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Are you shy? Find a way out

Whether you are an introvert or extrovert, we can all relate to that feeling of shyness at some point in our lives. Socially, we tend…

Whether you are an introvert or extrovert, we can all relate to that feeling of shyness at some point in our lives. Socially, we tend to have the misconception that only introverts experience shyness, but that is not true. Shyness has more to do with being uncomfortable with one’s self, especially around other people.

But some psychologist suggests tips on how you can overcome shyness.

1.    Figure out what makes you 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 shyness hits. One can 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.    Stop labelling yourself as a shy person. You are unique, and you are beautiful. Learn to like yourself by appreciating yourself and liking the unique expression that is you.

3.    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.

4.     Affirmation – Words can carry incredible energy. What we repeatedly tell ourselves, gets heard by our unconscious mind, and it acts accordingly. If we repeatedly tell ourselves that we are incapable, and too shy to do anything, we will become increasingly aware of evidence to back up this ‘fact’, and our actions will always match what we tell ourselves. Similarly, if we repeatedly tell ourselves that we are capable, confident, and wonderful human beings, our unconscious mind will likely surface the awareness that gives evidence to this new ‘fact’. While, we can’t lie to ourselves, positive visualization and affirmation are helpful in placing us along the road of positive thought patterns.

5. Do not leave an uncomfortable situation – When we leave shy situations, what we are really doing is reinforcing our shyness. Instead, face the situation squarely in the face. Turn the fearful situation into a place of introspection and personal growth. Become the observer and dig into yourself, answer the questions: why do I feel this way? What caused me to feel this way? Can there be an alternative explanation to what is happening?

6. 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.

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

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.

8. Relinquish perfectionism – When we compare ourselves, we tend to compare ourselves with the most popular person in the room or we compare ourselves with celebrities we see on TV. We set excessive expectations by comparing ourselves unreasonably to people unlike ourselves and wonder “why can’t I be that?” We carry with us a vision of another’s perfection and expect ourselves to fit that exact mould. And when we don’t fit, we beat ourselves up for it, wondering why we are such failures. You see, the problem lies in our emphasis on fitting into a vision we have created in our minds, which is not us. Let go of this perfect image, create visions of yourself out of the being from whom you are, naturally; and let that expression flow, naturally.