What To Do When You’re Too Shy To Initiate The First Step

There can be nothing harder than initiating the first step. Opening yourself up to the chance of rejection is quite scary, but it should also be exciting.

We’ve all been there; you like someone but you’re not sure if they like you back. You might have tried dropping subtle hints but they’re not picking up on them so you’re left with two options.

Either not say anything, whilst silently liking someone who doesn’t know how you feel or tell them how you feel by making the first move.

Sounds simple right? Well, sometimes no amount of confidence can make initiating the first step any easier.

What if they don’t like you back? What if it ruins your friendship? What if you’re left feeling embarrassed and mortified in front of everyone?

Being shy can be crippling, you want to do things but there’s a part of you that holds you back, you hate being the center of attention and you find it hard to act on how you feel.

But it’s actually more common than you think; we can all feel shy in various degrees or situations. Luckily there are simple steps you can take to make initiating the first step a little bit easier.

What to do if it’s someone you know

couple talking

You might know someone, maybe a friend or a colleague, who you have developed feelings for but you’re not sure if they feel the same.

Telling a friend you like them can be difficult even if you aren’t shy because there’s a chance they might not feel the same way back, which could jeopardize your friendship.

You can try and use subtle techniques to work out how they feel but there’s a chance you still might not know exactly how they feel.

You never know, they might like you but think you don’t feel the same way. How long are you going to spend trying to second guess someone else’s feelings?

When it’s someone you know, the best thing to do is be open, honest and completely truthful. Sit them down in a quiet setting, where it’s just the two of you and tell them exactly how you feel.

Don’t waste any time skirting around the subject or talking about other things, you should just get straight to the point. Honesty is the best policy in this situation!

Dealing with their response

And when it comes to what they say back, they could feel the same way which is great.

But if they don’t feel the same way, and they are a true friend to you, they won’t make you feel embarrassed or ashamed for feeling the way you do.

They will be understanding and considerate when explaining their own feelings as you have explained yours.

If you are still afraid to tell someone you know you like them, you need to ask yourself what will be harder to live with; knowing you never told them you liked them, potentially having to watch them with someone else in the future or taking a risk and going after what you want.

What will you regret more? Knowing you tried everything or knowing you did nothing?

What to do if it’s someone you don’t know

couple talking

We’ve all been out and seen someone for the first time and felt a jolt of attraction, whether it’s in a club, in a coffee shop or on the train.

Whatever the location, sometimes you meet a stranger, feel a connection and want to act on it and start flirting.

If you’re shy, approaching a stranger and making the first move can be incredibly difficult. First of all, try and connect using eye contact and then flash them a flirty look and smile to show you’re interested.

But what if this isn’t possible? He could be distracted and not look in your direction, which gives you all the more reason to initiate the first step.

It’s important to remember, men are often used to making the first move. Just like you, they are scared of rejection and embarrassment, and sometimes are unsure how to approach a woman.

You are exactly the same as them so you shouldn’t feel like it’s their job to make the first move.

It can be nice to feel whisked off your feet like in romance films by an old-school romantic, but not everything is like a movie.

You never know they could have seen you but are avoiding saying anything in case you are not interested; so if you like someone, just tell them!

Confidence is attractive, sexy and powerful. It shows you know what you want and are not afraid to go after it.

A woman who approaches a man stands out; it’s going to show him that you are brave, outgoing and direct which are all incredibly attractive traits.

You should remember men can often get tired of being expected to make the first move, which makes it all the more attractive when you take the initiative and walk over to him to introduce yourself.

If he’s with a group of friends, you might find it more comfortable to wait until his friends are gone to go over and introduce yourself; nothing can be more intimidating than approaching a massive group and watching as their conversation dies off as they turn to look at you.

Being forward and making the first move means you are in control of the situation. It can be scary but isn’t it better to know instead of standing around trying to subtly catch his attention?

Dealing with their response

Remember, he’s either going to be attracted to you and attracted to your new found confidence which is a win. And if he isn’t interested, you need to remind yourself, it’s likely you’ll never even see them again so really what is there to lose?

Maybe he’s already with someone so isn’t looking to date anyway? In this case, the best thing you can do is stay confident and strong. Flash him a big smile, tell him to have a good day and slowly walk away.

Avoid letting your embarrassment show because that’s when it starts to feel awkward; if your cheeks turn bright red, you suddenly avoid eye contact and then practically run away, the whole experience will be far more uncomfortable than it needs to be. Whatever his response, keep your head up, maintain eye contact and stay confident.

Finally, you need to remind yourself that you are a catch so if it doesn’t work out with one person, then don’t be deterred from opening up to someone else in the future. The right person will be out there for you, and you might just find him that little bit quicker if you take control and use all your confidence to go after who you want!


About the author

Alexandra Davis

Living in the heart of London, Alexandra is currently studying journalism at City University. Self-confessed lipstick addict, puppy lover, horse rider and designer handbag enthusiast, she enjoys writing for a range of fashion and beauty magazines.

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