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Are You a Shy Person? Make It Work to Your Advantage! Read On

Updated on September 18, 2019
Abitha Deepak profile image

Abitha is a creative writer who draws inspiration from daily life and tries to look at a situation from different perspectives.

If you are incredibly shy but want to break free and mingle more, here are some tips you can use. Remember it is not necessary to go all the way and drastically change your personality.

Make your shyness work for you!
Make your shyness work for you! | Source

Being shy or socially awkward is something most of us experience when confronted with a very different social scenario than the ones we are normally used to! Some of us are extremely shy and do not ever want to think of any interaction. Then there are the introverts who are perfectly happy with who they are, prefer solitude rather than being in a group.

Most of us are a bit of everything, depends on what kind of day we are having or at what point in our lives we are at. Socialising can happen because we need to be in a group — like working in an office where the opportunities to interact and be social go hand in hand as it builds better harmony and co-operation in working relationships. Sometimes, when you are the primary caregiver for small children, life suddenly becomes all about them instead of you and your needs. The dependency it creates leaves very little time for yourself.

Author and Therapist, Suzanne Degges-White says in her article on Psychology Today, that a Degges-WHITE study, which is in review, gives clarity on how many friends you need to be happy. The concept of more the merrier does not apply at all and this is excellent news for the shy people amongst us! She makes it clear that you just need 3-5 friends to lead a happy and content life! This is often true in our own lives no matter how popular we are or how people rich our social media is! This small number is an achievable metric for our happiness quotient, yet we need to interact with more than 3 or 5 people as part of society!

How to connect with people

1.Learn to break the ice

2.Be the ideal listener

3.Don't feel the pressure to mingle every time

4.Keep a sense of mystery

5.Learn the happy side effects of being shy

6.Do not be an option

7.Break out of the rut

8.Be yourself!

The key is to understand that it is fine to be shy as long as you are willing to be friendly. Sounds contradictory? When you are part of a community, you will be interacting with people on a need basis. You need not be the flamboyant, cheerful person to communicate effectively. Often I find shy people who speak less but wisely are more respected than someone who speaks at every opportunity.

If you are incredibly shy but want to break free and mingle more, here are some tips you can use. Remember it is not necessary to go all the way and drastically change your personality.

Given here is an outline of baby steps to bring about a few changes, lay the foundation for better progress if you so desire!

Breaking the ice

When you find yourself in a situation where you need to talk to someone observe the person quickly and if there is something nice you notice, be brave and compliment them. It may be the hairdo or an accessory or their smile — keep your tone peppy and casual. Stick to comments that are culturally acceptable to the situation, person or event.

Tip - Making eye contact is the first step to break the ice!

We often speak to respond and not listen

Contrary to popular belief it is not essential to speak all the time to build relationships. It is the exact opposite. You need to listen with genuine interest. When you become interested, then the person who is talking to you will feel heard and connected with you. It does not matter that the subject is new as long as you show that you care and is curious to know more about the topic discussed.

Tip - When you are genuinely interested you will have questions about the topic — when there is a lull in the conversation, ask these questions — this effectively communicates your interest to the other person and makes them comfortable to keep the conversation going.

Contrary to popular belief it is not essential to speak all the time to build relationships. It is the exact opposite. You need to listen with genuine interest.

Don’t feel the stress to socialise in every situation

When meeting up in a group with casual acquaintances and in situations where you are waiting for your turn to get a service or appointment — it is not necessary to strike up a conversation as an exercise to overcome your shyness! Remember that it is perfectly normal not to initiate a conversation unless somebody else starts one.

Tip - Though there is no need to initiate conversation, smiling at someone when appropriate or exchanging pleasantries will make you approachable for a conversation!

It keeps a sense of mystery!

