ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Shyness - how to overcome shyness

Updated on February 17, 2012

Shyness - what is shyness?

Are you shy? Do you want to overcome shyness? Well you are on your way.. The very fact that you are acting on it shows that you have been taking measures to overcome shyness. Shyness or diffidence is not a disease or a major drawback as people would like to make it out to be. Shyness just means that you have lacked experience in the area of social interactions and need a little help to remedy what you lack. The fact that you have lacked sufficient exposure to social interactions or you have been wrongly encouraged to think that you need to be less sociable now causes you to be anxious in your interactions with others. You shy away from social activities that put you in the limelight. You are comfortable doing what you do behind the scenes. The only thing wrong with this is that you do not get your fair share of appreciation and attention. It could at times mean that you could be bypassed for some loud mouthed extrovert.

Shyness - sofspics
Shyness - sofspics | Source

What causes shyness?

Some recent studies suggest that shyness has genetic causes, but with very little research in this area it may be difficult to prove a point yet. Nurture may be the biggest factor yet known to man that causes shyness. Various childhood experiences, both physical and emotional could be the cause of shyness.

Parenting plays an huge part in the formative years of a child, how your parents helped you develop your self-image and self-worth as a child has a huge influence on the way you think.

The environment at school, peers, the bullying and the impact it has on you could have modified or influenced the way you saw yourself and the self- image you have carried around for years.

Social exposure in your formative years, and experiences that you have had, could have moulded your attitudes and outlook in such a way that you have felt the need to shy away from people.

Various disabilities such as speech impediments, stammering and stuttering, physical shortcomings or even certain illnesses could impact the way you interact with others thus forming a pattern or a model for future behaviour.

Social conditions like extreme poverty or living in a community where you are not considered an equal, for example living in a country that does not accept colored people so easily, could all influence your social interactions to a large extent. There are other social conditions like having to interact with kids who have had more exposure, knowledge and resources than you.

There is no simple or specific reason to say this is what has made you a shy person, some or all of these could have had their impact on you. The good news is you do not have to remain shy all your life. Shyness can be overcome by improving your social skills.

What does being shy mean?

Shy people do not talk much, but that does not mean that they do not know much. Shy people make up for their lack of communication skills by observation skills. They observe from a high vantage point because no one is noticing them. They are great observers of human qualities, traits and are great judges of people and their intents. They are keen listeners and listen to more than what words say, they listen with all their senses and perceive and understand much more than the social butterfly who flits from flower to flower just to enjoy the sweetness.

Their sense of observation gives them a great eye for detail, they could make great planners and organizers if they could make use of their latent potential.

Shy people focus their attention inward and concentrate a lot. The little things of life are important to them. They tend to do well in school and excel in most things they do as their ability to be focused is high. They do not get into trouble with parents or teachers or in conflict with the law as they do not want attention drawn towards them. They are also less aggressive than most children and tend to tolerate a lot more than they really should.

The down side of being shy is, these individuals are non-assertive and could be taken for granted by others.

They can be passed up for opportunities and miss out on much fun.

They could be missing out on attention and love from parents and elders.

They may be more stressed out than the others as they tend to internalize the problems.

How to overcome your shyness?

To say that it is easy to overcome shyness would be stretching it a bit too far. It is hard work but it is not impossible.

Every problem starts with your mind, so program your mind with the right thoughts to help you overcome your problems.

Developing a positive attitude towards yourself and being positive and charitable in your thoughts towards you could really help, since it is your negative thoughts that has made you shy or timorous in the first place.

Use the power of of positive affirmations to reinforce your self-esteem and build your self confidence. Take time to write down what you are good at and tell yourself that you are.

You would do well to focus on your good qualities and magnify them, do not berate yourself about the things you are not good at. Everyone has their own strengths and weaknesses.

Since the problem is one of social interaction, you could start with interacting in small social groups that you are familiar with, you could act with being heard more often, maybe even open a conversation with someone and just wait for them to respond. Urges to isolate yourself should be dealt with and all efforts to socialize in small ways should be made.

Since anxiety precedes any social interaction, you as a shy person could do well to learn techniques of relaxation. There are many on the Internet which are easy to use. Breathing techniques are easy to use anywhere anytime.

Equip yourself with information, knowledge or skills that could help you in your social interactions with others. My friend has learned how to use one-liners and and jokes that would stun people and then make people laugh out loud. She has long since come out of her shy shell.

Shy people often feel self-conscious, and believe that others are reading them and evaluating them. Allow me to let you into a secret - the gregarious ones are always vying for attention and are often caught up with themselves, trying to figure out if they have made the mark.

Develop genuine interest in people and you would find your focus shifting from you to others.

Perfectionism is another reason why people find it hard to break out of their shyness, let go of your perfectionism, it only hinders your productivity.

Compassion towards others helps you to focus on people and their problems instead of you and yours. Seek those who could really do with some attention, and you will find that lending a helping hand could benefit you as well.

Step out of your comfort zone and do tasks that are progressively more difficult, taking one step at a time so that you are not totally overwhelmed.

Do not let what others say influence you, form your own realistic opinions of yourself. You know yourself better than any one else who claims to.

Surround yourself with people who love you and support you, but ensure that they are the positive kinds and not the anxious ones who could make you more nervous.

The last but the most important piece of advice that I could give you is be kind to yourself, learn to like yourself, even love yourself, without becoming over-confident. You need to be comfortable in your own skin before others will start liking you.
Wishing you a happy journey towards overcoming shyness.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • sofs profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from From the land of wonders

      Prasetio, I am so happy that you see yourself for who you are... Thank you so much for letting me know how you feel. The aim of this hub is to reach out to people who are shy.. and I am glad if this has helped you in someway. Have a wonderful day! God Bless!

    • sofs profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from From the land of wonders

      LailaK, I am glad that you are progressing well in your journey to defeat shyness. I started with little kids,worked with teens, later with adults and then pushed myself to work with professional groups. People who see me today have no idea that I was a painfully shy kid. I am glad that this hub helped you understand your potentials. I wish you all the best in your journey forward. Have a lovely day my dear. God Bless!

    • sofs profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from From the land of wonders

      Ruby, I am glad that stepping out of your comfort zone changed the person you were.. Your choice of career should have pushed you out of your comfort zone I guess. For me Shyness was a huge problem until I understood it and worked through it. Thanks for sharing your experience. Have a lovely weekend my dear. God Bless!

    • prasetio30 profile image


      6 years ago from malang-indonesia

      I am a shy guy. But after reading this hub, my self confident is back. I love your tips and useful for me. Thanks for writing and share with us. Rated up!


    • LailaK profile image


      6 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      I love your hub!! I am on my journey to overcoming shyness; I started out with a small group of girls at lunch and now I am involved in a youth group. Thank you soo much for mentioning the positives and negatives! That really helped me with understanding my abilities :)

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      6 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Another great topic Sophie. I used to be shy, going into nursing changed that in a hurry. I especially like the idea of stepping out of your comfort zone. Thank's for sharing.....

    • sofs profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from From the land of wonders

      Glad to know that you have overcome your shyness.. I still have to work through some areas of shyness. Actually I can do most things I can put my mind to.. it is a mind game after all. I appreciate your comment, it does endorse my view that shyness can be effectively overcome. Have a wonderful weekend! God bless!

    • radhikasree profile image

      Radhika Sreekanth 

      6 years ago from Mumbai,India

      Great hub on the factors influencing shyness. I too was very shy before marriage, but afterwards everything changed and now I don't fear or shy to go and talk in front of anyone. Votes up and interesting.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)