Tuesday, March 10, 2009

How To Overcome Shyness?

1. Figure out what makes you feel shy. Do you become shy in front of audiences? When learning a new skill? When venturing into a new situation? When surrounded by people you know and admire? When you don't know anyone somewhere? Try to pinpoint the thoughts that go through your head right before the shyness hits. Then come up with some "I" statements that you can repeat to yourself, like a mantra, to head off those thoughts: "I can do this", "I look good", "I have something to offer", etc.

2. Build your self confidence. Everyone has some special gift or trait to offer to the world. It sounds corny, but it's true. Think about what you know, what you can do, what you have accomplished, not about how you look or sound or dress. And keep in mind that everyone, even the "beautiful people", has something about themselves or their life that they don't like. There's no particular reason why your "problem" should make you shy while their "problem" doesn't make them shy.

o Get comfortable. Surround yourself with people who bring out the best in you, and build up your confidence through them. Eventually, this will translate to other situations being more comfortable.
o Close your eyes and visualize a situation where you might be shy. Now, in your mind's eye, make yourself feel confident. Do this often, and for different situations. This is most effective if you do this daily, especially in the morning. It might feel silly, but athletes use visualization to develop their skills, so why not you?
o Maintain close bonds with your friends, as they can be there for you as you crack out of your shell. They'll be glad to help and encourage you with your progress.

3. Look and act approachable. Convey an open, friendly attitude with your body language.

o Smile and make eye contact. A simple smile in the direction of a stranger may brighten your day, and it will brighten theirs, too! Smiling is a friendly way to acknowledge others, and it makes a pretty good lead-in to start a conversation with anyone, stranger or friend. It breaks the ice and loosens up your facial muscles, too.
o Practice good posture and speaking clearly. Standing tall gives the world the impression that you are self-confident and receptive to others. Speaking clearly will help avoid the potential embarrassment of needing to repeat what you said due to mumbling or talking too quietly.
o Laugh often, but only at things you find genuinely amusing. It will help ease any tension you may be feeling and will make you feel more relaxed.
o Don't look preoccupied. Don't work on papers, text or do your make-up if you want someone to talk to you.

4. Set goals for yourself. Focus on small, daily accomplishments, then gradually become more daring.

o Make a list of situations that make you feel anxious. Order them so that those things that cause you the least anxiety are first and those that cause you the most anxiety are last. Once you have a list of 10-15 stressful situations, start working through them, one-by-one. The first few "easier" situations will help build your confidence so that you can continue moving to more difficult situations on your list. Don't worry if you have to go backwards on the list sometimes; take it at your own pace, but make an effort to push yourself.
o Introduce yourself to one new person each day. It is often easier to talk with strangers, at least briefly. After all, you may never see them again, so who cares what they think about you?

5. Make new friends. Talk to somebody you would not normally think about having a conversation with. Try to find people who share one or more of your interests and find excuses to talk to them. It is great practice for more daring behavior, such as talking to popular, charismatic people. Initiate conversation with a simple starter, such as, "That's a nice bag, where did you get it?" or "It's really nice outside, don't you think?" Most people are good-natured and will be welcoming to your advances. People often indicate that they are interested in conversing by starting this way, so learn to take the bait when it arises, and try to say as much in response as possible.

6. Try doing stuff you never dreamed you would. Doing something really outlandish, like sky diving, will: a) provide an endorphin rush; and b) give you a story to tell when you are making conversation with people. And if you can find the courage to do something that big, then something like talking to a cute girl/guy should seem easy.

• Remember that shyness is an emotion, not a permanent personality trait! You have the power to change your feelings of shyness and act in a bolder manner.
• There's nothing wrong with being shy, but there's nothing wrong with being outgoing either!
• Keep working at it. It may take you time to feel more comfortable, don't get discouraged.
• As time passes, you'll notice that you've actually beaten a bit of that shyness. Think of it as a motivation to keep on!
• If you think everyone is looking at you, such as when crossing the road or walking through a public place, watch someone else do the same thing and really take note to see if other people are watching that person. You will be surprised to realize that we are not that noticed by others in the grand scheme of things!
• Don't be afraid to seek professional help; group counseling, individual counseling, and therapy can help you along the way. Sometimes it's more than just shyness, and it's important to realize that. Social Anxiety Disorder is often seen as "extreme shyness", so make sure that you know what you have.
• Smile often. People will think of you as more approachable, and you will do better socially. Smile when people talk to you so they know you're interested in conversation.
• Give yourself lots of time to talk. Speaking slowly gives you more time to think about what to say, as well as often adding weight to your words.
• Shyness is sometimes seen as classy.
• Many children grow out of their shyness.
• Perhaps your shyness comes from stage fright? If you're having difficulties speaking in front of an audience, it is a good idea to choose a person in the audience that you feel comfortable around, and keep your eyes on them the entire time, as though your speech was directed at them. Eventually, you will be able to let your eyes roam around the room, connecting with each member of the audience.
• If speaking to a crowd simply chooses one person in the audience and focus in on that one person.
• Overcome stage fright by imagining you are someone else, such as a favorite celebrity you admire Picture yourself as that person until you feel comfortable onstage.
• Remember, if you find the courage to speak and not be afraid you will become more comfortable with that concept and eventually act that way almost all the time.

• Sometimes, shyness can be a serious obstacle to overcome. Be prepared for quite some work.
• Do not follow the old adage of envisioning the entire audience in their under-garments! This might make you laugh, which is not a good thing, especially if it's a serious speech!
• Avoid turning to alcohol or drugs to overcome shyness. It will likely end in a bad situation.
• If you were known for being shy amongst family members and friends, watch out for the harmless teasing. Some may be uncomfortable with you existing outside the category they've put you in, in their own minds. Ignore them. They mean well, but don't let them scare you back into your shell!
• Don't be TOO confident!
• Remember, you are human just like everyone else. Someone else might have way more problems then you but still more out going then you. Just be human, start speaking your mind, and don't care about what people think about you. At least they're thinking about you.

1 comment:

ladyNpink said...

shyness???all of us could feel in that way, it's depend on how to handle that kinda mixing of emotion.It's in you, on how to over come on it;but the best thing that you can do is to look at your self in front of the mirror and be proud of what you are.We are created equally,remember this statement.Second,know how to mingle other people in your surrounding.And lastly, you must be participative enough to join on any events and activities.Anyway, no one could ever just change whatever a person is striving for his own. It is a person non-communicable principle to stick on whatever he think is right and continue to do good.