Shy Girls: The Complete Guide to Understanding the Quiet Ones

Many shy girls lament their lack of dating success due to their personality and its perceived shortcomings.

In defense of shy girls everywhere, this article is dedicated to them and to the men who wish to date them. As a very dominant and outgoing man, I've dated several girls who were more introverted. Combined with the experiences I've had with more introverted female friends, my findings are below.

First off, it is important to define what the term "shy" actually means in the dating world. For some girls, it means they strongly fear social interaction with men as a whole, but wish that fear wasn't there. They still would like to date men, but have strong apprehensions about the whole experience. They carry rational and/or irrational fears of men, and it affects their ability to interact with men, as they often shut down as a defense mechanism as a consequence of their fears, real or imagined.

The second group of girls who are more reluctant in the dating world are those who are shy by personality. That is they don't have excessively paralyzing fears of men, but do have high levels of an anxiety either approaching men, or having men approach them. Like girls from group number one, they wish to enter relationships with guys, but often feel overwhelmed by the task, as they feel talking to boys they do not know on a personal level quite challenging, just plain downright scary.
"Approximately 30% of Americans, men & women, are classifiable as "shy"."

Not all shy girls fit neatly into one group or the other. Some girls will be strongly in one category or the other, while others may have overlap. There are many reasons as to why a girl may be shy and hence, fit into the descriptions above. Approximately 30% of Americans (men and women, I don't have a break down by gender, nor for other countries) are classifiable as "shy". It isn't a mental illness.

It isn't something that is "wrong" with the person. The person, or for the purposes of this article, the girl, is just not naturally extroverted. Lets explore some of the reasons in detail below.

Reasons for shyness in girls:

  • The girl is born more introverted by nature. There is scientific evidence to suggest that when babies are born, they already show from an early age either extroverted or introverted personalities. Genetics play a huge role in who we are, including our mental outlook on the world from an early age.

  • The family environment the girl grows up in. Girls are socialized largely by their parents and extended family. If the family as a whole has more introverts than extroverts, they can often mimic the behavior of those they live with. If their parents or siblings aren't extroverted, they will come to view such behavior as "the way to be".

  • The girl's friends play into her world view. If a girl has more introverted friends, the collective group may not feel the need to speak with strangers or place themselves in social situations such as parties. Shy people in general, including shy girls, tend to prefer smaller groups of close friends compared to larger events with lots of strangers.

    Furthermore, a shy girl may have outgoing friends, which can sometimes unwittingly drown out the shy girl's attempts to "put herself out there". That is, when around a very extroverted friend, the shy girl may feel the need to withdraw and let the more aggressive friend take the spotlight.

  • Abusive environments may also cause shy girls to withdraw from the larger world. Girls, like guys, who are abused often find it much harder to interact with other human beings, and especially to trust them. More introverted girls may have been or currently are, subjected to abuse. Such abuse can come in verbal, sexual, emotional or physical varieties, or a combination of all forms.

  • A previously relationship(s) which ended poorly may affect a girls ability to interact with future men who come into her life.

  • There are also cultural impacts on a girl's level of social comfort in interacting with others. For instance, Latin cultures place a much higher emphasis on being outgoing than most Asian ones. Anyone who has visited an outgoing culture such as Brazil versus say an introverted country like Japan will note stark differences.

  • Physical self-doubt related to body image also factors in as to why a girl may be more reluctant to be social with others. It could be that the shy girl has a physical characteristic (birth marks, scars, bruises, uneven breasts, etc.) which she is self-conscious about, or it could be that she sees herself as less-than-beautiful in some other area.

    A girl with smaller breasts may feel she is unattractive to men, and withdraws for that reason. A girl with larger breasts may feel that if she is too outgoing, she will be perceived as "slutty". While both girls are attractive to many men (most men are far less harsh on judging a girl's body than the girl herself), the girl herself is often convinced that she is ugly, unattractive or otherwise undesirable to look at.

