How can I encourage my friend to come out of his shell?
August 15, 2012 9:28 AM Subscribe
O wisest MeFites, do you have any ideas about how to foster intimacy in a friendship with someone who is emotionally guarded and shut down?
posted by strelitzia to Human Relations (26 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
I have a friend that I adore, but by golly, he is a difficult person to get to know and be known by. I know that this person has a hard time opening up to people and is quite shy. The thing is, he has on rare occasions, shared some things with me that would be considered pretty personal. But then he clams up all over again and is emotionally distant. He's a great guy and I'd like to get to know him better, but I don't really know what to do to encourage him to open up more. I try to create a "safe" environment for him to be more transparent by listening well, sharing stuff about myself, offering encouragement, etc. I'm wondering if you folks have had a similar experience with a friend and if you have discovered anything that helps to "bring them out". Also, any ideas of activities that people can do together that can facilitate fun and trust in a relaxed atmosphere?