There are those people in life who find it hard to open up. They aren’t just the quiet type; they are the silent type that you can barely get a word out of them.
Maybe he feels awkward because he has something to say but cannot find the words or maybe he hasn’t quite opened up around you yet.
In any case, these 15 tips should help you get him talking more and feeling comfortable with you sooner rather than later.
1) Ask for advice on something you need help with
Trust me, this is the best way to get a quiet guy talking. If you have a question and you can’t figure it out, ask him for advice on it.
Most guys love to give advice and fix things, so just ask him for help when you need it. The more questions you ask, the more he will open up about himself and his life.
For example, you could say something like, “Hey. I was wondering what you think about this.” and by saying those few words, he will feel the urge to give advice on whatever you are asking about.
But the key to this is being 100% genuine.
Don’t ask him a question simply to get him talking. This is just a trick that you can use to open him up, but it should be used sparingly as possible or he will catch on to your trick.
2) Don’t lecture him about opening-up
I know, it can be frustrating not being able to get a word out of him, but if you lecture him about how he should be more open with you, it will only push him further away.
Just put yourself in his shoes.
If someone you barely know comes up to you, lectures you about your life, and asks why you aren’t being open with them, how would that make you feel? You would surely feel insulted and shut down.
Also, it is important to remember that not everyone is the same. Some people don’t like getting deep with strangers and others are more open about their feelings than others.
We all just need time to open up to someone so never put pressure on him by telling him how he should be acting.
3) Refer to an article or a book
Here’s the secret that most people don’t know about quiet people. They don’t stay quiet because they have nothing to say: they stay quiet because that is how they learned to interact with other people while growing up.
What I mean by this is that, for example, if you have a friend who had a difficult childhood and didn’t get along with the other kids growing up, he might be a little quieter when around new people than someone who had a more easygoing childhood.
To help him open up more, refer to an article or book he might like on the subject. If you refer him to something like this, it opens up discussion and gives you both something to talk about next time you see each other. For example, you could say something like this:
“Hey really liked that article/book you were telling me about last week on ‘X’.” and then go on to talk about your own opinion of it. That way he can share his point of view and open up about it in ways that he never thought of before because it wasn’t a topic that was forced so much upon him by others.
4) Give him something to look forward to
Another effective tip for helping him open up to you is giving him something to look forward to. It gives him something else to focus on and creates a positive frame of mind that will make it easier for him to open up.
For example, if you are going out with a friend then give him something that he can get excited about before the date or if you are going to the movies tell him that he has to pick out the movie snacks or treat yourself and your friends.
A lot of people will think this is kind of silly or unimportant but that is because they don’t understand what it’s like being an introvert. We don’t have a lot of energy, we are often tired, and we don’t always have time to plan a big night out.
We need to have things planned out in advance so that we know what is coming next. If you give him something to look forward to he will feel more comfortable opening up because he knows what is coming next.
Keep in mind:
Try to give him something related to his hobbies so that he can feel like you have taken the time to get to know him a little better.
5) Help him feel proud of himself
It’s no surprise that quiet people often feel down. They focus on their flaws and when they are alone, that is all they think about. So the next time you see him, tell him how proud you are of him or an accomplishment he made.
Remind him he is capable of many things and offer to help him with his goals so that he can feel more confident in himself.
Try to do it in a subtle way so that he feels thankful towards you but not so much that he will think you are being fake or trying to compliment him to get something from him.
For instance, you could say something like, “I am really proud of you for finally opening up to me last week. I know it wasn’t easy but it means a lot to me that you trust me enough to open up now.
Or you could say, “You know what is so amazing about you? You are able to do X so well. I think if anyone else were in your position they would just give up but not you.
You’ll be surprised at how appreciative he is of things you take for granted.
6) Invite him to do something he loves
A quiet guy might seem like an introvert on the outside but he might just need a little push to get him out of his shell.
The best way of doing this is to find something that he loves to do or that means something to him, and invite him to do it with you.
For example, if he likes playing video games then ask him if he can go play some with you at night. Or if he’s really into sports and is having a tough time socially, invite him over and play some basketball with you after school.
This simple act could make all the difference in helping a guy open up to people because it creates an opportunity for them to interact with someone else and feel accepted in the process.
Rather than being alone for hours on end, he will now have a chance to have fun with someone else instead. This makes him feel more comfortable about talking about himself because he knows that there is more inside of himself that can be shared.
7) Find common ground
Another surefire way to make a guy open up is to find a common ground. If you notice he’s a bit quiet, ask him what he listens to or how he feels about certain things in life.
This could lead to a healthy discussion because sharing your opinion can be fun and makes you form bonds with people that you may otherwise not have.
Having common ground for the conversation gives him the opportunity to open up on his own terms and will eventually open him up more than just talking about the weather.
Just be patient!
Remember, even though you might be really good at getting him enthusiastic about something, it still won’t be easy to get him to open up. But in time, he will open up and feel more comfortable talking with you and other people.