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When you add all of the potential reasons as to why a girl may be shy, it becomes most helpful in understanding in the shy girl becoming more self-aware of her personality, as well any man considering approaching or dating a shy girl in the dynamic of a relationship. Shy girls have their reasons for being who they are. Instead of judging their condition, it is far more important to understand the components as to why they are the way they are.

For men wishing to approach a girl who is more introverted by nature, it presents a unique challenge. Most shy girls will almost never, under the most excruciating pain, feel the desire to approach a man first. Even girls that are more extroverted in nature, as a rule, tend to prefer men who approach them first.

Once again, there are strong biological motivators that drive these forces. For the shy girls themselves, they need to set themselves up to become more approachable. For the men desiring to pursue a shy girl, they must take a different method to achieve success in flirting.

For shy girls, you must do the following:

  1. Stand in front of a full-length mirror.

    You must practice proper body language to signal to men that you wish to be approached. A poor stance looks defensive, pouty or worse yet, even "bitchy"! Most introverted girls unwittingly practice poor body language which keeps men away. The first step you must take is to throw your shoulders back. On a girl, this emphasizes her bust, which is far more attractive when your shoulders are not hunched over.

    Likewise, your head should be towards the back of your shoulders, not slouched forward. At all times, your hands should be at your sides, but not in your pockets. You should NEVER cross your arms over your chest. It is a natural instinct for people to protect their vital organs when feeling threatened. Shy girls may feel threatened by social situations and cross their arms over their breasts without even thinking about it. Unlock those arms ladies! There are only two acceptable places for your arms. One is by your sides and the other is gesturing with your hands or touching the person you are flirting with.

    As for your face, do not hesitate to smile. Smile at everyone you come in contact with, even if it doesn't come naturally to you. If you practice getting out of your comfort zone, you'll be better prepared to smile at the boys you wish to attract.

  2. Wearing proper clothing and makeup that makes you feel most confident is very important to overcoming your fears. Whatever outfits you wear which make you look and feel your best, wear them the most often. Keep in mind that form fitting dresses (doesn't have to be low-cut) and long hair are near-universally considered attractive to most men. Use makeup sparingly to cover your blemishes, but don't overdo it. When in doubt, consult with the ladies at your local department store, your female friends or fashion advice online.

  3. You must avoid getting into routines that prevent you from interacting with others. If you are shy, you may often tend towards activities which are solitary such as reading, spending excessive amounts of time on the computer or writing poetry. There are many other activities, but if you wish to meet more boys, you must be where the boys are at.

    Malls, volunteering, extra school activities, church groups, civic events, fairs, sports games, bars, dance clubs, libraries, and so many more places have boys in them. Your home does not have boys in it, last we checked. Stay away from home as much as possible to increase your odds.

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  5. If meeting men in public at first seems very scary, then you may try online dating first. Keep in mind that most sites require a minimum age of 18 to join. There are many pros and cons for online dating, of which I do not plan to discuss in detail. Please read up on them, as Google is a wonderful tool.

    For the purposes of this article, online dating does share one very valuable tool for the shy girl, especially if she has a very strong fear or apprehension of meeting new men. The ability to practice flirting and pre-screen men from the various profiles available can help you be more discerning as to what kind of men you are attracted to, and their interests as well. Starting off with a few emails, you can try your hand at starting small talk and progress from there. If you should feel comfortable enough, move on to using a web cam to see the man face-to-face.

    While certainly more personal than just an email, the webcam environment allows you to gauge a man's facial expressions and body language for when you flirt with men in real life, a very important tool.

  6. Although you may be shy, you could have a crush on a guy who is likewise less social by nature. If this is the case, you may be at a "standoff" where neither party approaches the other. If you have mutual friends, it never hurts to have them spread the word that you like the boy in question. When the word finally reaches him, he might just gather up the courage to come speak with you. If there are no mutual friends in the picture, approaching the boy may be your only option.

  7. For approaching, the idea is often frightening to many girls, even more so for those who are shy. There are many indirect ways to send interest to a guy. If you know how to find him on Facebook, you can always add him and try chatting first through that method. If the guy is truly a stranger to you, or with any man you see on the street or in a public place, flirting will have to be done via face-to-face. As before, make sure your body language is in top shape!

