How to Overcome Shyness

Overcoming shyness isn’t easy especially for those who have a deep-seated fear of rejection and criticism. Here are some points that might help.

Admit That You Have Anxiety
Accept that you feel anxious around other people and that you’re afraid of making a fool of yourself. Maybe if you admit it you will start to examine what it is that makes you feel uncomfortable when socializing and what you need to do about it.

Begin With Simple Things
For extremely shy people, making eye contact alone is difficult. But doing this will let you connect with people more easily. You don’t have to go out and start looking strangers in the eye. Start with your friends and family. These are people you feel comfortable being around with so it’s easy to start conversations, initiate physical contact and practice gestures and facial expressions.

Stop Criticizing Yourself
Often it’s not the other people who are making you feel uncomfortable, it’s those things that go through your head before you start a conversation or when you’re around a lot of strangers. Try not to over-think about how people perceive you and judge you. Sure, it’s not gonna be easy, but you should start by not criticizing yourself first or labeling yourself as shy.

Don’t Listen to Bullies
Shy people are often the target of jokes. You don’t need those people in your life. You’re the type of person who takes time to choose people you want to be close with. Even if you have few friends, they are meaningful friendships so stay away from bullies who make fun of you.

Think About Your Strengths
Maybe you are awkward around strangers but that doesn’t mean you don’t have your charms too. Just think about the qualities that your friends find fascinating. If you have a talent or skill, you can use that as a starting point to boost your self-confidence.

Forget About Those Embarrassing Moments
Stop replaying those scenes in your head that remind you of embarrassing moments. You’re conditioning yourself to avoid doing the same thing, but avoidance isn’t a solution. Everyone makes mistakes and anyone can make a fool of themselves. Laugh about it instead of wallowing in self-pity, at least you have something to tell your grandchildren.

Stop Hiding and Avoiding
You cannot gain confidence overnight. It comes with practice over time. The first time is always the most terrifying, but the more you do it, the less anxious you’ll be because you know what to do next. Avoiding situations where you can potentially embarrass yourself isn’t gonna solve anything. Life is too short to sit in your safe corner and not enjoy it.

Try New Interests and Hobbies
The only way for you to socialize is to be around other people. Sometimes your hobbies can be a great ice breaker when meeting new friends. Trying out new things, however, will open up more opportunities for you. If you feel anxious, bring a friend along with you to the school or local club or team.