If you are in a relationship, which is important to you, perhaps you have felt that being shy prevents you from being vocal about everything you feel! It is fine to keep your opinions to yourself even the positive ones unless the person specifically wants to hear it. This may seem contradictory but this is the way you make your shyness work for you (this should be easy right)! It is a good trait to not wear your heart on your sleeve, a sense of mystery is very important to help the relationship progress on the right track! There is nothing wrong with being shy — we are just trying to tweak a few circumstances where they could be stopping you from trying to connect with people you care to know more about or build a relationship with!

Tip - Make the traits that are individual to you work for you rather than against!

The happy side effects of being shy!

So imagine this-There is a person A who loves to talk and there is a person B who is shy but loves the idea of being friends with B. Person B just has to take the first step and all the other steps A will take because of the simple reason that they love to talk and they are subconsciously looking for people who love to listen! It sounds very basic, well because it is! However, beware of the narcissist or the person who cannot ever be bothered to listen! Indeed, people who love to talk cannot help it! Still, they need to listen to the people who make the time for them. Stressing this further, don’t just establish yourself as this person’s sounding board in a growing relationship, if you want to nurture it. The feeling should be mutual and that matters!

Tip - If you take a good look at successful relationships in your vicinity, be it life partners or business partners or solid friendships — sometimes you will find opposites when you observe individual personality traits! That is something to think about right?

Shy moon hiding behind the trees!
Shy moon hiding behind the trees! | Source

When you are part of a group or community with a common interest — conversation doors and flourishing relationships will bloom out of unexpected corners!

Do not be an option

This does not hold good for all shy people but it does happen! When you are shy and keep your thoughts pretty much to yourself, there could be a tendency for others to take you for granted! It is ok to be shy but it is not ok to allow yourself to be treated as an option! Do speak up, the more sparingly the better but do voice your thoughts when it comes to self-preservation, emphatically.

Tip - If the person in relation does not take you seriously, let them know and walk away. If your relationship matters to them, they will come around and work for it! Otherwise good riddance, right?

Break out of the rut

If you find yourself cocooned in your comfort zone, too familiar with your surroundings and in the company of people who have learned to accept your shyness, try something different. It is highly likely that the time not spent on socialising would have translated into an interesting hobby or a sport! If it hasn’t, think of some activity you will enjoy and take it up with a group instead of going solo. When you are part of a group or community with a common interest — conversation doors and flourishing relationships will bloom out of unexpected corners!

Tip - Make your home or a favourite hangout as a regular place to catch up with buddies you formed a community with — this will be an excellent space for you to work your way out of the shell a bit, you can still enjoy your cocoon whenever you feel the need to!

Be yourself

Above all else, embrace who you are, the point of this article is to enable you to enjoy people and relationships more by looking at them from a different perspective and not in any way tamper with the essence of who you are! Being true to yourself is one of the keys to happiness. If you feel you want a complete personality makeover, this is a good enough place to start your journey. Small changes lead to big makeovers!

Embrace who you are, the point of this article is to enable you to enjoy people and relationships more by looking at them from a different perspective and not in any way tamper with the essence of who you are!

Sometimes shy people feel like an island in an ocean
Sometimes shy people feel like an island in an ocean | Source

How shy are you?

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    • bhattuc profile image

      Umesh Chandra Bhatt 

      3 months ago from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India

      Nice article. I was earlier moderately shy and was always waiting for the other person to break the ice. But he or she never did it. When it happened for quite some time then it made me to go for the other option that is to break the ice myself.

      That transformed me to a no-shy person today.

      Thanks.

    • Abitha Deepak profile imageAUTHOR

      Abitha 

      5 months ago from Chennai, Tamilnadu

      Niks,

      I am glad that you were able to connect with the article, thanks for your kind comment.

    • Niks007 profile image

      Niks 

      5 months ago from India

      It's a very helpful article. I m an introvert. Articles like this serve the shy and the introverts without forcing them to lose their true selves. The combination of the speakers and listeners, introverts and extroverts have done wonders. Thank you for such a valuable article.

    • Abitha Deepak profile imageAUTHOR

      Abitha 

      5 months ago from Chennai, Tamilnadu

      Happy that you can connect with this article Natasha and looking forward to reading your hub on being shy! Awesome to know you are connecting better with people now, best wishes.