    The most common bad habit that shy girls need to break is to over think a first conversation with a guy. The more the shy girl thinks, the more she will talk herself out of not interacting with her crush. Inaction leads to more inaction. To break the behavior, try to stand nearby the boy as soon as you spot him. Just move, don't think! Opening lines which are simple and easy enough to deliver include, "Hi, my name is ___. I saw you standing over here and thought you were handsome. What's your name and what brings you to this place?" That's only three sentences, but it gives the guy in question confidence to know you find him attractive, he has your name and you've also given him a mutual topic in terms of location to discuss.

    If you both go to the same school, work at the same job, or otherwise always meet in the same place, you can change up this question by inserting "what do you do when you're not hanging around ____?". The shorter you can keep the initial phrases, the better. It gives the boy enough to work with, but then lets him take over the conversation for a while.

  8. Once the conversation is opened, if the guy is interested, he'll engage back. Many, many guys dislike approaching as much as girls do. While there is the chance that may get rejected, the numbers and odds are on your side if you approach enough guys. If the first guy does not say "yes", you must keep trying with more guys. Stick to the script above! Understand that guys are often insecure or shy too, meaning that they may reject you out of their own perceived weaknesses, not necessarily because of something you did or said.

    If the guy does like you and continues the conversation, keep smiling. Try to work up the courage to touch him on the arm, shoulder or back. Men like physical affection from girls they are attracted to. It gives them the confidence to continue talking to you. Also, looking down occasionally to the side while smiling, blushing or biting your lip is all shy behavior that works in your favor! Such actions are very submissive and a sign of femininity, which men react to positively. Channel your inner shy girl to your advantage. Continue the conversation until it seems to run out.

    If the boy asks you for your phone number, fantastic. If he doesn't, don't panic. He may have thought you were just being friendly, as many guys mis-read signals. A quick, "Hey, I enjoyed talking with you! We should do it again, let me give you my number." should do the trick.

  9. If you aren't comfortable with phone conversations right away, continue to text for a while until you can get a better idea about who the boy is that you are talking to. Once you discover his interests, slowly work your own life into his. As someone who is more introverted, you may be hesitant to share personal details right away. That's okay, but with time, you need to open up if you feel the guy is trustworthy. There's a fine line between being shy and being untrusting. If your gut says it is time to share, then share.
"You must avoid getting into routines that prevent you from interacting with others!"

Ladies, if you consistently come to this article and practice the advice above, I guarantee your dating success will be drastically increased. By minimizing your flaws and maximizing your strengths which are inhertent in a shy girl's personality, you will see results.

Now, it is time to talk to the men about these shy girls.

Why would like you like to date a shy girl? There are some pros and cons to dating women who are more reclusive in their worldview. Dating into the shy girl marketplace means doing so with your eyes wide open and accepting the task fully. It isn't for the fainthearted.

First off, the cons of dating shy girls:

  • The first and the most common problem of dating shy girls is that they often send out few or no signals that they are interested in being approached, even if they would you to talk to them. Throw in some poor body language and it is easy to assume that the quiet types are just plain mean or unsociable. Always assume the girl would like to be approached. Rejection is part of the process with any girl, but don't let the lack of signs of interest slow you down. If she hasn't read this article, she is likely to be unaware of her behaviors.

  • During your first several conversations, shy girls often do not help out too much with the back and forth. You will likely have to carry the day and keep the spark going. This places some pressure on you, the man. No matter what, keep plowing forward. Girls often are just every bit as scared as you, shy girls even more so. A shy girl doesn't know why someone should give her a chance, but she WANTS YOU TO BELIEVE IN HER.

  • Introverted girls who have experienced abuse, serious self-esteem or body issues often are not open about their insecurities. They may not share these feelings with you early on in a relationship, but if a girl displays signs of putting herself down or expressing excessive self-doubt, continue to reassure her. She needs to hear those words from a man that believes in her, that is, her man. That man is you.

