I feel shy and nervous to talk

I feel shy and nervous to talk, especially when it comes to boys. Whenever I start talking to them, I find it very difficult and often stutter, which leaves me embarrassed. I want to overcome this shyness. I can easily talk to girls, be approachable and friendly, but not to boys.
Naphi S. (19)

Dear Naphi,

You seem to be quite uncomfortable around boys and very comfortable with girls, which makes you feel nervous, awkward and even embarrassed.

It may help if you realize that they too feel awkward when talking to girls!

Talk less and listen more. Instead of focusing on what to say, focus on what to ask. Keep it casual. Use open-ended questions — ones that do not have a yes/no answer. For example, ‘How was your date/week/ weekend/vacation?’ What did you do? Use their responses to ask the next question. If someone says they watched a movie, you could ask: What was the movie about? Which actor did you like, etc.? This also opens the door for the other person to ask you questions and for you to share your opinions so that you can find common interests.

There is no need to aim for perfection, sophistication and poise when talking to boys…they too are human like you and me!

Nasreen Hashambhoy
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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.