Overcoming Being Shy/introverted
In our world today there are all types of people. We could break them into detailed categories and study them however this Hub is about the shy, the people who wait for things to happen rather than getting out and meeting people. The first clarification I want to make is that there is nothing wrong with a person who is shy/introverted. Being shy is not a defect, you do not need a pill for it. Time and time again friends have mentioned to me that they would like to be more outgoing and less introverted. This hub is for people who want to explore the brave world in a whole other way.
We can start with how shy happens. Every person develops emotionally at their own level. Sometimes people have experiences that lead them to want to hang in the background. Shy can be brought about by habits as well. Lastly for some people, being shy is just a part of who they are. Some of these people prefer to be alone in their solitude, and there is nothing wrong with that. However, for the shy person who wants to make some changes, I have some tips.
- Usually reluctance to seek others out is out of fear. That fear may be that as a person you will not be treated well or that you will not measure up to stranger’s expectation. To change this idea, change how you think of other people. A stranger to you is not someone close to you. That means the opinion of this stranger should not mean the world. In fact the opinions of people who are not close to you should be looked with a devil may care attitude. Do you really care if a total stranger likes you? Well you shouldn’t. If you hit it off with the person you may become friends and then you can concern yourself with their opinion (I would caution you not to value opinions of people who are not close friends). There is a strong power in not caring what other people think. It is liberating in a way that nothing else ever is. By not caring what strangers think a person can do what they want without worrying.
- What if you do make a fool of yourself? I have to say SO WHAT! Every person on earth has made a fool of themselves at one point or another. Part of our growth as people is learning that it does not matter what 20 total strangers saw you do. Embarrassment is only as effective as you let it be. Awkward moments and public failure are soon forgotten by everyone because people are easily distracted. Do not get caught up in the idea that you may fall on your face or say something wrong. Embrace the idea that if you do make a mistake, it will be easily forgotten or chances are you will never see these people again. And so what if you do? I have found the phrase “yeah that was not really my best moment” is a good response when dealing with people.
- Our out of the box moments lead to our greatest triumphs. As a senior in high school I went out for the cheer-leading squad for the first time. I did it not because I really wanted to be a cheerleader but because I had never done it before. To my surprise I made the squad and was voted most inspirational by the coach. You never know what you can do until you try. Not all your tries will be successes but they will be wonderful experiences.
- Making an effort to do something different always puts you in a better place than you were before. “Nothing ventured, nothing gained”. The very least you ever walk away with is experience.
- Learn to laugh at yourself. We all do silly stupid things sometimes. I remember once I in high school I was in such a hurry to get to my next class that I forgot to remove my bra and underwear before entering the gym shower. I don’t know if anyone saw but, I had to think fast to solve that little issue. People are somewhat silly by nature. Personally I think we should embrace it. The people that care don’t mean anything and the ones who love you, will love you anyway.
- Keep in mind that fear is a crippler of people. Fear will keep you from taking the chances that will change your life. More than anything we should fear not doing anything. To not do anything is a crime in life. All the great people in history pursued their passion time and time again even after so many failed attempts. Thomas Edison and even the Wright brothers had to endure repeated failures before they rose to the top and made history. Let go of the fear of failure and you will see a whole new world open up.
- Make your weaknesses your strength. My father was a great performer/actor. In high school I was in Drama to avoid a foreign language, not because I was a great actress. I thought I could cruise through and design sets or something… not a chance. I had horrible stage fright and I was cast in a lead roll in one of our productions. So I took a speech class and learned to speak in public. Today I can tell you that I am comfortable getting up in front of total strangers speaking about anything. Take your weakness and work on it until it is your strength.
- Try new things. Living is about the experience of living. When we never experience anything new, I have to think our living is not going well (opinions will vary). My acceptance of experience has gotten me into things like; a Native American Pow Wow, eating Indian cuisine, and kayaking the Colorado River. I have to admit all of these things were foreign to me at one point. But I love the fact that I did them.
Most off all we should live life to the fullest. Look at it like this, where has being shy gotten you up to now? The way I see it most people have nothing to loose by going to that party or saying hi to the guy at the