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Let's say you have a particular classmate that's constantly on their own (as in, always sitting by themselves, etc) and every time you try to talk to them the conversation either ends really quickly and/or sometimes (unfortunately) becomes awkward...what would you do? How do you open them up?

People may ask me why I care...Well, let's just say that I was once shy and worked really, really hard to overcome it. It would've been nice if someone talked to me but a lot of it was done through hard work and joining clubs (such as Toastmasters) to overcome my fears. The thing is, it's difficult for me to relate because it's been so long since I was in that position. And I'd love nothing more than to talk to more people, especially people that I've always found interesting but never really had the chance to get to know (because of their shyness)

So my questions, in no particular order are:

1) What do you ask a shy person without sounding corny? Asking things like "How's the weather?" or "What do you plan to do after University?" are, in my opinion, not the best openers. Think "high-school" type of questions, things that won't come across as awkward, weird, or both.

[B][CENTER]#2 is aimed for shy people but anyone's opinion is welcome[/CENTER][/B]
2) If you're shy, what do you think would be a legitimate question to ask...what would [B]make you[/B] want to come out of your seat and join a group, knowing full well that the group you've been listening to across the class isn't as evil as you may think?

Would you mind it if we asked you to come join us, or would you find it better if I personally came up to you and said "hey, can you help me with something over there?" - Would you budge?

How about if you were asked to see something, like if I said "hey, want to see something cool?" and asked you to come over...would you feel awkward or would you simply go with it...knowing again that *I* am not exactly an evil person that would try to humiliate you? Would you still come over?

3) Lastly, why do you think people are so shy? Why does someone not speak at all, knowing full-well that they're smart and interesting inside?

Thank you all so much for your help and honesty!!
Hi Brad,

In my past, I was very shy. If someone I was familiar with (such as a classmate) were to approach me with an "ice breaker" type comment, I would likely wonder what the intention was to approach me.

Many times a person that is very shy, has past experiences that may have been the cause of putting a wall up, of becoming the quiet one, sitting alone, etc. That is not to say that that person wouldn't enjoy an interaction that is sincere, and non-threatening. It might take quite a few little gestures, over a period of time to build up trust.

I would start with something very short, very simple, and very sincere...such as..."hello, may I speak with you"? If the answer is yes, which is 50/ might say "I would like to get to know you better, is that ok"? Once again, 50/50. Just take each yes as an opportunity to ask another simple question, and a no to back off.

Best wishes
Hi writeleft, I appreciate the help and agree with you.

I do, however, don't believe that those questions are the best thing to ask. I feel the environment would get very, very awkward if I went up to them and said [B][I]"I would like to get to know you better, is that ok"[/I][/B]

I think, especially in a school setting that may freak them out a bit, but perhaps I'm wrong.
Ok, Brad...That might be much for the high-school setting. I was just leaning toward something more sincere than..."how's the weather"? Sorry I couldn't be more helpful.
I am a very shy person, have been my whole life, but recent events in the last few years have made it worse. I honestly don't know what to tell to say, but maybe I can help some. With me being shy, if someone walks up to me and starts talking to me, I want them to be as straight forward as possible. I want to know what their intentions are, and why they are talking to me. I will usually lose interest and stop talking within a minute if I can't figure it out, or if they aren't talking about something I am interested in. Find something the person is interested in, talk about it for a minute or two and then see if he wants to come sit with your group of friends. Only thing is if this happens to me, and I go sit and talk to them, and I get any kind of uneasy feeling from someone in the group, I usually don't come back the next time, especially if I'm not given an invite. I will just say hey and keep on walking to the back of the class. Maybe that will help, not sure though.

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