When you are shy, you experience everything from butterflies to extreme forms of nervousness and anxiety, such as headaches, nausea and perspiration. While shyness can be debilitating in many social situations, trying to talk to a guy you like can be like trying to give a speech in front of thousands of people. In fact, your mind and your body may kick into "fight or flight" mode and urge you to escape as soon as possible. But if you flee, you may miss the chance to get to know someone you may actually like and enjoy having in your life. Shyness can seem overwhelming, but you do not have to allow it to determine your choices in social situations. Even small steps can help you to connect relationally with other people.
Focus your attention on him. Work on putting him at ease and learning more about him rather than on calming your own nerves. Gary Chapman, in "The Five Love Languages for Singles," stresses that even though shyness can be detrimental in interpersonal relationships, you can make small steps toward growth and change.
Ask respectful questions about his interests and pursuits, seeking to keep your questions open-ended and to make appropriate eye contact to show him that you are listening. Open-ended questions cannot be answered with a "yes" or "no" and invites the other person to share more about himself and his thoughts, feelings and experiences.
Introduce topics in which you both share common interest or experiences, such as attending the same school or enjoying the same type of music. Encourage the other person to share his ideas and reflections on the topic, and then seek to share at least one thought or feeling of your own in return. If helpful, take time beforehand to consider and to practice what you might say.
Look for opportunities to share in an activity together, such as taking a hike, playing racquetball or serving in a local food pantry. Gary Smalley, in "Secrets To Lasting Love: Uncovering The Keys To Lifelong Intimacy,"explains that men more often bond emotionally and relationally through shared activity. Finding ways to work or play together may help both of you to begin to connect.
Be honest about your shyness with the guy that you like. Judith Kuriansky, in "The Complete Idiot's Guide to Dating," explains that when you confess to someone that you are shy, then that person will not misread you. His response to your admission of shyness will also help you to know whether you really want to know him better.
Try role playing and practicing talking with the guy with a good friend or a trusted family member. Even though the situation will not feel the same, and may even seem comical, the experience will actually help you to feel more comfortable when you are seeking to do the real thing.
Do not ridicule yourself or put yourself down because of your struggle with shyness. Every person has challenges and handicaps they face in life, some of which are obvious to others and some of which are not. Relaxing about your shyness will help you to connect more genuinely with other people.