If you're a shy person by nature, social situations can be absolutely terrifying! Guest contributor Aby League shares a few tips on how you can overcome and conquer shyness.
Growing up is awkward. It is a phase of discovery, adventures, friendships and that perpetual desire to fit in and be liked. Being shy is normal and strategies to overcome shyness will differ from one person to another. Remember that shyness is not a social disease or phobia. It is a behavior that can be unlearned and conquered. Here are a few ways to overcome shyness.
1. Start Small
Start with a smile. Look at yourself in the mirror and try practicing your gaze. Look at a picture and stare at it squarely in the eye. When out in public, try applying this by practicing eye contact and giving a firm handshake. Continue building your confidence by learning and offering simple introductions and small talk. Rehearse what you want to say and write it down if necessary. Try saying it out loud. Start with the people you are most comfortable with then branch out when you are ready.
2. Conversation Starters
The most difficult and the most crucial point of trying to be socially comfortable is getting started. Practice at home and learn to deliver some tried and tested one-liners like “Hi, I’m **** and we are in the same class,” “What is your topic for the report?” “That jacket looks good on you,” How did you find the exams?” Asking a question makes it easier to approach strangers.
3. Look for Opportunities
Give yourself a chance and find opportunities to be more outgoing. In school, register in a group or club that you are interested in. When people around you have the same interests as you, it won’t be so hard. For adults, you don’t have to force yourself into popular settings like bars and clubs right away. You are not alone anyway. An infographic by PlaygroundEquipment.com showsthat 48% of American adults are reported to be shy. Practice your social skills at a friend’s party or a family gathering. Talk to your friend’s friend or try being less shy with a cousin that you don’t get to see a lot. For parents with shy kids, try a natural environment like the playground. Play is absolutely essential for every child. However, data collated by PlaygroundEquipment.com shows that only 1 in 3 children engage in physical activities each day and the lack thereof may result in challenges in speech and social skills.
4. Release Tension
Physical activities do not only help you overcome obesity (which is a major cause of shyness and social discomfort) but also help you release anxiety. Activities like walking and jogging help re-channel your energy and refresh your state of mind. Muscle meditation also helps you to relax and calm down.
5. Find Your Strengths
Shy people are overly self-conscious. They are always busy looking at themselves and most of the time all they see is everything that is wrong. Look at yourself once more and learn to like what you see. Know what you are good at and focus on improving those aspects. Accept your unique qualities and understand that it is okay to be different.
6. Stop Comparing
Excessive negative self-evaluation is usually heightened when you try to compare yourself to the most beautiful or most perfect person in the room. This is usually the case with women who carry with them a vision of another person’s perfection. Shy girls who are already having a problem with confidence often ask: Why can’t I be that girl? Why is my hair or my skin not like hers? This will only make matters worse, so stop comparing yourself to others.
7. Rejection is Okay
Confidence is naturally shattered with rejection. However, don’t forget that everyone gets rejected. Don’t take it personally, move on, and try again.
8. Be Yourself
You have probably heard this over and over again. You have probably gone through this in your head many times before. But it is true. You can’t be someone you’re not, so stop trying. Give yourself time, don’t be too hard on yourself, and be patient. Do things that are natural to you in your own time.
Do not force yourself to fit in. Know that being shy is okay and that you will be okay. Breathe, relax, and never stop trying. Do you have any tips to share?