Many people are already enjoying their shyness-free lives. Find out what causes shyness and how to overcome it to live a happy life.
How to stop being shy, this is a statement that brings to mind young, timid children, who never raise their hands in class, or blush each time the teacher addresses them.
Reality couldn’t be more different; shy, introvert people abound, they’re not just kids, they are the adults you stumble upon every day as well.
Being a shy adult is not something to be ashamed of. Think of shyness as a small weakness you need to OVERCOME.
You need to replace a weakness (shyness) with a new skill or strength (fearlessness). But before figuring out how you can stop being shy, we need to determine what causes your shyness.
Finding the Root Causes of Shyness
We mistakenly believe that shyness is a disorder, when in reality it is the effect of some other personal weakness or symptom. There is nothing wrong with being shy, unless you let it get to the point where you can’t buy something for yourself or carry out a job interview.
For instance, many people who are shy, or quiet suffer from low self-esteem, or have an inferiority complex. Others yet have a low anxiety threshold (getting upset or anxious easier and faster than others).
Some others are more receptive to emotional nuances others would ignore (for instance, a joke misinterpreted as an insult).
During our formative years, we get to know who we are through how our peers and parents treat us.
If a person has an abusive father, or an indifferent mother, they would probably believe it is because of something they do. In addition, they grow up thinking this kind of behavior is normal and that it occurs in all households.
As we cannot figure out who we are by ourselves (since we’re too young), we DEPEND on the cues others give us.
If these cues are negative we are most likely to develop an inhibiting and introvert behavior later in life. We lack the confidence and boldness that others take for granted, because as children we didn’t perhaps get the reinforcement and affection we deserved.
Discovering what makes you shy will allow you to more effectively overcome it. Knowing that you are shy because this is the way you shield yourself from criticism, tells you that you need to become insensitive to judgment and not let others’ opinions affect your feelings.
It also tells you that you need to put your own opinion first, above everyone else’s, that there’s no need to give so much value to negative comments. You need to believe in your own STRENGTH.
➨ Often shyness is attributed to the following –
Being obsessively self-conscious, that is being too focused on how one acts, behaves, talks and carries oneself in social situations. This makes problematic social interactions, almost making it impossible for them to run smoothly and without stress.
Poor self-image; a low self-esteem makes us perceive ourselves as useless, unattractive, and not worthwhile. This lack of self-worth makes it difficult to deal with social interaction because what we believe to be (i.e ugly, fat, silly), we think others believe it too.
This is almost never the case. You’re what you show to be. If you act and feel confident and beautiful, people will sense it and begin to see it in you too.
Shyness despite its causes, it can be DEFEATED with pretty much the same actions of boldness and courage.
The following are some strategies to help you be aware of your shyness, to anticipate “a shy episode” and how to deal with it in a fearless manner.
Finding the trigger
Learn what makes you shy, the situations and people that trigger it. This way you won’t get caught by surprise. If it is expected, you can deal with it more efficiently and calmly.
Be aware of its reach; learn to identify whether there is a shyness overload coming. Know when it is mere shyness, and when it’s on the edge of turning into a social anxiety incident.
Polish up your communication skills
If you find small talk, or carrying a conversation with a superior terrifying, you should probably start working on your communication skills.
Knowing how to do small talk, or allow a conversation to carry on smoothly (even if you don’t have anything to contribute) are skills that are learned. Some have learned it earlier in life, and it’s possible that you have to adjust to the situation. This is OK too.
Avoidance Vs Immersion
Shy people have retreating personalities. They are always on guard and ready to run away, looking for an excuse to withdraw from the social sphere. They seek an opportunity to hide, retreat, protect themselves from (seemingly) threatening situations.
Do the opposite. Challenge yourself to stay, even if it makes you uncomfortable. The awkwardness will soon subside and a feeling of victory and power will overwhelm you. Unless you try, you can never know who easy or difficult a situation might be. I say try it!
Be firm and patient
It will take time, a lot of mistakes and a great deal of anxiety. Once the unknown and the awkward situations are experienced, you will have a greater understanding for your capabilities in handling them; they will be familiar and comfortable.
Do NOT let the unknown hold you back. Be bold and go discover it.
There’s nothing wrong with being prepared
Social interaction doesn’t always have to be based on improvising. If you find it hard picking up the phone to complain about a faulty device, rehearse it. Even make notes for things you mustn’t forget to say.
You’ll feel relaxed making the phone call and you’ll succeed in getting what you want. Plus the whole process won’t be stressful for you.
Stop worrying what others think of you
- Do what makes you happy, even if it will annoy someone else.
- Make a pact to get out of your comfort zone more often. Start small each day. Talk to the postman, greet your neighbor with eye contact, ask for directions (even if you’re not really going anywhere). The more you are socially involved, the more confident you’ll be about it.
- Feel like a super-hero, invincible and unshakeable. Nothing can hurt you, unless you let it.
- Being self-conscious distracts you from the task at hand. If you keep wondering how you might sound, or whether you shirt has unbuttoned, it will only make matters worse. Don’t be self-focused. Dive in conversation without much thinking. Beside a conversation is as much about you as it is for the other person.
Shy might be who you are, but bold is what you’ve always been
Being shy, you MISS on great opportunities for fun, growth and success, in fear of the unknown and the possibility of doing mistakes.
Perhaps you constantly feel guilty and regretful for not doing things, or blaming yourself for not being like all the rest.
Realizing that you miss a rare opportunity to realize your full potential by hiding in your comfort zone is not something to be sad about.
Let this realization of all the things missed, to be your driving force for change. To change into a confident, powerful and fearless person, who’s not afraid of taking risks, and living life to its fullest.
Think of all the new things awaiting discovery, the exciting people you can meet and learn about, the astounding things to taste, see and try. The sheer feeling of freedom and invincibility, knowing that others can’t hurt you and that you are in control.
With some effort, time and patience you’ll be able to finally be the person you knew you were, but were afraid to let shine through.
Shyness is just more of a state of mind than an unchanging fact. That shyness can be replaced with boldness (only if you want).