I’m shy!

Dear Suzie, this boy who i really like for ages asked me out a month ago and i said yes, i really enjoy being with him and he tells me he loves me…but there’s only one problem…we hardly ever talk to one another when we are sober. we both exactly the same…like the same things and we’re both shy! i need help to know what i can say to him to start a conversation and how i can boost my confideance when i am around him, thanks

The last thing you ever want to do is get into the habit of using booze as a way of bolstering your courage. It doesn’t boost your confidence, it just releases your inhibitions and that’s a fast track to falling-down humiliation first, a drinking problem later. What you need to do is learn how to be at ease and to chat without such false props. If you both like the same things, then you’re several steps along already since you have things to talk about.

The best way of starting a conversation isn’t to say anything but to ask something. “Did you see Big Brother – what did you think?” “Where you going for your holidays? Where would you really like to go – why?” “What about that (insert name of teacher/friend/celebrity/event). What was that about?” Notice the real trick; never ask a question that can just be answered Yes, No or Dunno. Always make your queries ‘open’ – needing a bit of chat to answer.

Shyness is about thinking about yourself – “Am I looking/sounding/being stupid?” Force yourself to think about him, not you; make yourself consider his feelings and the things he’s saying, not yours. That way, you stop worrying about the impression you may be making and concentrate on the real point of being there – to share time with someone you like.

The irony is that both of you are with each other because you like each other. And both of you are shy because you’re worrying about the impression the other is getting of you. You don’t have to worry; he likes you! He wants to be with you! Enjoy it!

BTW – don’t make the mistake of thinking you have to be chattering all the time to enjoy yourself with someone. Obviously, long awkward silences aren’t fun but you know you’ve really hit it off when you can enjoy some quiet moments together. Practise asking and listening. Pretty soon, you’ll find yourself answering his questions with ease and you’ll wonder what all the worry was about. Good luck!

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