"Flirting is a key step toward initiating a date," Dr. Sean Horan, a faculty member in the College of Communication at DePaul University, tells "Psychology Today" magazine. Alas, shyness, social anxiety and the fear of rejection can make it difficult, if not almost impossible, for a shy guy to break the ice and flirt with someone. Don't give up hope as you enviously watch your outgoing buddies work a crowd! Several flirting tips can help you initiate a conversation and express your romantic interest, even for the most shy and subdued among us.
Put It in Her Court
When you're a shy guy, "putting yourself out there" in the flirting game often gives you the chills. At their core, it's often hard for shy people to open up and initiate a conversation due to a fear of failure or rejection. In essence, breaking the ice "gives the other person all of the 'power and 'influence' in the situation," writes psychologist Jeremy Nicholson for "Psychology Today" magazine. Instead of trying to flirt by opening up about yourself and attempting to impress someone, ease into the conversation by asking questions or asking a favor. For example, you could say, "I like that dress, where did you buy it from?" This requires the other person to invest into the conversation first, and can work as just the ice breaker you're looking for to overcome your hesitation. Pairing your question with a compliment doesn't hurt, either.
Employ Food or Drinks
If you're at a restaurant or bar and see someone that you want to get to know more, try sending over a drink or a plate of appetizers to the person's table. Generosity is a nice token that can help spark interest in the other person. Plus, sending over food or drinks requires no immediate physical or verbal contact, which often gives shy guys cold feet before they even start flirting. If the person responds back with favorable body language, such as smiling or waving, that may help provide the boldness you need to overcome any fears of failure or rejection.
Go Somewhere Loud
The flirting cat got your tongue? Head somewhere loud, such as a sports bar or a busy restaurant. “Being in a noisy environment might be surprisingly better for a shy guy,” dating Richard La Ruina tells "Men's Health" magazine. The loud environment means you can rule out those long, complex conversations, and flirt with your body language, instead. For example, smile a lot, make direct eye contact, lean forward and occasionally touch the other person's should or arm. As your body does the talking successfully, the boost in confidence can help loosen your words for anything else that may happen later in the evening.
Recruit Your Friends
Do you have outgoing friends? Recruit a few of them to help you throw a party, or bring them with you as wingmen or wingwomen when you're invited to a social event. Their only task? Introduce you to people and talk you up, mentioning one or two positive things about you. This overcomes two hurdles that shy guys often struggle with: initiating conversations and opening up about their positive qualities.