I cannot gather courage to talk to her

I am 16 years old and for the past three months, I like a girl who is a year younger than me. We make eye contact every day. Sometimes, we smile at each other as well. But I cannot gather courage to talk to her. She has given me many chances to talk to her. But I did not do so and that has upset her; now I think she is ignoring me. I want to talk to her but don’t know what to say. I can’t stop blaming myself for not talking to her when she gave me chances to do so. Please help me.
Rahul

Dear Rahul,

You feel shy and lack the courage to approach and speak to someone you are attracted to. This makes you indulge in negative self-talk and emotional self-beating.

Take a moment. Breathe. Now think of what your lack of courage is about. Is it about: “I must impress her”, “I have to make her like me”, “What if she doesn’t like me?” Are these fears because you want that she ‘should’ like you. Somewhere, all this mental talk and wanting to get into a relationship first, gets in the way of simply making friends, which is the first step to building a further relationship – whether a strong friendship, a romantic relationship, or marriage.

From what you say, she has encouraged you to talk and make friends. If you find it difficult to go up and talk, it’s okay. Find an alternative. Send her a note instead to set up a time and place to meet and talk. Be frank and say that your hesitation led to lost opportunities but that you would genuinely like to get to know her as a person. If you think you will be tongue-tied prepare a few general questions to ask. Keep the spotlight on her and the conversation will flow.

Nasreen Hashambhoy is a Counsellor, Life Coach and a Facilitator of training programmes for schools and corporates. Through a combination of coaching, counselling and facilitation techniques based on cognitive science and positive psychology, she helps clients achieve their true potential. She is the author of the series Values In Action published by Better Yourself Books.

Nasreen Hashambhoy

Nasreen Hashambhoy is a Counsellor, Life Coach and a Facilitator of training programmes for schools and corporates. Through a combination of coaching, counselling and facilitation techniques based on cognitive science and positive psychology, she helps clients achieve their true potential. She is the author of the series Values In Action published by Better Yourself Books.