  • A shy girl can sometimes be quite jealous, if not because she wants to be, but because she realizes that she has had a hard time finding men in the past. Whereas a more outgoing girl can flirt with men more easily, a shy girl's opportunities are fewer and far between due to her personality. In an effort to protect herself from having to search for new men, sometimes they can display controlling behavior.

    As a man, you have to set boundaries to any jealous behavior early on. You need to simultaneously reassure her of your desire to be with her, but also that in the absence of any wrongdoing on your part, that you won't tolerate any unreasonable attempts to control you.

Now, lets move on to the pros of being in a relationship with a shy girl:

  • As we've discussed previously, shy girls generally have fewer opportunities to attract men if they are exceptionally shy. When they do tend to open up to a man they trust, they tend to open up fully. This tipping point does not always come easily or quick, but once it does, there is fierce loyalty to be found in the shy girl who has found a man that is her harbor in the storm that is often her life. A self-aware shy girl realizes that she's not the easiest person to understand, but a person worth understanding nonetheless!
    "A self-aware shy girl realizes that she's not the easiest person to understand, but a person worth understanding nonetheless! "

    The key here is that shy girls often are quite talkative, deep down. They just require the man they have picked suited for this job. Being the confidant of a shy girl is a large, but honorable job. Being the active guardian of a shy girl's innermost thoughts and feelings speaks strongly to a man's sense of protecting a woman's heart and soul, not just her body.

  • Shy girls are less likely to start flirting with other men randomly. In a committed relationship, you can have a reduced worry about them chatting up random men and potentially cheating on you. They aren't inclined to do so, and this works to your advantage.

  • Shockingly, shy girls are often quite talkative once they trust you. You'd be surprised at all the things that shy girls have in their minds! Shy is not a code for for "boring". Once you engage them and gain their trust, they can often help carry conversations and bring up new topics. Because of their introverted nature, these girls are often very deep thinkers and feelers. Their strong thoughts and convictions are honed by their nature to think before speaking.

    Many shy girls are quite intellectual and even creative in their own way as a result of their personality, not in spite of it. Peeling back the layers of a shy girl is an exercise in patience, but one that has many rewards along the way.

To the man who wishes to date a shy woman, it is most important that you employ the three master "P's".

The first "P" is persistence.

You must pursue the shy girl and do not take initial reluctance of her to contribute in conversation as an absolute sign of rejection. Just keep talking! She wants you to believe in her, badly. External signs may not always be there, but if she hasn't run away screaming, just keep the peddle on the gas.

The second "P" is patience.

Because of their unique challenges to you as a man, the shy girl can sometimes test a man's willingness to invest in her, as more outgoing girls can open up more easily. Hang in there and give it time. At the point of which trust is established, your rewards will be many.

The third and final "P" is power.

As a man, do not afraid to bring a dominant personality to the table, or at least slightly more so than the shy girl, if you are a shy guy. Most girls wish men to take the lead, but the introverted girl much more so. You have to be that magnet that pulls her out of her shell, attracts her to you and ultimately keeps her attracted to you. Be that man in her life, a powerful man.


In closing, shy girls are often misunderstood. The most outgoing girls tend to make it on to television and other popular media. While the world zips by, the quiet girls are often overlooked. If you wish to discover a gem, sometimes it is necessary to dig. For those girls that are shy, work on stepping outside of your comfort zone. For those men who are attracted to shy types, master the three "P's" and your success with this group of women will be astounding.

Few men have the insight of what you now have as to the inner lives of the shy girl. May your search for fortune find you your own personal gem, that is, the girl with the slight smile who would like nothing better than for you to come over and say "hi". Claim that gem as your own.


Most Helpful Girl

  • Wow, I just found out about this article, but as a shy girl myself-- this is what really explains us! Most of us shy girls just way too aware of ourselves and we just need someone who can be persistant enough to keep showing us some reassure that they're really interested.

