Do Ladies Prefer The Shy Guy?


You’re single and shy. Are you doomed to a dateless, lonely existence?

Our contemporary culture would have you think so. Television, social media, and advertising all scream: look at me! Our culture tends to reward extraverts who are bold and assertive with a million connections. Extraversion is often cited as a key to success on the job.

But a new bestselling book suggests that the introvert’s natural gifts may win in the end. Susan Cain is a former Wall Street lawyer who discovered that her introverted talents such as speaking quietly and reasonably, asking questions, and listening were key factors in successfully negotiating deals and arguing cases. In Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking she outlines the unique strengths of the introvert that even extraverts should try to attain.

The research she uncovers is intriguing. In one study of college students at the University of Virginia it was discovered that women found men more attractive when they weren’t sure whether the guy liked them or not! So if you’re a shy guy, you might have a slight advantage with the gals!

Another study showed that, contrary to popular belief, introverts often make better leaders.

The capacity to listen, to enjoy solitude, and to value a rich inner life are qualities that are sadly lacking in today’s hyperactive, distracted world. They’re qualities that any single Catholic, no matter your disposition, would strive to cultivate. Same goes for the virtues of empathy and compassion, self-control and the ability to listen. Strong relationships and happy marriages depend on these virtues.  

Introverts may not be the life of the party, but they have God-given gifts that are valuable in lasting relationships: empathy, sensitivity, capacity for depth, quiet commitment, and the ability to listen well.



  1. Bob-779266 February 25, 2012 Reply

    interesting observations.

  2. Ramona-738757 February 20, 2012 Reply

    First, God bless you, Nicholas. You made some truly profound statements. In the world that we live in today I admire and am attracted more and more to the contemplative. Including persons I associate with. I value the ability of persons with the aforementioned attributes. I think it is important to make the distinction between being introverted and anti-social. Sometimes we often confuse the two and miss out on meeting or rather forming fabulous friendships with others. Just because someone may appear the gregarious sort doesn’t mean this is their true nature…at least not 24/7! And, why not make the first move if one feels a person is shy? It works both ways. “The first introduction to love is to love first.” St. Augustine
    Thanks for article, Laraine. And, best wishes to you, Nicholas.

  3. Stacey-101742 February 20, 2012 Reply

    I really liked this article and the comments from Nicholas were very insightful and I couldn’t agree more . =)

  4. Lesley-158563 February 19, 2012 Reply

    Great article and great comments by Nicholas!

  5. Nicholas-605683 February 18, 2012 Reply

    “Introverts may not be the life of the party, but they have God-given gifts that are valuable in lasting relationships: empathy, sensitivity, capacity for depth, quiet commitment, and the ability to listen well.”

    Absolutely, could not agree more. However, those are qualities which I also feel are most valued by a partner *once the relationship has been established*. At that point, then yes, a natural introvert can have a great deal of wonderful qualities to bring to a successful relationship. However, where many introverts tend to struggle is arriving to that point; because when you’re first getting to know someone, being able to initiate and carry a conversation is absolutely essential. How can you determine if someone is a good match if they don’t allow you to get to know them, or if they can’t get to know you?

    I was once extremely introverted, and I remember the feelings of not being comfortable in expressing my interest in women all too well…the nervousness, the self-doubt, not having anything to say at the right moment, all of that. So please don’t misread me, shy people; I’ve been there and am intimately familiar with your struggle, I assure you. What really made the difference in my life was four things:

    1) I prayed. I pray regularly of course, but I prayed to St. Benedict Joseph Labre, the patron saint of single Catholic men. The power of prayer is indeed a wonderful thing and a gift in itself to be sure.

    2) I lost the fear of rejection. This was crucial. Yes, rejection can sting — but that sting is only temporary, and life will indeed go on. If one girl turned me down, it was not the end of the world.

    3) In college, I majored in Communications. In the latter part of my academic years, I realized with irony (to my chagrin) that I was failing in my chosen major every single day, by not being comfortable in communicating who I was to other people. I only wish I had that simple yet profound realization prior to my final year in college, but nevertheless, I am extremely glad it happened.

    4) Accepting myself for who I was regardless of the views of others, which gave my demeanor more confidence, the ability to feel comfortable in my own skin and to “be me.” In turn, that confidence was reflected outward through my personality, and to my pleasant surprise, other people (include the opposite gender) noticed.

    I still have my occasional introverted times, and there are moments every now and then where I feel like my shy 17 year-old self again (even now at 28). My heart goes out to introverted people, in the sense that the world by and large will often fail to accommodate them and their quiet, soft-spoken nature, or to stop and take time to discover their gifts.

    The introverts of the world certainly can possess those valuable gifts, and they should never let *anyone* tell them differently. No matter what the media or whoever else may shout from the rooftops, all of us are unique and special in our ways — even those who deal in quiet, knowing smiles as opposed to prideful boasts.

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