    • Natasha Tungare profile image

      Natasha Tungare 

      5 months ago from India

      I loved this article!! I wrote something similar recently! And I have been through the phase of shyness and overcoming it, connecting with people!

      Loved it!

    • AshutoshJoshi06 profile image

      Ashutosh Joshi 

      6 months ago from New Delhi, India

      I'll agree with that, we're complex and we're constantly learning and evolving. Being introvert was considered problematic once, now it's pretty mainstream.

    • Abitha Deepak profile imageAUTHOR

      Abitha 

      6 months ago from Chennai, Tamilnadu

      True Ashutosh, then again, human beings are complex! I guess they exist to understand parts of our personality, rather than the sum of all parts. Of that, I think we are the best judge. Also, I believe our experiences lead us to change with time.

    • AshutoshJoshi06 profile image

      Ashutosh Joshi 

      6 months ago from New Delhi, India

      The Suzanne Degges-White observation makes sense to me. Although, I personally feel that modern sophistry has made the simplest of human behaviours as these utterly complex phenomenon by placing tens of thousands of tags on them. More than often you're just running in circles not trying to figure out but fit in!

    • Abitha Deepak profile imageAUTHOR

      Abitha 

      6 months ago from Chennai, Tamilnadu

      Chitrangada,

      Thanks so much for sharing your experience and that lovely, thoughtful comment. Fantastic to meet you at hub pages as well, looking forward to reading more of your poems and articles.

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 

      6 months ago from New Delhi, India

      A wonderful article, full of wonderful information and suggestions. A must read for many, who are shy.

      This is totally relatable to me, as when I was younger, I was shy. But, over the years, I have made a conscious effort to get away from all that. The shy person can loose opportunities. The World is now so competitive that you have to let your voice heard.

      Honestly, I am still slightly reserved, but people think otherwise.

      Thanks for sharing this valuable article. Thanks for the follow and good to meet you at HubPages.

    • Abitha Deepak profile imageAUTHOR

      Abitha 

      6 months ago from Chennai, Tamilnadu

      Haha, that sounds cool, now you have the best of both worlds, which is exactly what I was trying to say here. Thanks so much for stopping by Dale, I look forward to reading more of your hub.

    • GetitScene profile image

      Dale Anderson 

      6 months ago from The High Seas

      I actually am a pretty shy person but, since I have had to move around a lot, I have learned to be friendly and make new associates pretty easily. The funny thing is that everyone thinks I am outgoing! It makes me chuckle a little.

    • Abitha Deepak profile imageAUTHOR

      Abitha 

      6 months ago from Chennai, Tamilnadu

      Hi Carolyn,

      Thanks so much for sharing your experience as an introvert. I perfectly understand what you mean by needing time alone to recharge. I love time for myself. I suspect most writers do! I need to take that test and figure where I fit in now :)

    • Carolyn M Fields profile image

      Carolyn Fields 

      6 months ago from South Dakota, USA

      Wonderful, detailed article, full of excellent advice! Enjoyed the read. I have learned from doing MBTI (the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator) that I am an introvert, and happily so. I "flex" when I'm with other people to engage them and "seem" more extroverted. Then I have to go home and be alone to recharge. The good news is that this is perfectly normal!

      Thanks for sharing your wisdom.

    • Abitha Deepak profile imageAUTHOR

      Abitha 

      6 months ago from Chennai, Tamilnadu

      Thanks so much for sharing your experience Prantika. Working on ourselves is an important process for self discovery, am glad you found the article useful. More power to you my friend.

    • Prantika Samanta profile image

      Prantika Samanta 

      6 months ago from Kolkata, India

      I consider myself a moderately shy person and voted so. Sometimes I'm not comfortable making eye contact and cannot translate my emotions in words. After working on myself for a long time, I have gradually started speaking up for myself and saying No politely but firmly. Speaking my mind has really helped me feel light. Having said that, I cannot that I'm not at all a shy person. I will remember your tips as I'm pretty sure it's going to help me in the future. Interesting read.

