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Shyness Is Old-Fashioned
My question is about how to help my girlfriend overcome her painful shyness.
My girl is extremely shy and fears people, she can’t even look me in the eyes but claims to love me so much to the extent of boasting to her friends that I’m hers … Is this normal, and is there a way I can help her boost her confidence??
–SF, Kenya, Africa
Thank you for your question about how to help your girlfriend overcome shyness.My hunch is that she's shy about having sex. You can't assume from anyone's behavior that they are consenting to having sex.
Why not buy her a pair of hoop earrings to show off to her friends. When she wears them she may feel empowered with pride.
More importantly, talk to her. Tell her about your feelings for her.
Say that you want her to look you in the eyes when she speaks to you and to listen with her eyes when you are telling her something. She can break the habit of not making eye contact if you instill in her the fact that eye contact is a powerful way to communicate.
And that when she talks to someone she has strong feelings toward, she should back up her words with eye contact.
Eye contact is a kind of intimacy that develops over time when there is genuine trust on both sides.
- Your girlfriend needs to feel safe about her feelings. Sex is performance based. She may not understand how to talk about sex or how to decide whether to consent or not.
- You and she need a more nuanced understanding of consent. Verbal and visual signs are significant indicators. Talk about sex openly.
- No subject should be off limits.