If you’re single and looking to meet someone, there are tons of opportunities nowadays. From bars to dating apps and even the classic blind date. But no matter the means, if you struggle with understanding how to flirt when you’re shy or introverted, taking that first step can feel impossible.
Have you ever missed out on a potential date because you were too nervous to approach your crush? Does it make you feel anxious just watching a friend hit on someone?
Are you already dreading your next night out? If you answered yes to any or all of these questions, then this is the article for you.
Why flirting is so important when you’re shy
When you’re shy, flirting can seem like the scariest thing in the world. Not only are you putting yourself out there and talking to someone you don’t know, but you have no clue what will happen.
I get the fear. In fact, I’ve lived it. And because flirting is so scary when you’re shy, it is the exact reason why it is so important.
I repeatedly told myself for years that I was good at opening up to people I know but not to new people. I always wanted to skip the flirting and first few dates and get into the comfortable part of a relationship ASAP.
But, learning how to flirt when you’re shy is the best way to break down those walls. It is a great way to have fun getting to know someone. It doesn’t have to be intimidating.
Think of flirting as gently showing your interest in someone. It doesn’t have to be such a big deal. It doesn’t mean you have to share a drink, go home with them, or even ask them out.
Flirting is just talking to someone you’re attracted to. It gives you a chance to warm up to someone without the seriousness of an official date. It is actually the ideal way for a shy person to enter into dating.
Instead of asking someone out off the bat, you tiptoe into that zone. You get to take your time laughing and sharing funny anecdotes. Flirting gives you a chance to get to know someone without being rejected.
But, with that, I know it still seems intimidating to go up and talk to a total stranger. So, you can take baby steps.
How to flirt when you’re shy
Other than continuing to roll your eyes at your outgoing friends’ advice like “just face your fears” and “what’s the worst that could happen?” there are other ways of getting someone’s attention that doesn’t include attacking your worst nightmare head-on.
Here are some intriguing, yet subtle ways, to catch someone’s eye that isn’t as intimidating as making the first move verbally. Plus, these nuances offer the bonus of a little mystery, which always inspires a flare of romantic intrigue.
#1 Wear your confidence on your sleeve. People generally take notice of those who are self-assured. You may be shy or nervous, but by owning your personality, quirks and all, you’re already one step closer to sparking that special someone’s interest.
Not to mention, even faking a bit of confidence can actually lead to you feeling that much more unstoppable. Look in the mirror before going out one night and don’t pick apart your body or your outfit. Look at yourself with pride.
Feeling good in your own skin, even with friends that you trust, emits a persona of confidence that is hard to ignore.
#2 Make eye contact. This may seem basic, but it is probably the most effective when it comes to body language. By simply making eye contact with whoever you want to meet, you’ve already done half the work without saying a word.
Want to double up on this subtlety? Add a smile into your look to kick it up a notch, and reassure this person that you are in fact flirting with them. This alone will likely lead to them approaching you, and removing the base of fear on your part.
If they make the first move, all you have to do is respond.
#3 Brush against them. Sometimes being too subtle just isn’t enough for people. It is possible that the person you’re trying to send a message to hasn’t yet read your clues, or they’re simply just as nervous as you are.
To remove any doubt that they may be rejecting you, try something just a touch bolder. Depending on the social situation, walk by and lightly graze their arm, shoulder, or any other appropriate body part. A gentle touch like that can be more telling than a thousand words.
#4 Send them something. Now we are throwing it back to 90’s sitcoms when a guy would send a girl a drink from across the bar. If you’re worried your subtle messages aren’t translating into a two-way flirtation, step up your game.
If you’re at a bar, restaurant, coffee shop, etc. have the waiter or bartender bring them a drink or something a bit more unique, maybe a side of fries? This is still less intimidating than actually introducing yourself with no icebreaker, but it is a surefire way to amp up the stakes without the fear of face-to-face rejection.
If someone sent you a side of fries from across the bar, wouldn’t you want to talk to them?
#5 Give them your number. Take it another step further and make sure they know you’re interested. Write down your name and number and hand it to them. Better yet, have the waiter or bartender do so if doing it yourself is still too forward. This way you’ll know for sure if they want to take flirting to the next level.
I once wanted to give my number to a guy that worked at a clothing store, but he got busy after helping me. I didn’t want to regret not letting him know I was interested, so I asked a coworker of his to give him my number. It worked!
He texted me less than 20 minutes later. Sometimes taking the shy approach to flirting can be even more beneficial than going straight in for the kill.
#6 Risk it. Just because you’re shy doesn’t mean it is your entire identity. You can take risks and make the first move even though you’re shy.
Make sure not to overthink it. Just relax and have fun. Take a deep breath or a shot if you need it and introduce yourself. You can be classic and say something like, “Hi, I couldn’t help but notice you and had to introduce myself,” or complement their outfit, hair, smile, or anything.
You don’t have to be outgoing, bold, or an extrovert to master flirting. Just be yourself. Not every attempt at flirting will end happily ever after, but each time you try you’ll get better and better at it.
You can learn how to flirt when you’re shy with a little confidence, boldness, and hope. Hopefully, with these tips, you can learn to embrace your shyness. Stop losing out!