How Tos @ RomanceClass:
Shyness Solutions - Step 1
OK, you've read all the materials and are now ready to start actively working on being less shy. Here we go!
Dress reasonably well, so that you give a good impression. Now head down to your local mall. Wander through it and look for opportunities to help people out. Maybe a woman dropped an item. Maybe a baby dropped a rattle. Maybe an old woman is having trouble with a door. Helping people is a great way to let you initiate contact - always a shyness-inducing activity - with a very good reason. Be sure to speak to the person, saying "Here you go" or "Let me help you with that." We're training you to be able to speak to others in a brand new situation. If they say thanks, be sure to say "Your welcome" or "Have a nice day" or something. You are getting into practice of continuing the conversation beyond the very bare minimum.
Practice at this part until you are reasonably comfortable with it - that you're not petrified of opening your mouth to this stranger. You realize that even if the stranger looks at you in surprise, that nothing bad is going to happen. Life will go on.
OK, once you're sure you're ready, move on to Mall Stage 2. This involves a bit more conversation, but it will be conversation with someone who is *supposed* to talk to you. So they will be helping you out. Go into a store where a person of the opposite sex works - someone at least generally in the age range you normally would be interested in dating. If you're young, just find the youngest person you can. Walk around the store a bit and find an item that you can ask a *reasonable* question about. For example, if it's a clothing store, and it's a shirt, look on the rack and see that there's a Small, Medium and XL size but not a large size.
Now go up to the salesperson and ask if you could have some help. The salesperson should of course say yes! Now bring them over and ask them if the item comes in size Large. Explain that you want it as a present for someone and that the shirt seems perfect for them, but that they wear a large. They can either go look, or say yes, or say no. You don't have to buy it of course, you can thank them very much and say you want to keep looking around a bit. If you're lucky they might get involved in your quest and help you look for other items or give other suggestions. Salespeople like to be helpful, and this will help you have conversations with people in your "high shyness category" in a controlled environment.
Do this in several different stores, getting comfortable with the idea of talking to someone in your interest group. They are not space aliens. They are just normal human beings, and they like to be friendly and talk to people. They won't bite. And even if they are grumpy for some reason, it's not the end of the world. You just say thank you and walk away, and they are now in the past.
When you are comfortable with this stage, it's time to put it all together. Head out into the main area of the mall. Wander around until you see a person that is in the age range that you would normally date, that is a regular mall patron. Don't choose someone overly gorgeous right now. Just choose someone in the right age range that is a "normal person". Remember, this is all about just MAKING CONTACT and not about any elaborate seduction technique. Walk up to the person and say "Excuse me, do you know when the mall closes tonight?" You of course can choose your own exact words :) The person can either say yes and tell you, or say no, or who knows what other answer. Thank them and head off.
If the person is rude or hostile, don't worry about it!! Someone who is capable of being rude to that simple question needs to have their head examined. That person will learn pretty quickly when life kicks them in the face that rudeness isn't accepted by mature people. Most likely, the person will be pleasant and either help you out or let you know where you can find that out. And because you were friendly and thanked them, you are now in their brain as "This Face = Friendly Person" instead of "This Face = Stranger". And that's all that breaking the ice is about! It's about transforming yourself from "Stranger" into "Friendly Person". The rest can come later. That initial transformation is KEY to the first contact.
Congratulations! You've now overcome some big hurdles in your quest to become less shy!
How to Become Less Shy
Master List of How Tos