Are we born shy? Do we learn to be shy? No one knows for certain, but the good news is that you can learn to be less shy.
Extreme shyness can be crippling. Even mild shyness can be both a social obstacle and uncomfortable. If you’re willing to be a little brave, there is much you can do to combat your shyness.
Try these ideas to overcome your shyness and find social comfort:
- Eye contact. Though your natural inclination might be to avoid eye contact, it can actually help you to relax. When speaking or listening to someone, focus on the color of their eyes. Stare into those eyes and attempt to learn everything you can about the color. You’ll find that you look and feel more confident.
- View yourself in a new light. Do you view yourself as a shy person? If you do, you’ll certainly feel shy, too. Allow that image of yourself to drop away. Replace that image of a shy person with one that is confident and comfortable.
- Use positive self-talk. Rather than using self-talk to talk yourself into a hole before you open your mouth, use the power of positive self-talk to give yourself an advantage. Be nicer to yourself than you are to anyone else. Take care of yourself!
- Focus on the other person. You can’t be shy and nervous unless you’re thinking about yourself. Put your attention on the other person. Focus on their words and concern yourself with their comfort and happiness.
- Prepare a few good stories. You’ll feel more confident around others if you have a couple of good stories or jokes to tell. Never be at a loss for words by having a few words prepared in advance.
- Practice. Even if you’re friendless, you still have plenty of practice fodder available to you. The world is overrun with people. Grab one and start talking. Work on feeling more comfortable each time. Ask strangers for the time or directions. Talk to the cashier or the person next to you in line.
- Dress appropriately. It’s easier to feel confident and comfortable if you’re dressed for the occasion. Being underdressed in wrinkled clothes will make nearly anyone self-conscious. Finding yourself overdressed can be just as uncomfortable.
- Control your breathing. Your physiology follows your breathing. Shallow, fast breathing can make you feel like you’re about to experience a coronary. Deep, restful breaths can leave you feeling calm, cool, and collected.
- Try something new. Take on a new hobby. Learning to deal with new experiences can build your self-confidence and lessen your shyness. Get a little out of your comfort zone on a regular basis. You’ll become a stronger and more well-rounded person in the process.
- Be bold and reveal yourself. Instead of trying to hide who you are from others, give them the inside scoop, within reason. You’ll find that people appreciate your openness. You’ll also come to realize that there’s nothing to fear. Interacting with others is a safe activity.
Tackle your shyness by implementing these tips. You might be naturally introverted, but that doesn’t mean you have to spend your life feeling shy. You can learn to feel comfortable in all social situations with practice. You can learn that it’s okay to be open with others. The time to get started is today.