If you and your boyfriend are struggling to be comfortable with each other -- take heart. Shyness during adolescence is common, and is often a learned behavior that can be unlearned, suggests Indiana University Southeast's Shyness Research Institute. Shy teens in a relationship may face more hurdles than outgoing classmates, but they may also share a deeper understanding and connection. Shyness peaks around age 14, according to psychology professor Jonathan Cheek and psychotherapist and social work professor Katherine Tyson, in the "Encyclopedia of Human Relationships," with two-thirds of girls and more than half of boys admitting to shyness at this age.
Like quite a few parents, you may have recently taken a good look at your adolescent and wondered, "What happened? A once-gregarious child who used to tell you everything now clams up. A jolly child who was always surrounded by a dozen pals suddenly has no friends. Your previously confident child now blushes, stammers, and won't look anybody in the eye. The multiple whammies of impending adulthood throw many kids for a loop.
Traditionally, women are pursued in the dating world. The unwritten laws of relationships have made it relatively easy for a guy to start things with a girl: he asks her out and she says, "Yes," right? But what if the object of your attraction is super shy? It may be time to step up your game and woo the guy of your dreams.
Being shy creates a reluctance to engage socially for fear of becoming embarrassed. Overcoming shyness is about putting your focus and energy outward during a conversation with a girl. If you work to control your feelings of shyness, and then take steps to build your confidence, you can be the life of the party. This article was co-authored by our trained team of editors and researchers who validated it for accuracy and comprehensiveness.