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Tips on overcoming shyness

Updated on November 18, 2011

Are you shy?

I was. And still am in some circumstances. Do you want to get over your shyness and become more comfortable around people? I did. So here are some things that I found helpful for me as a teenage guy in making friends and being comfortable in social situations. I'm not claiming to be an expert on this topic by any means, but these things helped me, so if you want to give them a go, it's totally up to you.

My journey

I've come miles :)

I was a normal young kid before I was about 10. I played with the other kids and didn't wasn't self-conscious at all (as an average kid should be) until I was about 9. That was when I became far more self-conscious and nervous in social situations. As I grew older, it got slightly worse and well into my teens I had a very hard time making friends and feeling comfortable in any social situation at. When I was around 16, I made to decision that I was not going to let this hold me back any more. I was missing great opportunities just because I was afraid of what people would think. I think that this was half the battle. Making an active decision to fight shyness, and let me be me. Once you have made this decision, life becomes more exciting! So please, do it! If you're on this page you may have already made the decision. Congratulations! Your on your way to a life that's way more fun! :)

Lastly, I'll let you know that I haven't completely overcome my shyness just yet. I'm still working on it, as it takes some time, but I'm confident I'll make it. Even so, I'm come miles since I was 16. I can have conversations with people comfortably, I'm got more friends, I look forward to social events, I take more opportunities that come my way, and get invited out way more often! It's great!

1. Realize it's OK to be a quiet person

You don't have to be loud!

One thing that I came to realize is that there's a difference between being a shy person and being a quiet person. A shy person lets fears control how they behave in social situations. Fears about what other people will think of them. But a quiet person is just a person who isn't "the life of the party" and just prefers to go about about life in a more relaxed and calm manner. If you're naturally quiet, then embrace that! It's completely fine to be a quiet person! Loud people often have a hard time understanding this because they don't know any different. In the same way, quiet people often have a hard time understanding how loud people can be so noisy. The thing you need to remember though, is that if your shyness is not letting you be yourself, or holding you back in any way, it' not a good thing. If you just prefer to be quiet and are naturally that way inclined, then that great! I often think this world needs more quiet people. We are often better listeners I think and there seems to be a shortage of those these days.

2. Smile more :)

It's fun! :)

One really simple thing that helped me is to smile more. If you don't smile enough, people mistakenly take you to be snobby or unfriendly. Especially if they are not shy themselves. Make sure they're genuine smiles, and don't worry about saying anything. Just smiling in the presence of other people can make you seem far more approachable to others. So if you're at a party and someone cracks a joke, don't hesitate to smile and laugh. This makes you appear far more warm and friendly, which no doubt you truly are.

3. Say hi!

HI!! :D

Another simple to practice doing whenever you get the chance is the say hi when you see someone you know. That's all you need to say to begin with, just "hi"! This strategy also lets people know you're a friendly person. It's difficult to do in the beginning, but it gets easier the more you do it, because you will see that people will respond in a very positive way. People will say hi back and smile. If you have to, force yourself to do it. Make the decision to be friendly. Take it from me, it pays off! :)

4. Ask people about themselves

They love it!

A good thing to try on more outgoing people is to ask them about themselves. Most people love to talk about themselves. So if someone talks to you and you don't now what to say, ask them about themselves. That way, you don't have to say much and they will do all the talking. This is a good way to start out, and the more you do it, the more comfortable you will become having conversations. Remember, practice, practice, practice.

5. Don't worry about what others think of you!

Seriously!

The final thing to keep in mind at all times is not to care what others think of you. I've found that even if you do something really embarrassing, most people will forget about it within minutes. All it was for them, was a blip on their radar for the day. People WON'T go home and talk about how stupid you looked. They might just have a giggle in the moment and then forget about it almost straight away. People really do not care that much if you do something silly. Everyone does stupid stuff, and it's actually fun sometimes ;).

This is a very important thing to remember. Even when it seems that all everyone is thinking about you, it's just not the case. They're most likely thinking about what everyone else is thinking of them! Even the most outgoing people have social fears. But they don't need to.

Just be yourself, and let nothing hold you back.

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    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      My boyfriend is 52 and I am 47 he has 2 sisters one at the same age as me and the other is 53. They always speak about things that i am not involved in and if i ask they would just say a little bit to me and carry on talking amongst them self. My boyfriend wants them to like me and i want to like them because he is ever so close to them. We have being going out together for nearly 3 years and dread when I have to come to their house. I always sit there with a false smile wishing to go home. My boyfriend just sits there and follows his sisters to the kitchen continuing an conversation leaving me behind to fend for myself so i can get over my anxiety. Please help me as i do love my boyfriend but afraid i will loose him

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      My boyfriend is 52 and I am 47 he has 2 sisters one at the same age as me and the other is 53. They always speak about things that i am not involved in and if i ask they would just say a little bit to me and carry on talking amongst them self. My boyfriend wants them to like me and i want to like them because he is ever so close to them. We have being going out together for nearly 3 years and dread when I have to come to their house. I always sit there with a false smile wishing to go home. My boyfriend just sits there and follows his sisters to the kitchen continuing an conversation leaving me behind to fend for myself so i can get over my anxiety. Please help me as i do love my boyfriend but afraid i will loose him

    • pinkrenegade lm profile image

      pinkrenegade lm 6 years ago

      Nice lens. Thanks for sharing.

    • Sharonluvsspanish profile image

      Sharonluvsspanish 6 years ago

      Great advice, simple and easy to apply! I too am shy, although by doing the things you've mentioned, I don't think people really realize it.

    • whiteskyline lm profile image

      whiteskyline lm 6 years ago

      I like that, I was really shy also.