shygirl1Shyness can be an attribute or a struggle. The trick is teaching yourself how to not react to anxiety.

Dear Dr Frankie:

I am extremely shy around women that I’m attracted to; so shy in fact that I will go out of my way to avoid them. Any advice on what I can do to stop this crazy behaviour?

-Shy Girl


Dear Shy Girl:

Of course, we’re going to be nervous in front of our objects of affection: There’s a lot at stake!

Social anxiety (shyness) is quite common. When we open our hearts, we’re vulnerable. And while vulnerability is necessary for growth, conquering shyness takes time to get accustomed to the sensation and understand how we react to it.

Dating for shy women can feel like navigating a tough mudder competition; initially agonizing with lots of electric fences and freefalls along the way.  The hope is that there is a bountiful reward waiting for you at the end of the course.  Most people want companionship, but the urge to avoid the anxiety that accompanies dating often derails one’s desire to jump into the dating scene.

Conquering your shyness is about “testing the waters.”

·     Make a list of specific behaviours that make you feel shy (ie:  saying hello, making eye contact, etc) when engaging with another woman.

·     Rate your anxiety level on a scale of 1-10 (10 being highest).

For example, your list might look like this:

·     Smiling and making eye contact  (4)

·     Saying Hi (5)

· Asking her 1 question (6)

· Asking her what she does in her free time (7)

After making the list, test out one of the behaviours. Start with a lesser anxiety-provoking behaviour, such as making eye contact. Then slowly work up the hierarchy of behaviours that make you anxious over time to reduce your anxiety as you expose yourself to the situation. Look at it as a behavioural experiment.  The goal here is to slowly expose yourself to situations that make you anxious.  Exposure will help desensitize you to anxiety.