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how does one overcome shyness in meeting someone

(16 Posts)
evuscha Sat 06-Dec-14 22:14:02

Strange question maybe but I am hoping there are introverts out here and will come along with some happy stories and tips.

Basically, I am an introvert and it is proving a huge obstacle in meeting the right guy for me. I am generally quite shy until I get more comfortable around someone so of course if you need to make that great first impression on a first date, it kind of rules me out. I find it hard to find things to talk about with a new person and I am not my usual self. So I get the usual - those that I am interested in are not interested in me (because they expect a quiet maybe a bit boring person) and I get approached by those that I don´t like (either the "quiet boring types" as well or just those who expect someone "obedient" I guess).

It has always been the case for me I guess - even at work I was always a bit quiet at first when I started a new job, gradually got more comfortable around people and shown my real self (sense of humour, talking quite a lot etc) and people would always comment how they would "never expect me to be like this". I am otherwise happy with my life, confident, good career, great friends etc., no real bad relationships behind me. It used to be easier for me in terms of meeting guys and relationships when I was younger though - now I am almost 28 and after a few rejections based on this I am becoming less and less confident in this respect.

The most recent case was this guy from online dating that I met - we got on so well when texting, but then we met and it was quite awkward - both of us are introverts and so we found it hard to keep the conversation going. After that he basically said he find me very amusing when texting but didnt enjoy the date as I was very shy (so was he!!). It made me so sad, perhaps not even because of him but in general - it tells me I will never meet someone compatible because I am unable to show my real personality in the first stages.

I am reading the Quiet book which rings a lot of bells, but I was interested in your experience and ideas, lovely mumsnetters. If you are like me, how did you manage to meet your DH? I guess online dating is not a good idea? Should I just rely on work? Or should I just get drunk at all the first dates to be more relaxed and fun? grin Any positive words of advice will be much appreciated, 2014 was really rubbish for me relationship-wise so would like to do my best to make 2015 a good one.

HumblePieMonster Sat 06-Dec-14 22:47:43

Will watch this thread with interest...

evuscha Sat 06-Dec-14 22:58:49

Thanks, I hope someone comes along with advice smile

DollyRocker1 Sat 06-Dec-14 23:02:23

Hi evuscha,

Firstly just to say that everyone finds online dating daunting, even more confident folk. It is nerve wracking meeting someone for the first time. It may have been that you just didn't really click with this guy in real life even though text/email conversation was flowing. It happens and I don't think chemistry and rapport can be forced. I'm quite a chatty person and can fill silences but when it's not there the date can still feel awkward. One tip i would have is to make eye contact. I had one date where the guy kept looking away or at his food and I found that challenging. There is a dating thread where we share experiences. You're very welcome to join us.

evuscha Sat 06-Dec-14 23:13:04

Thank you so much DollyRocker1! Yes this guy kept looking away and was very shy himself which didn´t help. I guess it was a chemistry thing as well in the end, even though he said (in a text haha) how pretty and sweet I was otherwise.
I have rejected a few quiet guys myself during this year and maybe this is my punishment now. Or maybe I just havent met the right person yet but I am just getting more doubting if I ever will sad

Drumdrum60 Sun 07-Dec-14 00:27:40

Just an idea but do you have any interests ? I think you need to get to know someone first then that lovely personality can shine through. Join a sports,arts,music or whatever group and see what happens.

CogitOIOIO Sun 07-Dec-14 00:55:58

Agree with the PP. If you relate to people better once you get to know them, then online dating is not going to be the right 'shop window' for you. Group activities where you get to know people in a relaxed way and have shared interests is going to be a lot less stressful.

evuscha Sun 07-Dec-14 07:54:52

I know what you mean, I was thinking about it that online dating is probably not for me (although isn't it supposed to be helping shy people) but thought it would be a good way to expand the circle of men I can potentially meet. I do have interests but not really group activities - will have to think about it

Existentialcrisis Sun 07-Dec-14 08:14:24

I was exactly like you describe. I met my partner through online dating but it was after a lot of other dates where I was too awkward to be myself and lacked confidence. I think as an introvert it can take longer to find the right person. I found that a lot of men were put off by my shyness but that just told me they weren't worth my time if they weren't prepared to patient with me and not judge a book by its cover.
I suffer with social anxiety and it takes me a really long time to feel comfortable around new people.
I knew I needed to meet someone who would give me that time who was empathetic, if my partner hadn't shown that he wouldn't be right for me. I was honest upfront about my challenges to help him understand, otherwise maybe some of my signals could have been misinterpreted, maybe I would come across as not interested, cold, or boring like you mentioned.
I also actively sought out profiles on the dating site that I thought would be more caring and understanding, my partners dating profile showed that he had a degree in psychology so I thought he would be more aware and understanding of people's layers (that's not to say that all students of psychology are but it's an indication) that was only after some early wrong turns. I think you can do this If you trust your instinct, the photos for example can tell you a lot about a person. Pm me if you like.
Hope this helps and good luck. Xxx

MrsMerrywinkle Sun 07-Dec-14 08:17:07

Years ago I would have written your post word for word, but these days I don't label myself as introverted - I'm just me.

