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Breaking the ice without words when you're feeling shy

Posted by Didi Gorman on

Ok, this is going to be a tough one.

Or maybe not.

A few days ago my daughter was asking me how to start a conversation with another girl from her class whom she’d like to become friends with. Thing is, both girls are shy and so, each one of them is waiting for the other to make the first move.

Quite introverted myself, I’m all too familiar with this experience.

As the knowledgeable adult whose role is to bestow a piece of practical advice imbued with experience and wisdom, I simply say: “Smile at her.”

My daughter is looking at me, waiting for the wisdom to keep on pouring, but I’m done.

“Smile and…?” she’s probing.

-“No, no ‘and’, just smile at her. It’s a friendly sign. After you’ve been smiling at each other, you can proceed to the next stage which is to wave at her, like you’re saying hello. The rest will follow naturally.”

And it sure did.

I am happy to announce my advice worked, and the girls have indeed discovered each other.

What do we take from this story?

Well, I don’t like clichés, but I do think a smile has the power to melt the ice of shyness.

That’s the piece of wisdom I’m sharing with you today.

This post is dedicated to anyone who has ever felt too shy to start a conversation with whoever it may be.

By Didi Gorman