    • Abitha Deepak profile imageAUTHOR

      Abitha 

      6 months ago from Chennai, Tamilnadu

      Peggy,

      Thanks for voting! Your mom is so right as studies now seem to prove! I am glad she shared such a lovely insight with you. It definitely would have helped you cope with your shyness and accept it, when you were a child. Mothers are intutive.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 

      6 months ago from Houston, Texas

      As a child, I was painfully shy. I have gotten better through the years and in your poll, I voted "moderately shy." My mother always said that if you could count your good friends, on one hand, you were fortunate. That goes along with the Degges-WHITE study which says that 3 to 5 good friends is all we need to be happy. This is another informative article of yours.

    • Abitha Deepak profile imageAUTHOR

      Abitha 

      6 months ago from Chennai, Tamilnadu

      Thanks, Shaloo, I guess so. I am glad you enjoyed the article.

    • swalia profile image

      Shaloo Walia 

      6 months ago from India

      I consider myself moderately shy. I guess majority of the people are like that. You have listed some great tips for shy people. I enjoyed reading this hub.

    • Abitha Deepak profile imageAUTHOR

      Abitha 

      6 months ago from Chennai, Tamilnadu

      Thanks much Rajinder, am glad you like the callouts and yes the sentence you refer to is one of my favourites to pen in this article as well!

    • Abitha Deepak profile imageAUTHOR

      Abitha 

      6 months ago from Chennai, Tamilnadu

      Haha, that's one way to look at it! Man of mystery does have a nice ring to it though! I think it was all inside your head, I am sure you were as engaging when you were younger - the shift is probably how you view yourself now! You know, older and wiser! Thanks a ton for your thoughtful comment.

    • Abitha Deepak profile imageAUTHOR

      Abitha 

      6 months ago from Chennai, Tamilnadu

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts Rajinder. It is wonderful to know that conversations flow now, that is the point of this article. Sometimes silence is golden! Sometimes it is a very thin line to tread as well!

    • soni2006 profile image

      Rajinder Soni 

      6 months ago from New Delhi, India

      I always come to see your callouts in your hubs. You really hit the mark with your words there. Especially I loved this one where you say, "When you are part of a ......unexpected corners!" Yes and when we help each other then we get several ideas. This is how nature has made us, to help each other. Very nice hub again Abitha.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      6 months ago from Olympia, WA

      When I was younger, my shyness felt like a curse. Now people consider me a man of mystery and want to interact with me. All it took was me growing older to change the scenario. :) Wonderful article!

    • profile image

      Digital Writopreneurs Hub 

      6 months ago

      Abitha I really like the way you have presented this article. Although I am not a shy person now but still I can relate with when I was. Now I can go ahead and talk and engage with anyone with whom I feel connected with. I open up and most of the time end up into deep conversations. But still many times I think that it is good to remain silent in certain situations where you don't have enough to say or you lack support from the other end.

    • Abitha Deepak profile imageAUTHOR

      Abitha 

      6 months ago from Chennai, Tamilnadu

      Thanks, Murali, glad you feel that it will connect with people. I hope so too!

    • Abitha Deepak profile imageAUTHOR

      Abitha 

      6 months ago from Chennai, Tamilnadu

      John,

      I am too! Glad you enjoyed reading the article! Nice of you to take the time. I believe that we constantly evolve and this article was an attempt at urging people to figure out if they needed to! Thanks for stopping by.

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 

      6 months ago from Queensland Australia

      This is an informative article, Abitha. I am a moderately shy person, though not to the extent I once was. The advice you give here is excellent and I enjoyed reading it.

    • hmkrishna profile image

      Halemane Muralikrishna 

      6 months ago from South India

      Wav, Ms Abitha, your topic of the article touches a majority of the world population! Now you must reach them!!

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