Don’t make it seem like a big deal or try too hard. You are simply showing that you care about what he has to say and want to get to know him a little better.
8) Ask open-ended questions
Do you know the type of questions you should never ask? The ones that can be answered with a simple “yes” or “no”.
They are boring because they take away from the conversation and end up being ineffective in helping him feel comfortable opening up.
In fact, these types of questions make people tenser because it makes them feel like they have to keep talking about something they don’t enjoy talking about.
Open-ended questions are much better because they allow you to stay engaged in the conversation and ask about things that interest you.
Here are several examples of open-ended questions:
- What books do you want to read or movies do you want to see?
- What’s your favorite type of food or music? What is your favorite show?
- What made you want to work out today?
- Why did you decide to start jogging?
You might think that these questions are too vague or not specific enough, but they are better and more effective because they allow you to stay in the flow of the conversation instead of being forced to respond.
9) Play games that require talking
You can help him open up by playing games that require talking.
When you play games with someone they tend to feel a stronger connection because they are both focused on the same thing at the same time.
It’s not like sitting down and having a focused conversation, but when you play a card game or something similar, he will have to be more engaged in the process because it’s more of a game than just chatting.
Using games that require chatting is a great way to keep him engaged and open up to you. But make sure you don’t go overboard and make it seem like a competition.
10) Help him build confidence with small wins
You might think that small wins will have no effect on a quiet guy but you are wrong.
When he sees you help him achieve a small goal, it could motivate him to try harder in the future because he feels like you care. He will want to impress you and gain the attention of others around him more by doing something great so your small wins are actually making an impact on his life.
So how to help him build confidence with small wins?
The best way to do this is to make him feel noticed by others in general. If a lot of people are talking about what he did, or how you helped him, then he will want to do even greater things so that people will talk about them more.
That’s why being present and making an effort around people is a great thing because it will make others notice you more and help you get noticed in return! This relationship works both ways.
11) Surprise him with a random act of kindness
A random act of kindness can make him feel special and appreciated.
It will show him you care about what he does and that he can get close to you. He’ll feel grateful for this and want to reciprocate this feeling by opening up more to you in the future.
It’s simple but effective!
Here are a couple of examples of random acts of kindness:
- Hand him a book that you read and liked a lot.
- Follow him on Twitter and retweet one of his tweets.
- Text him in the middle of the day to ask how he’s doing.
- Email him a nice article or opinion piece to read and comment on.
- Say hi to him when you see him at school or work.
Just do these random acts of kindness without expecting anything in return. When he sees you trying to help, care, or make him feel better, he will start to appreciate your efforts and open up more because you made him feel good.
12) Learn to read his body language
When he’s with you, it’s important to know how you can tell if he is open to talking.
Body language is a good way to notice what he’s thinking and sensing. If he’s leaning in while you are talking to him, making eye contact, and gesturing with his hands, then he’s listening and open to what you have to say.
This is a good sign! If he’s sitting back and not engaging in the conversation then you should try something different. For example, ask him questions about himself or compliment something that he did.
13) Drop subtle questions to see if he wants to open up
Sometimes you can drop a subtle question to see if he wants to talk. It’s subtle because it doesn’t seem like an obvious attempt to get him to open up but you should still be careful how you ask these questions.
These questions are good because they allow him to talk about something of his choice without feeling forced and uncomfortable. If he doesn’t want to open up at that time then he will politely decline and it won’t be awkward at all.
You can ask questions like: What was your day? Is that a new shirt? Did you see the game last night?
If he is interested in talking about the question then he’ll ignore the fact that you didn’t ask him about something more personal and he will answer your question. If he ignores it, doesn’t give you a straight answer, or gives a simple yes or no answer then he might be signaling to you that he doesn’t feel like opening up right now.
14) Show him that you understand people are unique
The reason why he’s quiet and reserved is that he doesn’t feel like people get him.
He doesn’t feel like people care about what he cares about and don’t get why he behaves a certain way. He feels misunderstood because people just assume they understand his personality without taking the time to know him better.
And by showing him that you understand that people are unique, he will feel like you get him and are interested in knowing what he has to say because you care.
This is one of the most important parts of making him feel comfortable around you. It’s not just about showing that you are a good listener but it’s also about showing him that you understand a person’s true self and uniqueness.
15) Share your own feelings
You have to be the first one to connect with him emotionally.
Sharing your feelings helps him feel like he can connect with you on a personal level and not just as another acquaintance. If you share your feelings, then he will feel like he is onto something and that there’s a good chance that you would actually be able to understand his true self.
He’ll think, “if she’s willing to open up to me then maybe I can open up more too.”
You can simply tell him what you are passionate about or talk about past experiences in your life when you felt the same way he does right now.
You don’t have to be the perfect listener or have excellent advice to help him feel comfortable. All you need to do is make an effort, take risks, and show that you care.
If you show him hope and optimism, then he will feel good about opening up and sharing his personal thoughts with you.
Hopefully, with these 15 tips, you now know how to help a shy guy open up and feel more comfortable around you.
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