Business Relationships: Too Shy to Speak Up, But Not To Like


The article provides an overview of when it’s appropriate to adjust your behavior when dealing with somebody who is reluctant to form a friendship with you. 

Sometimes people are shy, but not always unlucky in love. Could be that they just don’t know enough about the person they’re talking to, or maybe they’re just not feeling the chemistry. In any case, there are several ways you can build a friendly relationship without having it move into something more serious. In this article we’ll discuss some of those methods outlined by and how to avoid furthering a romantic connection for either party if needed.

The first step is to get the person you’re trying to befriend comfortable with your company. The key here is to show that you can be trusted and that you won’t put them in an uncomfortable situation, so the way you behave and the topics of conversation should be geared toward calming fears and defusing tension.

When we talk about trust we mean no harm, not necessarily following the rules. Treating someone right means handling them with courtesy and respect, taking their feelings into account when selecting topics of conversation or deciding other rules for communication such as where to meet or what time of day to call.

Build up a rapport

Let’s say you’re meeting someone you’ve recently started chatting with on Facebook. You’ve built up a rapport and are beginning to wonder if this has turned into something else, so your curiosity is piqued. Using the same example, asking her if she’s interested in meeting with you somewhere would likely cause her to say no, which is definitely not what you want. Instead, try asking if they can meet at a coffee shop or some other setting that isn’t too public. If she responds affirmatively, ask what time they can meet up at. If they say a few days from now, ask if they can meet more quickly. By making a commitment to meet up on a particular day you’re more likely to enjoy the experience and hopefully more inclined to agree if asked if you want to schedule another meeting.

The next step of the process would be to introduce yourself properly, which, of course, is not always easy for some people. In this case, try using a first name or nickname as it’s more intimate and familiar than a formal introduction such as “Hello I’m Sally.” Introducing yourself with the first name stalls for time while you decide how best to proceed. If you introduce yourself and they say nothing or hesitate, just say it’s nice to meet you and ask if they’re interested in continuing to talk with you. If this doesn’t work, try using a common phrase such as “I’d like to get to know you better,” “I love your profile,” or “I want to receive more information about your interests.”

Introductory remarks

After introductory remarks, don’t immediately jump into a conversation, but instead wait for the other person to bring up the subject. Most people appreciate the confidence it takes when they’re not asked what they’re thinking or feeling. This is not to say that you should never ask them questions or bring up any topics, just be sure that they’re something you can discuss if they seem reluctant to speak. If they don’t want to answer one of your questions, let it go. They might be very uncomfortable talking about certain things, so never make them think you’re prying for information.

One method for getting someone to open up is by telling them about yourself in a way that conveys that you are happy with your life. This will make it more likely that they feel comfortable sharing their feelings with you, which may lead into something more. It’s not uncommon for people to be afraid that if they talk about certain things that they’ll come across as negative, so this is something many shy people struggle with.

Listen sympathetically 

One way to find out if it’s safe to share your fears is to ask the person you’re talking with how they deal with difficult topics in their life or in their job. This gets around the problem of telling the “wrong” person in an awkward way, but it may also show them that you’re someone who will listen sympathetically when they need it. Asking about their family life is also something that can be done without coming across as too personal or too much of a request for information, which again tends to put off shy people for some reason.

When you’re in an environment where you can talk freely, you can be yourself and find out what kind of person they are. If there’s chemistry, great. If not, you’ll have a friend in your social circle or perhaps in your circle of friends who will appreciate the company because it shows that you have enough concern to take time out to help them when they’re feeling down.

Touch is another topic that shy people often avoid because it raises concerns about crossing personal boundaries or being inappropriate. When getting to know someone that you don’t know well yet, starting with a light touch on the arm or shoulder when talking about something is okay.


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