.
This will help him feel better about himself and also get communication going between you two, which will make talking to you a little easier for him.
You might say something like: “I read your blog post last night about your visit to Venice, and it was so well-written that I can’t wait for the day I’d be able to visit the place too!”
You can also try complimenting his hair or telling him he has a great smile. Or send him a text a few hours before your date and let him know you can’t wait to hang out with him.
But be careful not to overdo the enthusiasm, as it may seem fake.
11) Watch him in his element
If he plays sports, go watch.
If he’s playing a part in an orchestra, arrange to be there in the audience.
When a shy guy is “in the zone,” he will be at the height of his charisma and a high point of self-confidence, and he will be happy to see you witness his strengths.
12) Praise his efforts
Getting a shy guy to open up to you may rely on how confident he feels when he’s with you.
Make sure to help build up his confidence by letting him know that you appreciate the little things he does for you.
Recognizing his simple acts such as taking out the trash, bringing you coffee at work, or holding out the door for you will let him know you are paying attention not just to his words but his actions too.
This will help him feel loved and appreciated. Also, be sure to praise his efforts to open up to you.
If you just finished a great conversation, let him know how much you appreciate it and that you’d love to hear more of his thoughts and ideas.
13) Be patient with him
Your shy guy isn’t going to open up to you overnight, so don’t get frustrated if progress seems slow.
Rushing may only intimidate him.
So, as your relationship deepens, suggest the next move, but try to keep things at his pace or at least not a huge leap from his pace.
Building trust and comfort takes time. He may seem awkward around you at first, but let him feel you’re okay with that.
He may not have let many people into his inner circle, but if you are patient with him and provide him ample time to open up at his rate, he’ll eventually let you in.
14) Adjust your expectations of change
Making a shy guy come out of his shell doesn’t just magically happen in an instant.
It may take more time than you expected and you may need to help him build additional social skills, depending on his situation and experiences.
By being especially understanding toward him, you are slowly chipping away the shell that your shy guy has encased himself in.
15) Don’t take it personally
You might feel that his inability to open up to you is a sign he’s not interested, but this is not necessarily the case.
Introversion is a personality trait, so don’t take it personally.
You may find solace in knowing the fact that he wants to open up to you, but it just takes him more time to be able to do that than other people.
16) Be genuinely accepting
Your guy will probably feel too vulnerable any time he starts to open up to you, so make every effort to show him that you are willing to listen to whatever it is he’s about to say.
If he cracks a joke and you find it funny, laugh out loud.
If he tells you an embarrassing story, assure him it will stay between the two of you, and if you can, tell him one of your own too.
While you should make every effort to make your interest known, don’t fake a laugh or any other reaction if it’s not what you’re really feeling.
17) Allow there to be silence
If you’re an outgoing person, you will probably feel the urge to fill every bit of silence with chit-chat.
Try to resist this temptation when dealing with a shy guy. Shy guys are usually comfortable with (or prefer) silent pauses from time to time.
Instead of talking whenever one comes up, try holding his hand or smiling at him.
18) Give him space
For introverts, being constantly around people is rather draining. Thus, they need time alone to recharge.
While you probably want to spend lots of time with your shy guy, allowing him to have some extra “me time” will help your relationship.
For instance, if the two of you are going away for the weekend, allow him to have a few days to himself throughout the week.
He may need this extra time to do the things that help him relax and recharge, whether that’s playing video games, reading a book, or going for a walk.
19) Introduce him slowly
If things progress with your guy, you’ll eventually want to introduce him to your friends and family, which can be daunting for someone shy.
Large social gatherings can be intimidating for an introvert, so when it comes to introducing him to your friends and family, do so in small phases.
For instance, rather than inviting him to your family’s huge Thanksgiving Party, invite him to dinner with your sister and her significant other first.
20) Support him during social situations
Even small gatherings can still turn out to be stressful for an introvert.
Stay close to your man during social situations and help him bring up topics that he’s interested in.
For example, bring up the fact that he’s a master chess player at dinner with your sister instead of waiting for him to divulge such information, which may likely not happen.
It will probably take a while for him to start feeling comfortable around your friends and family but give him all the time he needs to adjust and don’t get upset with him if it doesn’t happen as quickly as you’d want.
If you are dating a shy guy, he may seem a bit more work but he’s surely worth keeping for the quality man he is!
You’ll come to appreciate his way of seeing the world, his adoration for you, and his calming aura.
It may take time for him to finally open up to you but be ready to be pleasantly surprised once you have done your part well.
Bonus: 7 telltale signs a shy guy is into you
Wondering whether or not that shy guy across the room is into you? Here are a few things you should look out for to find out if he likes you.
1) He stares at you when you’re not looking (or when he thinks you’re not looking)
This is the most basic move of a helpless shy guy who likes you but is too scared to approach you.
He’d rather admire you from afar than talk to you and risk saying something dumb that will embarrass him. And when you catch him looking, he’ll likely look away.
His instant escape is to the ground, to his friends, or something behind you.
2) His body language shouts it out
A shy guy may consciously or unconsciously drop signs that he likes you, especially through his body language.
One of the most important body language you can pay attention to is his feet, as the direction in which our feet point reveals the direction in which we want to go.
He wants to approach you, so his foot will point in your direction.
3) He doesn’t talk to you (at least face to face)
Shy guys are more comfortable talking to their crushes behind a screen because it (kind of) reduces the chances of them screwing up whatever they’re going to say.
Plus, it gives them plenty of time to think of what to say and how to phrase it.
4) He stutters while talking to you
Because shy guys are usually too nervous to talk with someone they like, they will likely stutter when they’re finally in a conversation with you.
They’re constantly paying attention to your reaction when they say something and are severely cautious when talking about a topic you may not be interested in.
Most often, before they even decide to approach you, they’ve already come up with 101 ways of how the conversation could go wrong.
And when that thought bothers them as they talk to you, they stutter.
5) He can’t look you in the eye (or hold glances)
It’s hard for a shy guy to have eye-to-eye contact with someone he likes.
Though he’d love to get lost in your eyes for as long as possible, the thing is, if he holds a glance with you, it means you know he’s looking at you. And he doesn’t want you to know he’s looking.
After all, he’s shy…and is madly interested in you.
6) His friends tease him around you
This is a clue that’s accepted worldwide when it comes to finding out if someone likes you.
Sometimes, his friends don’t just push him or poke him playfully, they may also look at you and tell him something afterward or point at you while talking to him.
At some point, his friends may get too impatient with him, so they may be the ones telling you about his feelings.
7) You see him almost everywhere
If a shy guy likes you, he wants to know more about your life and see you more often.
It may seem creepy (especially if you’re not attracted to him the same way he does to you), but he’ll most likely be there if he knows you’re going to be there too.
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