Despite major strides in equality, men are still expected to be confident, powerful pursuers. Shy guys are often overlooked, even by women who are otherwise willing to make the first move. Many shy guys have been shy since childhood, and overcoming shyness altogether is difficult or even impossible. Instead of trying to overcome your shyness, learn to work around it by approaching women in situations that provide better odds for success.
According to Dr. Bernardo Carducci, director of the Shyness Research Institute at Indiana University Southeast, in an article on the Psychology Today website, shyness is generally acquired through life circumstances. However, it seems to be driven by neurobiological processes in the brain. Some people are what Carducci terms shy extroverts, who are capable of performing flawlessly in their area of expertise, but are painfully shy in unscripted social situations. Shyness is often self-perpetuating, as it can lead to painful outcomes such as being ignored or even ostracized, making the shy person even less likely to make an extroverted move the next time.
In an article for PsychCentral, Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker points out that apparent shyness might also be indicative of a treatable condition such as social phobia, depression or a lack of social skills. If your shyness is pervasive, affecting areas of your life beyond dating, consider seeking the advice of a qualified therapist.
According to research conducted by relationship writer Sophia Dembling, it is easiest to meet people when you do not specifically set out to meet them. (See Reference 3) You might meet people just by attending church or another faith-based community event or joining a volunteer organization. The goal is to look for possible dates in a place and situation where you are already comfortable, rather than putting yourself in unfamiliar circumstances to find a date.
An extension of daily life, classes provide the opportunity to meet like-minded people while learning a new skill. Ballroom dance classes and theater classes promote socialization through frequent rotation of partners. If you are technically minded, take a computer class. If you enjoy literature, take an English class or sign up for a book club. A class provides fodder for conversation, an excuse for study dates and the opportunity to watch a potential love interest interact with others before making the decision to ask her out.
While classes give you the chance to learn something new, hobbies allow you to pursue your ongoing interests. Whether you prefer fishing or rock climbing, video gaming or gallery openings, join a group that is dedicated to your passion. Group outings provide a safe excuse to talk to the girl you like without trying to think of something to say. Ask her to show you a new move or offer to help her with something that seems to be eluding her. People love to talk about themselves and their passions, so a simple conversation during a group event could easily lead to continuing your conversation over coffee that evening.