How often do you feel shy in your daily life?
How often do you feel shy? Do you feel shy all the time or ‘just with new people’. Do you find yourself in a social situation with people you have never met before and you feel so shy that you don’t even want to say a word?
Thoughts go through your head such as ‘I don’t want to make a fool of myself’ or ‘They are not interested in what I have to say’. Then the moment passes and you feel like a failure. You wish you could have said what you wanted to say and act confidently as everyone else does.
So, why is it you feel so shy?
It stems down from our ancestors. Communities used to be much smaller, and so we wouldn’t want to be noticed in case we make a fool of ourselves and are ostracized by that community.
Presently, you cannot control it. You don’t want to be affected in this way but you can’t help it. You just want to be like everyone else.
So how are you going to overcome it?
Notice when you become shy and what thoughts and feelings come up. It is difficult in the moment as you get a surge of anxiety, but, what thoughts are connected to that anxiety?
It could be from a fear of saying the wrong thing, to the thought of people laughing at you or worried that you have nothing of value to say. This is all normal, but notice that you do actually have lots to say because if you didn’t you wouldn’t be overthinking all of this in the first place.
The reason this happens is to save yourself from falling. Shift the focus. Instead of thinking about yourself try thinking about them.
Again this is easier said than done but have some subjects prepared or talking points in reserve to help get the conversation going.
Here are a couple of examples but feel free to come up with your own:
- I like your shoes, where did you get them from?
- How’s your day going? Have you found anything interesting here?
- How do you fit in here? Or, How do you know the host?
If someone asks you a question, that’s even better. Answer it and ask them the exact same question back. Get them talking. People love talking about themselves whether they like to admit to it or not.
The more you put yourself out there the easier it will get – just like any other kind of activity – The more you run the fitter you get, the fitter you get the faster and further you can run. Practice makes you better, stronger and more resilient.
After practice and when you start to feel more comfortable, improvise and ask something that comes to mind there and then. Talk about what happened to you on the bus or ask them about their interests. You can even practice with your friends and then use those well-practised techniques with people that you have just met.
Start to see that you are interesting, and you have things to say, just incorporate this into your life to help you along the way. Once you get used to these tools you will see your confidence grow and your shyness disappear.