You’ll never know until you try

What happens when a shy guy and a shy girl think they like each other?

Our elder says you’re going to have to take a risk if you want to find out.

Dear EWC:

I’ve liked this guy for about seven months and he seems to have mutual feelings. I think. He’s always been a little nicer to me than other people.

We were in a play together and he blushed and told me I was amazing once we were alone. He taught me tricks in basketball and has given me numerous high fives. He’s been so kind to me but I just don’t know if he really does like me. He acts all shy with his friends when they talk to me. Sometimes we don’t talk.
My brother heard from one of his close friends that he had a crush on me four years ago. I can’t help but feel that there’s something they’re not telling me. I didn’t tell them I like him now though. I’m not sure if he still might like me. Should I make a move or is this all in my head?

Grandpa-Matt replies:

It seems like you both have parallel issues of social shyness that keeps you locked in your separate spaces. This applies to each of you. Social shyness or a fear of rejection keeps people from speaking up in certain social situations.
In my mind, shyness is a judgment that describes a set of behaviors that stems from a lack of self-confidence in social areas. Often it comes from a fear of rejection that we are not enough, good enough, likable enough, smart enough, cool enough, etc. So because of that fear we will take little or no risks to reach out and start making connections.

The question is not enough for whom? I believe we make up certain ideas about how we should be, act, look, and behave as an acceptable person. Then I think that what goes on is that our mind makes up the assumption that others will view us the same way as we see ourselves. So the negative image we have gets in the way of making a connection.

So what is your part in all this? If you decide that you like him, you have the challenge of taking the risk to communicate with him about the extent of your interest in developing a friendship. He needs in some way to get the idea that he will not be shamed, ridiculed, rejected, or rebuffed if he does make the approach. The bottom line is that you both need to establish some communication whereby you both can make that connection without fear of being turned away.

There seems to be a conflict between your heart and your mind. Your heart says that you want the courage and bravery to speak to him, but your mind has fear, which is blocking you. Your mind is creating a roadblock from allowing your heart to speak. It is producing the emotional fear that is holding you back. It might be the fear of looking foolish, or being rejected.
Courage is a heart word. The root of the word courage is cor, the Latin word for heart. In one of its earliest forms, the word courage meant, “to speak one’s mind by telling all one’s heart.” I am no better than you are in reading what is going on in a guy’s mind. My bet, however, is that he is very interested in you. When a guy gives you some signals, like telling you that you are amazing and teaching you BB tricks, these are signs of real interest. I believe what stops him from making a direct approach to you could be his fear of rejection.

Until you adopt a positive image of a wonderful outcome and taking some action toward him, you will never know if he really likes you or not. If it is important to you, do something about it. The reward can bring you more happiness. Without your risking it will keep you wondering if you missed something grand. Your job is to warm up to him. Assume that his behavior indicates that he really does like you, but you have to take the lead, slowly in small steps. Just make him aware that you would like to get to know him better and see where that goes.

If your approach doesn’t work what you must keep in mind is that when we get a refusal, we are not rejected as a person, it is just that an offer is turned down. If a man discovers a diamond in the earth, but through ignorance or shortsightedness, believes it to be a worthless stone and throws it away, doesn’t this tell us more about the man than the diamond? If you are the diamond and he does not see the value in you, it doesn’t lessen your value any more than the diamond loses its value. This applies no matter who fears the rejection, guys or gals.

Let me know how things are going, and if I can help you further. Good luck.


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