Best way to make a shy person feel welcome

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Summer_Twilight
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12 Mar 2015, 8:33 am

Hi:
I was wondering what the best way to draw a shy person out without actually going too "Over the top." I know they aren't going to be a life of the party but I would like to find a way to get to know them.

Any ideas?



smudge
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12 Mar 2015, 12:42 pm

I remember a few years ago at this gathering, there was this woman with a socially awkward husband. She would be chatty and lovely and stand by his side, and she did the same thing with me. She approached me and talked a bit, then stood with me and didn't talk so I could approach her if I wanted to. I knew it was "safe" to talk to her because she began conversation, then stood by my side adjacent to me i.e. faced away from me, but not totally. She also didn't look directly at me. It made me feel comfortable.

I think the main thing was that she was completely OK with me being silent, she didn't take it as rudeness and she didn't feel awkward about it, and didn't speak about it. It made me open up.

I think you have to be totally OK with the shy person's presence, otherwise they will sense the awkwardness and clam up. I mean, I might not have got what this woman was doing before I studied body language, but she was definitely open and friendly to me, and adapted to me. I don't see many people do it.

So yeah, bottom line my advice would be to approach them and talk a little bit to them, and stand with them. If they keep looking around anxiously for ways to "get out", then calmly walk away. Or they might become less animated in body language, in which case again, walk away. Otherwise, just stand with them, then let them approach you.



kraftiekortie
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13 Mar 2015, 8:36 am

Simply: by saying hello to the person, and listening to what the person has to say. Actively acknowledging what's been said is also useful.



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13 Mar 2015, 8:49 am

It also helps if you give them 100% of your attention - not in an overbearing, intrusive way, just treat them as if they're really special to you. Listen to what they say and show an interest, let them lead the conversation and respond in a friendly way that will allow them to expand on it if they want to. You don't have to say a lot, nodding or smiling will also put them at ease.


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ThatAspieLinguist
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13 Mar 2015, 1:59 pm

I am a very shy guy, and I think the best way to make a shy person feel comfortable is to treat them just like they aren't shy, treat them equal, so to speak. If you're with other people, make an effort to make them included in the conversation. Nothing sucks more than to feel left out.



infilove
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18 Mar 2015, 10:51 pm

When you introduce yourself and shake their hand tell them, don't worry my hands are clean but I have went through the worst in the past and the things I've experienced were so embarressing that it probably go you and everyone else beat.


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22 Mar 2015, 2:50 pm

I'm a very shy person.

What I've found helps is being spoken to and treated to equally, and not being forced out of my "shell". If you initiate the conversation, that can really help too. Ask them about themselves and take the time to listen to them. Share your interests with them.

I agree with ThatAspieLinguist: not being included and feeling left out feels horrible and is probably one of the worst feelings to have when you're shy.



Anna_K
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22 Mar 2015, 4:11 pm

It helps if you just treat them like anyone else. They probably won't start the conversation, so you will have to initiate things first. Smile at them, ask them basic questions. Tell them a bit about yourself, since they may prefer to listen, but don't monopolize the conversation. Give them a chance to speak too.


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wowiexist
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22 Mar 2015, 6:35 pm

I will tell you what you don't do. Do not confront them about their shyness like by asking why they are quiet or why they don't talk much. People used to do that to me because I was shy and that makes the self-consciousness much worse.



graduate122
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23 Mar 2015, 8:18 pm

Try to include them in the conversations.



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25 Mar 2015, 4:22 pm

Make someone feel like they matter. It took me a while to figure this out but people like it when you appear to care about them and to get to know who they are as a person and you care about what they have to say. I think this is what everyone wants.

You're more drawn to people who appear more friendly and genuine even when you don't realize it.