What I've found useful is getting involved in lots of different activities. I'm not a natural mixer or group person but have just gone along to things (Have you read' Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway'?) - choir, animal charity, gym, dancing (google ceroc). Most people are there on their own and doing something physical/a shared interest means there's something to talk about/ask questions about. I've found most peole like to talk about themselves.

I'm much older than you, but am wanting a new relationship but expect to find this via RL (one of my activities) rather than OD which hasn't worked for me either. Being involved in things also makes you a more interesting person.

RaspberryGirl Sun 07-Dec-14 13:12:19

I have no advice although I could have written your post pretty much word for word. I have been described as being "quiet" for years (mainly by people who don't know me well). I'm fine with people I know well but sometimes with new people I often think they think I'm rude / boring.

I recently went on a few dates with someone and he told me that he couldn't work me out and I didn't instigate conversations. I felt I did, so I'm a bit confused He then disappeared so the whole thing has made me feel worse than I already did. I'd like to think that maybe we just didn't click rather than me having a deep seated inability to converse with people! I'm going down the route that he was a bit of an idiot if he didn't even have the decency to let me know he wasn't interested. Onwards!

I am going to check out the book you've linked up thread. I hope things work out for you on the man front. I've recently stopped online dating and have signed up for 'Meet Ups'. I'd recommend them and have found it has really helped my social life and gets me out and about a bit more.

MadeMan Sun 07-Dec-14 20:05:30

"...otherwise maybe some of my signals could have been misinterpreted, maybe I would come across as not interested, cold... "

Yep that's usually how shy people come across to me and unless I know that they are shy, it can be like trying to get blood out of a stone; really, really hard work sometimes.

NotQuiteCockney Sun 07-Dec-14 20:08:43

Did you talk to this guy about your shyness before you met up? I think it's wise to say (by text, beforehand) that you are a bit shy, and can take time to warm up to someone, but ask him to be patient, maybe?

evuscha Sun 07-Dec-14 21:32:45

Thank you so much everyone for your responses, it is really so helpful! I will definitely check out the book MrsMerrywinkle mentioned and I will also redo my profile a bit to let the guys know I am a bit shy so that they don´t expect loud entertainment on the first date. It is also a good idea to discuss it beforehand and to basically be prepared that the date might be awkward. I seem to forget that being shy can be easily mistaken for not being interested so it is wise to let people know. Meet Ups are also a great idea.

By the way RaspberryGirl something similar happend to me in past as well - disappearing, implying I wasn´t making a conversation even if I did - I think "Onwards!" is the right approach. At the end of the day we really didn´t click with these people and we are probably well rid of them - I´ve read far too many threads on mumsnet to even want to consider someone who would make me feel like that in the early stages of dating... I can also sympathize with the "being described as quiet mainly by people who don't know me well" - it annoys me although I know it is true...

NotQuiteCockney oh and about this particular guy, I didn´t discuss this with him beforehand but I did explain him my reasons afterwards (I was tired and jetlagged after a long flight the day before, plus I take time to warm up to people) and although he was understanding, it didnt change his opinion about that date. Not that he made it easier - he was more shy than me, yet tried to put all the blame on me, like I was supposed to entertain him while he didnt even look at me most of the time. So I guess it is a combination of me and him being shy / him not being very experienced with girls and relationships / us just not clicking / him just not being into me. Makes me wonder if I should go more for extrovert guys as at least it wouldnt get this awkward as when we are both shy. Or maybe it is really just the case of chemistry and with the right person the conversation would be flowing, introverts or not...

DollyRocker1 Sun 07-Dec-14 21:44:43

Evuscha this sounds like a great plan of action. I think when we meet the right person the conversation will flow well irrespective of whether they are shy, loud or somewhere in between. So probably best not to try to overthink things. A friend who met her husband online went on over 30 dates so it can take a while to find that person you click with. I'm meeting my no 6 tomorrow.

evuscha Sun 07-Dec-14 21:57:37

Good luck DollyRocker1!! 30 is a lot (I have met about 5 as well, 2 of them I briefly dated but it didn´t work out)...but I am not suprised, it takes a lot to meet that right guy unless one is very lucky. I will try not to overthink things - which is going to be hard considering I am a master of overthinking grin (well I did make a whole thread based on something some incompatible guys told me so there we go)

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