- Mental Health
Don't Let Shyness Rule Your Life!
If you are shy, you are not alone. Many people suffer from varying degrees of shyness. The mildly shy are able to forge ahead and take their place in society, eventually conquering their shyness and becoming 'so-called' happy, normal people. Those who are extremely shy may suffer so much that their shyness becomes a type of handicap, preventing them from enjoying all that life has to offer.
Many shy people will never be comfortable in large groups or in the 'limelight' in any situation, and that's perfectly all right. Shy people are, to me at least, better company and more interesting that brazen extroverts, so plan to be more comfortable in society, but hang on to a bit of that charming shyness, because that's part of who you are.
Both males and females suffer from shyness. It is said that shy people have low self-esteem, and are overly self-conscious. That may be so, but I also think that shy people simply do not realize how special they are.
You know early in life that you are shy. Adults often point this out, and the attention to the fact often makes the child even shyer. Some childhood environments certainly do contribute to shyness, but that is of no importance now. The time has come to accept your shyness and meet it head on.
Make a plan to deal with your shyness in slow, easy steps. First make a list of all the good qualities and abilities that you have. Writing down that you can knit may seem mundane, but to another knitter, this can be the start of a beautiful friendship. Writing that you have imagination may seem stupid, but imagination is what is needed to decorate for a party, or write a poetic tribute. Come up with at least twenty qualities, and you will soon realize that you have some pretty interesting abilities and characteristics to share with society.
Discuss your problem with the friend of family member, with whom you are most comfortable. Explain how you feel and enlist their help. Arrange to meet with a third person, a friend of theirs, unknown to you, for coffee or a simple meal. One way to help overcome shyness is to learn to direct the attention to someone else. Before meeting the stranger, make a list of questions that you could ask them - where they work, what they do there, have they been to that restaurant before, what type of food do they like, etc. Learn to ask add-on questions to their answers. The questions you ask will be asked of you in return, so think of simple answers that you can embellish, when you feel more able. Arrange with your friend beforehand to help you out if they feel you are becoming overwhelmed.
Repeat this exercise until you are comfortable with at least one other person. Practice your interactions on everyone you meet. You can simply ask a stranger if they have the correct time, when the next bus is coming, etc. When buying groceries, as the clerk if 'they' are having a good day. The more you interact, the easier it will become.
Make sure you have something to talk about. Go to the top movies. Listen to the news. Visit all the tourist sites in your town. While you gather things to talk about, you will have more opportunities to talk to strangers.
Try volunteering. Visiting seniors is an excellent choice for shy people. Seniors are grateful to anyone who takes time out of their busy day to spend time with them.
Most shy people are good listeners, and this is a great asset. If you listen carefully, you will find opportunities to ask questions, and keep the conversation going. Everyone enjoys the company of someone who will listen.
When you are ready, attend a small gathering, with your friend as a buffer. Dress modestly, and arrive early. Decide to interact with at least one stranger, even if it is just to approach a single person and say, 'Are you having a good time?' This may be all that happens, or a conversation may develop.
Don't waste your time worrying about what other people think about you. Just be yourself, and don't let anyone push you. More importantly, if you have a shy child, do not push them. It only makes matters worse. Help you child based on what has helped you, and always be there with lots of love and support.
Everyone has a place in this world, and everyone contributes to making it what it is. Your contribution is to be the best that you can be, and share that best with others.