    I also been trying to send off some subtle signals to my crush who is so outgoing, but the point is; he might not notice it. I've been randomly striking up some short convos and try to stay around him but never touch him by my own hands, I tap him by my phone case most of the times... Sighs


Most Helpful Guy

  • The thing I love about a shy girl is seeing her become happier in life, I approach her with a smile while she is with her friends (it's more comfortable for her), and ask her If she mind if I sit next to her, because I'm muscular and social I'm mostly scary to them it's easier for her if I sit down and I start a little conversation so she knows I'm not mocking her, tell her she looks nice, ask her name, and I'll keep talking till she trusts me I don't care how long it takes. girl like that are gold


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What Girls Said 55

  • I'm not trying to rag on your article at all, I just wish people understood the difference. When you state that some introverted girls may be that way due to abuse, I took offense. Perhaps shy, withdrawn people could have issues stemming from an abusive past, but introverts/extroverts brains are literally different and it's just the way they approach life.

    • I truly agree. I'm introvert myself but it doesn't scared the shit out of me if a guy approaches me or I don't sweat head to toes before approaching one I never talked to before. It's my own choice to keep my things to myself & go straight on life in peace without the hubbub of most of the time frivolous chat. Cheers to u som!

  • Love love love this article! Same as one of the other commenters, I am very talkative to my friends and I'm usually just a bit shy in meeting new people, but I get anxious and scared in meeting attractive guys. I definitely think this article should be read by everyone. Very informative and helps immensely. Thanks a lot and you've definitely changed my thinking. Will keep in mind the things you've mentioned.

  • @Moloch That's why you have to take the risk and approach the girl, because if she is shy, like I am, then she might come off as not liking you or ignoring you. I have a huge problem of making my crushes think I don't like them. The best way to talk to a shy girl is over fb, get to know her, and then make her feel comfortable around you in person. & signs that shy girls like you: her friends talk to you, she stares at you a lot, is always around you, tries to look like she doesn't like you, etc.

  • Well... I did learn a few things I guess. Yeah... I'm. A shy girl too which I ready knew. But not all of us are "lamenting" about not dating. I'm not lamenting sh! t. I'm in no hurry to be in a relationship. When it happens it happens, and I'm sure it will eventually. I'm n planning on graduating and beginning a career first. But that doesn't mean I won't go out on dates before then if it feels right to do so.

  • Please show me the research/article stating that. As someone studying psychology under great professors, it has been made clear how distinct they are. Shy people may have certain social anxieties keeping them from doing what they want socially, while new research shows that introverted people's brains function differently, in that they get so much stimulus from the inside, they prefer to be alone or with close friends. It's a personality, not a problem.

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What Guys Said 61

  • somnambulated,

    If there's any additional reading in the form of links that you'd like to share related to this subject, that would be wonderful. I agree with you more than you realize. I often believe that many people who are classified as "shy" are often stigmatized because they aren't as outgoing as some of the rest of us and it is considered a "problem". I think we're in strong agreement on that one.

  • All more "quiet" types should read up on the subject and determine if they just express a nature desire to be in more controlled environments compared to more outgoing personalities, or if they have a genuine, irrational fear of interacting with other people. Just because a fear is irrational doesn't mean it isn't very real to the person suffering from it. That being said, the overwhelming majority of shy and/or introverted people do not suffer from SAnD.

  • Shy girls are often easier to land for shy guys, I think. The reason being, they aren't as intimidating as compared to the more loud, outgoing types. The fact that she is perhaps shy is something you can relate to and connect with her nervousness about the whole deal. There's nothing keeping two shy people from connecting. When the time is right, I wish you good fortune.

  • Social anxiety disorder (SAnD) does affect some very introverted people in a way actually becomes harmful in a way that seriously affects their ability to have a social life. This is a medical condition that needs treatment, which is vastly different from someone that prefers to be alone or with close friends just by preference. One is something that requires medical attention, the other one is just brain wiring and personal preference.

  • somnambulated,

    Absolutely, brain wiring plays a massive role in how people see in the world in a variety of ways, including their approach to social situations. That being said, an average or even outgoing girl (or guy, or even an abused animal) can be withdrawn after being abused. It is important to note that this is not a choice on the part of the individual.

    I strongly believe there is nothing "wrong" with being shy or introverted.

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