Here are some questions that I've gotten that I'll be answering.
I just got done reading your site and it was excellent!!! Over the past couple of years I have been trying to overcome my shyness. I'm fairly comfortable around people and making conversation. I can usually go to a social events and remain fairly calm. However the hard part for me now that I'm trying to overcome is how to approach people. Most of time it's the opposite sex, but I always back down because I have a hard time working up the courage. If I can figure out how to approach the person then it should be smooth sailing from there.
For example, lets say I'm at school (I'm currently in college) just walking around the caferteria. I see a good looking girl just sitting alone at a table. I don't want to be rude or make her feel uncomfortable. So how would you go about striking up a conversation with them? Or lets say I'm walking to another class and I pass by a girl going in the opposite direction. How do you approach them? I'm not some one to use stupid pickup lines so I'm kind of dry on conversation starters. Any advice would be great!
I think this is a pretty common situation. Some good honest opening lines are:
"Is this seat taken?" She'll probably say no, then just fluff talk, ask her what she's studying or something similar.
"Hi, I saw you from over there and wanted to come over and say hi." I think women can appreciate a guys honesty and she should be flattered by you coming over and wanting to get to know her.
If you see women outside of class just hanging around, I like simple, direct openers. Just a simple, "Hi" or "Hey, how's it going", or anything like that. I think direct eye contact and good body language are more important than what you're actually saying. It's not so much what you say but how you say it.
It's a little harder if she's walking past you. She might be in a hurry to go somewhere. On a college campus, I've talked to girls in the bookstore, food court, any kind of rec/game room, etc.
After reading your site, which I thought was incredibly useful, I have started to overcome my shyness and have become more conversational and
outgoing. However, because of my shyness in youth and because I am nearing the end of my secondary education, I have never made any serious friendships
or relationships. When I see others around me who can easily talk to most other people, I begin to feel left out and wish I had acted sooner to make more contact with people, especially the women.
This has become a great concern for me and I would be grateful if you could give me advice on how to make as much contact as possible with the people around me, who have been around me for so long now.
I'm going to put up an article soon about how to deal with your past. It was something that really bugged me. About how to get over missed opportunities and not to get stuck living in the past.
Now, about how to make more contact with those around you, invite people you know to go to the movies with you, or just have lunch. You could get involved in a group or club, that's a great way to meet people (The people at my Toastmasters group are really cool). When people share a common interest like in a club, it's so easy to talk to people and relate to each other.
Another thing I haven't talked about, but is important, is to set goals and to have some sort of vision of what you want. When you don't know what you want, you tend to get what life gives you. It depends on where you are, but you can start small and progess each day afterwards. Think of the easiest thing you could do the first day, and then each day, make it a little more challenging, expanding your comfort zone. Rome wasn't built in a day. An analogy is to pretend you're on a boat and you're in the harbor waiting to go out to sea. You change your course by only 5 degrees. It doesn't seem like much at first. But as you go farther and farther out to sea, that 5 degree change shifts you farther and farther off the original course. These small changes can bring you in a new direction. (Tony Robbins talked about the power of small changes in Awaken the Giant Within). I'll give credit where credit is due.