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Shyness Can be Sexy Too

Dear Philippa:

I am a reasonably attractive 35-year old woman. But when I go to dances and parties I feel so awkward and my girlfriends get all the attention. They say I should be more aggressive because men like outgoing women. What do you think? Do I need to change to get a love life?

�Tina, Toronto

Dear Tina,

You would be surprised how many men and women at those parties with all that supposed self-confidence feel just like you do.

Some people overcome their shyness by taking on a different persona. Personally, that didn't work too well for me. When I pretend to be someone I wasn't, I may have met more people, but they weren't necessarily the people I wanted to meet. Also, when people get to know you they may be disappointed that you are not the way you led them to believe.

Let's face it, not all of us feel comfortable in the same social environments. I think the key is to find the places that you feel the most at ease. Maybe larger parties aren't the best place for you to meet men. You may do better in smaller groups, like a dining club, in a computer class, or at karate lessons, etc. Try and spend your time doing something you are interested in and enjoy, where you can let your natural self shine.

Many men are attracted to shyer women, just as many women enjoy softer spoken, quieter men�some people find this kind of vulnerability disarming. In fact, when I used to go to larger parties where I felt uncomfortable, I used to stand aside and enjoy myself watching the drama unfold in front of me. Inevitably, some nice guy who was also a people watcher would end up chatting with me.

When you are standing alone, just taking in the view, you appear easier to approach than when you are with a group of more outgoing women. That shy look can appeal to the protective side of some men.

The main thing is for you to accept and like who you are and stop trying to be someone you are not. Your quietness in social situations doesn't have to be a deficit�that's your perception, not reality. Find activities and environments where you feel at ease and can talk about things that excite and amuse you.

There are men out there wishing they could find a woman just like you. But, you probably won't find them at the dances or large parties because you are not comfortable in these settings. Remember that shyness can have its sex appeal too�it all depends on how you feel about yourself.


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