How To Ask A Guy Out When You’re Shy

It can be easy to assume that only the bold, extroverted women are the ones taking initiative. If you think about your friends who actually ask guys out, they’re probably the least introverted you know. Truth is, everyone has some anxiety and fear when it comes to making the first move. Just because you’re shy, that doesn’t mean you should skip asking someone out. It just means that you might want to take a more subtle approach than some kind of bold move. Here’s how to ask a guy out when you’re shy and some strategies for finally getting the guy you want, all on your own. Asking someone out takes courage. You’ve got this.

  1. Practice with a trusted friend. If you have no idea what you’re doing (and that’s okay–no one is born knowing how to ask someone out) you should practice first. Get together with a friend or two and practice what you plan to say to the guy you like. There’s a chance how you see it going in your head won’t actually translate to real life. Just make sure you’re practicing with a friend who has experience and will be nice if they have any constructive criticism. The more you practice, the better prepared you will be. They might even bring up scenarios you never would have considered.
  2. Take a deep breath and count to 10. When it’s time to actually approach someone and ask them out, take a pause to get centered. Nervousness and anxiety can show up in your posture, the way you talk, and how your face is set. By taking a few deep breaths and counting to ten, you can help drastically reduce your anxiety right on the spot. It’ll make it much more likely that you’ll get the kind of response you’re hoping for.
  3. A smile goes a long way. Smiles are magic. When you smile, you’re not only putting the people around you at ease, but it’s boosting your own mood as well. So as you approach your crush, give a big smile. It’ll help your worry not show on your face. Here’s a tip: Don’t practice the perfect smile. Anything less than genuine will come off as weird.
  4. Be specific about what you want. If you’re going into this with the goal to ask someone out, your nervousness might lead you to think that you should be vague. If you just say “hang out” then it won’t feel so bad if you get rejected. The problem is that vagueness can cause more anxiety down the line. You might worry that he doesn’t know it’s a date. Instead, be clear. Use words like “date” and “go out.” This will also be greatly appreciated by the one you’re asking out, especially if he’s shy as well.
  5. Be honest about your nervousness. If you find it tough to ask a guy out as a shy woman, why not say so? If you still can’t shake your shy nervousness, stop trying to hide it. Just smile and say, “oof, I’m nervous.” Everyone feels anxious sometimes, and pretending you don’t is unrealistic. Plus, you want to go into a new relationship with the other person knowing your quirks. There’s a very good chance the guy will find this endearing. And if he thinks it’s lame, you’re dodging a bullet anyway.
  6. Ask out anyone you can so you get used to it. The more you do something, the better you get at it. Remember that scene in The Duff when Wesley encourages Bianca to ask out a dozen guys in one afternoon at the mall? It sounds like torture, but desensitizing yourself to interactions and rejections is a major boon. If you really want to conquer your shyness, this is the way to do it.
  7. Fake it ’til you make it. If nothing else is working, or you’re not keen on the idea of announcing your nervousness, fake it ’til you make it. If you think you can be convincing, just pretend that you’re not shy. Act as you think you would if you didn’t have anxiety. You could even use your friends as examples if you know someone who’s good at asking guys out. Also, remember you only have to fake it for a few minutes. After he answers, you can go hyperventilate in the bathroom.
  8. Text him instead. Most of the above advice is centered on asking someone out in person. While this is the ideal way to do it–especially if you already know him in real life–there’s no shame in using your phone to do it instead.¬† Much of the advice still stands, though. Be to the point; use concise and concrete language. Send off practice texts to your friends. Be cheerful. Texting someone to ask them out still counts, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
Trisha is a full time writer living in Montana. In her free time, she paints mountainscapes on her skin with body paint and reads a ton of YA lit.