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Guys dont talk to me and I'm too shy to talk to them, help!

By Tina Kells

Q: Hi. I am a 14-year-old girl. I make friends easily, and I have a lot of friends. I am very pretty and I have a good body. My problem is that I have no self-confidence. I can’t talk to boys. I simply can’t do it. I get really nervous, and automatically think I look fat, or that something is wrong with me. No guys ever come and talk to me and I don’t get why? It’s not like I'm hideous or anything. I really don’t get it. Can you please help me become more confident with myself?

A: While you say you lack confidence it doesn’t seem that way when you can frankly make statements like “I am very pretty” or “I have a good body” and admittedly have no problems making or keeping friends. The self-doubt you mention having when you do talk to guys is less an indication of low self-esteem and more an indication of shyness. Being shy and lacking self-confidence don’t always go hand in hand. Some of the most confident and successful people in the world get tongue-tied when dealing with scenarios that they find intimidating. In your case, you are intimidated by interacting with members of the opposite sex and believe me when I tell you that you are not alone. In psychology this is known as a “social phobia” and there is only one way to beat it… you must confront your fears.

So how exactly does one go about overcoming such a fear? The first step in confronting a social phobia, or any phobia for that matter, is a process called “visualization.” During the “visualization” process you literally imagine yourself engaging in the behavior that you find so overwhelming. Go somewhere quiet and private where you can really focus and think about talking to boys. Start off simple, just imagine yourself initiating a conversation with a guy or picture a scenario where a boy approaches you. Next, imagine yourself successfully navigating the situation. That is, imagine your ideal out come, the way you would like such a situation to play out under ideal circumstances. Picture yourself being the very definition of grace and charm. Imagine that you are totally at ease dealing with the opposite sex and don’t forget to include lots of smiling and laughing in the fantasy. After all, it’s supposed to be fun to interact with boys!

The next step is called the “practice phase” and as the name implies, in this stage you literally practice what you have visualized. Practice on a safe person, a guy friend for instance, and do not psyche yourself out by thinking that it’s easy to talk to a friend but hard to talk to other guys. This is not true. If you can talk to a guy you consider nothing more than a friend then you can talk to any guy. If you don’t have a guy friend you can turn to for help start off by talking to boys that you know you have no romantic interest in. You can ease in to talking to boys you may like by first getting comfortable with talking to guys who are strangers in general.

Now you are ready for the final phase...

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