Being shy can really be frustrating. I was shy myself once and I know just how hard it is staying afloat in social situations when you’re shy. Although it’s tough, getting over shyness is 100% possible for most people. Some people, however, have more chronic cases and may need the help of a counsellor in order to get over it. There’s no shame in seeking help when you need it. The results will be worthwhile.
Before we get started, realize that there’s a difference between being shy and being introverted. There’s a thin line between the two and it’s very easy to confuse them but there’s a difference. It is true that some shy people are introverted but not all introverted people are shy.
- Don’t advertise
Don’t go around telling people that you’re shy and that’s why you don’t talk much. This on its own is a form of programming that you’re performing on your brain and you’re accepting that you’re shy. What you want to do is not talk about it altogether. Shyness is not a physical trait that’s visible to others on sight, so most people might not even notice it.
- Realize that other people also want to interact with you
Most often, shy people will wonder what they should say in a conversation. The truth is, casual conversations are not something you can actually plan out. It’s so versatile that it’s near impossible to plan. Remove the pressure from yourself and realize that you don’t have to carry the whole conversation yourself. It’s a dance. You say something, the other person says something and on and on.
- Know what to talk about
Most shy people really don’t know what to talk about. Mostly, we’ll think about something and not be able to say it out loud. The thought is there, but the words won’t come. Well, a good place to start would be to get people to talk about themselves. People love talking about themselves. Shy people tend to think that they should be interesting and the life of the party but that’s not the case. People love you more when you find them interesting. So ask questions. If you’re at a party, find out how people knew each other. Once you find that out, follow it up with another question. If they met at a beach that you haven’t been to, ask about how that beach was. If you’ve been there, share your experience. You’ll be surprised by how well conversation flows after the first spark is ignited.
- Help others feel relaxed
In social situations, it is fairly easy to spot shy people. When you spot one, make a bold move and try and make them more at ease. Being a shy person yourself, you will understand the struggle they’re going through and can even use this as a conversation point. Engaging with them will subconsciously make you feel like you’re not as shy as you had initially thought, which will serve your overall goal of getting over your shyness.
- Put yourself out there.
Most shy people will typically avoid social situations because they’re not comfortable with the situation. But in order to get over it, you need practise. Throw yourself into as many social gatherings as possible. At first, it will still be challenging, but the more you do it, the more you’ll build confidence among people and the more you’ll start to forcefully wear out the shyness.
- Have something to do
The thing that scares most shy people at gatherings is the uncomfortable feeling of having no one to talk to and nothing to do. So whenever possible, always try to find something to do at a gathering. If it’s a friend’s party, offer to help out during the party. You can use this as a crutch in your interactions. If you have no one to interact with, you can always do what you were doing and if you have someone to talk to, all the better. Having something to do will generally increase the number of people you interact with considering that it will be a team effort and you’ll need to communicate and interact with people, some of whom you don’t know.
This is among the best methods of learning any new skills. Anytime you’re at a social gathering, look out for the most sociable people and observe what they do right. You can learn a thing or two just from watching them in action than you probably would in this article.
- See a mental health practitioner
If you’re completely unable to get over your social anxiety on your own, seek the help of a mental health practitioner. This could be a sign of social anxiety disorder and may in fact need the input of a licensed professional to help you get over it.
- Acknowledge and appreciate the steps you take
It’s not an easy journey getting over shyness. So at every opportunity, celebrate the little gains you make and keep pressing forward.