How to Not Be Shy With Your Girlfriend

by Mitch Reid

Roughly 40 percent of adults in America report chronic shyness, according to So realize that you are not alone in your social fears. However, when it comes to relationships, your fear of speaking up could lead to miscommunication or even feelings of isolation. Several strategies can help you overcome shyness and connect with your significant other on a deeper level.

Practice breathing techniques before or while spending time with your partner. Shyness is often accompanied by an increase in heart rate and blood pressure during social encounters. You can reduce both of these by taking slow, deep breaths from your abdomen. On each exhale, say “Relax” or “Easy.” Do this until you feel yourself relax.

Rehearse your words beforehand. Prepare a mental "script" ahead of time to help direct the flow of conversation. While the conversation might not follow your exact outline, it can provide you with topics to chat about. For example, if you and your girlfriend both enjoy sports, engage her with news about last night’s game and plan to transition that conversation into a chat about weekend plans.

Shift your focus from yourself to your girlfriend. Shyness often involves the feeling that those around you are overanalyzing your actions. Rather than focusing on yourself, direct your attention to your girlfriend. Admire details of her appearance and listen closely to her words. For example, if she tells a story about her day, try to envision the scenes in her head. This will also better prepare you to ask questions or make comments.

Ask questions if there’s a lull in the conversation. These questions can be as simple as “How was your day?” Follow up her response, rather than letting it fall flat. Look for ways to relate to her answer or inquire further. Remember this is a conversation, not an interrogation scene, so don’t only ask questions.

Accept your imperfections. No matter how cautious you are or how much you stick to your comfort zones, you’re bound to make a fool of yourself on occasion. Understand that this is entirely human. Instead of negative self-talk, view your imperfections as opportunities to grow or at least laugh.

Give yourself permission to be silly. Many women find men with a sense of humor to be more intelligent and more suited for a long-term relationship. So, use your imperfections and embarrassing moments as opportunities for humor. For example, during an awkward silence, playfully admit, “As you can see, I’m a great conversationalist.”

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  • When making jokes at your own expense, don't be too hard on yourself. The aim is to make your girlfriend laugh, not pity you.

About the Author

Mitch Reid has been a writer since 2006. He holds a fine arts degree in creative writing, but has a persistent interest in social psychology. He loves train travel, writing fiction, and leaping out of planes. His written work has appeared on sites such as and GlobalPost, and he has served as an editor for ebook publisher Crescent Moon Press, as well as academic literary journals.

Photo Credits

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