Starting a conversation can be agonizing if you are a shy person. Many people who suffer from shyness have a hard time knowing what to talk about when they encounter someone they don’t know very well. These might be people that they work with, neighbors, and people they would like to be friends with. When people are shy, they are constantly worried about being judged by others. They get so nervous about being harshly judged by others that they judge themselves harshly first.

It can be particularly difficult for a shy person to think of what to say when they have to start a conversation with someone they don’t know. No matter what they think of to say, they instantly tell themselves, “No, that would be stupid. This person is going to laugh at me for talking about that.” This makes it even harder for a shy person to start a conversation.

The problem is that shy people can find it so difficult to make conversations with other people that they also find it hard to make friends. Remember that friendships are built up by sharing many conversations and many events over the years with another person. If a shy person is too intimidated to start conversations, they will end up very lonely because they are not doing the activity upon which friendships depend.

It is possible to change from being a shy person to becoming a person who feels at ease in any social situation. It will take commitment, and a lot of practice. It will also require courage, because in the beginning, there are many fears that need to be confronted and overcome.

One thing that many shy people don’t realize is that they don’t have to start off each conversation perfectly. There is no magic opening line that they need to learn. The important thing about conversations is to simply get them started. Then you need to keep the conversation going.

There are actually conversational techniques that help keep a conversation going, instead of letting the conversation grind to a halt. For example, when you ask the other person open-ended questions, you show you are interested in them, and you give them an opportunity to voice their opinion or tell about their experiences.

When you learn to genuinely listen to the other person, you will be less focused on yourself. You will find out what really makes them tick, and this can help you to develop a friendship with them.

The good news is that starting a conversation when you’re shy is a skill that can be learned. Once you learn the techniques that keep a conversation going, you will feel much more confident and at ease in every social situation.

Author's Bio: 

This article was written by conversation expert Royane Real. You can learn a lot more about how to start a conversation and keep it going in her popular special report “Your Guide to Making Friendly Conversation.” Download it today at