Shyness is defined as feeling uncomfortable in social situations to the point where we don't enjoy ourselves. When you find yourself around other people, do you feel stress? Does your shyness interfere or lower your performance at work? Do you often find yourself avoiding social situations all together? If so, you will benefit from some tips on how to overcome shyness.
Learning how to overcome shyness begins with accepting your condition and challenging yourself to make changes. Don't expect results over night as there is no 'magic pill', but with effort and determination you too can learn how to overcome shyness. Here are four tips on how to overcome shyness that may help you feel more comfortable in social situations.
4 Tips on how to Overcome Shyness
Affirmations can be defined as "something declared to be true; a positive statement or judgment." Shy people are well versed at beating themselves up with negative affirmations such as, "I'm boring", "Why did I just stay that?", "What an idiot I am, "boy am I a loser", etc., etc. I challenge you to write down as many negative qualities that you (or others may have said to you) have been holding onto. Look for common themes and then wire out an affirmation on the positive aspect of this self-judgment. (For example if "loser" is a common theme the positive aspect would be "I am a winner"; a more detailed affirmation would read, "I am an interesting and worthy person".) Affirmations are effective if you repeat them to yourself (or out loud in front of a mirror) several times a day for a few minutes.
2. Open the vault, take a good look and let go.
How do you feel about yourself? Do you feel unworthy? Perhaps thoughts like; 'I don't fit in because I am not smart/interesting/good looking enough? Why is everyone looking at me?' Take a minute to reflect about how you see yourself and identify the root cause of your shyness. (eg weak self-image) Sometimes we can be too narcissistic and take ourselves too seriously. Give serious thought to accepting your shyness as opposed to beating yourself up about it and fighting it. Being able to accept and laugh off weaknesses can take the pressure off allowing you to move forward.
3. Get out there!
Small steps at first, but challenging yourself to get out there is a key component on how to overcome shyness. You may feel like you have to "fake it" or "act confident" but with a commitment to a positive self-image and a shift in your attitude, it is possible. Facing your demons is uncomfortable as is learning from your mistakes. Some 'getting out there' examples include:
* Join clubs or groups where you have an interest, knowledge or experience.
* When in social situations, make a habit of always introducing yourself. Remember to smile, firm handshake, and eye contact, displaying confident body language.
* Make an effort to talk to as many different people as you can when you are out or set a goal... ' eg. every time I go out I'm going to talk to 1/2/3 new people." Keep records.
* Be approachable... do others think you are hostile, aloof or stuck up? Often shy people are mislabeled this way. Body language is key; stand tall, keep your head up, smile, etc., as this will help send out positive vibes and draw people to you.
4. Prepare in Advance
Are you a good conversationalist? If not, this is certainly a skill that can be improved that will help boost your confidence. Some tips on having a good conversation include:
* Desirable body language. (Everything from not slouching to your clothes, your smile and remembering to floss!)
* Be dedicated to the conversation. Be in the moment, really listening to the other person.
* Show genuine interest in the other person, they fascinate you!
* Use compliments often.
* Avoid "I" talk. General rule of thumb is: Listen lots, ask questions, offer compliments and avoid talking about yourself continuously.
* Know your strengths. What are you knowledgeable about?
* Use of appropriate humor is great! Laughing at your self during awkward pauses in the conversation is awesome. Hey, it's certainly OK to admit to the other person that small talk is not your forte or that you are naturally a little shy.
* Breathe! Think of yourself as an actor... Remember sometimes you have to 'fake it'!
The key to a good conversation is your mental approach or your game plan. You DON'T have to impress anyone, so take the pressure and worry off yourself. If you show genuine interest in the other person and make them feel important the environment becomes relaxed and comfortable.
Overcoming shyness is no easy task. There are many ideas out there on how to overcome shyness but there is no 'one size fits all' solution to this problem. For someone who is shy, it will take a lot of positive work, self-analysis, as well as changes in behavior patterns to overcome shyness. With effort and dedication you will be able to become more confident and open.
My name is Clancy Davies and I am the creator and author of the website, "Alleviate the Anxiety". I have specialized in the field of education and personal growth for nearly 30 years and enjoy helping people solve their personal issues and reach their maximum potential. While visiting 'Alleviate the Anxiety' you will find many interesting articles on a variety of topics including; anxiety, panic disorder, shyness, stress, fears and more. You will discover many tips, remedies and solutions to help you on your path to better health.