How to Talk With a Shy, Quiet Guy

Tamsen Butler
Couple flirting at party

There's something attractive about a shy, quiet guy; their lack of words give them an air of mystery. But how do you talk with a shy, quiet guy without scaring him away?

The Introverted Man

Men who are both shy and quiet may be that way because they get exhausted by dealing with people, or they may feel awkward in social situations. There is also a chance he may be insecure or unsure of his ability to carry on an intelligent conversation. Either way, your goal is to make him as comfortable as possible if you want to have an actual conversation.

A Delicate Balance

You will probably have to carry the burden of most of the conversation, at least at first. He's going to want to feel you out and figure out if you're someone he wants to have a conversation with or not. While you don't want to barrage him with questions, you do want to ask a variety of open-ended questions - ones that he can't simply respond to with a "yes" or "no."

Don't Fear Silence

Shy guys may be more introspective and therefore more prone to moments of silent reflection. While this may feel like an awkward silence to you, for him it may be comforting. If his body language indicates that he is at ease, don't rush to fill the silence.

Have a Topic Beforehand

Men who are shy and quiet generally don't care for small talk, so a conversation about nothing, in particular, will probably not go well. Try talking about mutual interests or non-controversial current events. If you can capture his interest and manage to make him feel comfortable, there is a chance he'll start navigating the direction of the conversation. Here are some possible openers for your conversation:

  • "I'm pretty sure you and I have an English class together. What did you think about that discussion on The Great Gatsby?"
  • "I see you're drinking a latte; what do you think is the best one they serve here?"
  • "Your gamer shirt is great. What games do you play?"
  • "You and I are the only two people in here not staring at our phones. When was the last time you had a real conversation with a stranger?"

Think Beyond the Opening

Even if you have a stellar intro to your conversation, you want to have some topics ready in case the conversation stalls. If you rattle off topic after topic the conversation will seem scripted and weird to him, so make sure you follow the flow of the conversation. Check his verbal and non-verbal cues - no conversation can go on forever, so know when it's time to conclude. Look for these signs:

  • He keeps glancing at or facing his body, toward the exit.
  • He says words that may indicate a desire to end the conversation like, "Well, OK...." or simple, monosyllabic responses like, "Yeah," "Huh," or, "Nope." You'll know these indicate closure if he seemed engaged in the conversation earlier but switched to these types of responses.
  • His body language, which was fairly open earlier, becomes closed off. Look for crossed arms, a hand over his mouth, or placing objects in between you two (such as nudging a pile of books in front of him on the table).

Getting Another Conversation

At the conclusion of the conversation, tell him you enjoyed talking to him and ask if you could talk again sometime soon. Agree to meet up or exchange contact information. Or, if you're feeling particularly bold, at the end of the conversation slip him your contact info and tell him, "This is how to get ahold of me. I look forward to hearing from you soon."

Ease in With Social Media

If you're trying to set up an opportunity to talk with a shy guy who you've not yet spoken to, it's acceptable in the Digital Age to first approach him via social media, as this may be a more comfortable setting for him to have a conversation. All the same rules apply: ask open-ended questions, don't bombard him with question after question, and look for signs that the conversation is coming to an end.

The Shy, Quiet Boyfriend

If your boyfriend is shy and quiet and you're looking for ways to have good conversations with him, here are some important tips beyond what's offered above:

  • Respect his boundaries. If he was shy and quiet when you first started dating him, it's not fair to start complaining now that he's not a good conversationalist.
  • Ask him what he wants to talk about, and then talk about those things.
  • Even though you're together, you should still look for signals that he's uncomfortable or needs a break from talking.

Shy Guys Are Attractive

If you're going to pursue a quiet guy, be prepared to do a great deal of the pursuing in the beginning. Shy guys need to feel comfortable before they'll open up to anyone and you can't force him to trust you.

How to Talk With a Shy, Quiet Guy