Overcoming ShynessJun 28, 2022
Do you sometimes feel like you're holding yourself back because of shyness? Shyness is natural for some people, but it can become a problem when it starts interfering with our lives. For example, we may avoid social situations, networking opportunities, or even job interviews because we fear what people might think of us. If shyness keeps you from achieving your goals, it's time to learn how to overcome it. This blog post will discuss the causes of shyness and offer tips on how to overcome it.
Why do people feel shy?
Some people quickly feel comfortable talking and interacting with others regarding social interaction. And then, there are shy people. These individuals may find it difficult and uncomfortable to chat and socialize with others. The very act of approaching people can be challenging to them already. It's normal to feel shy sometimes, such as in social situations we have never experienced or are too overwhelming for us, like public speaking. However, for some people, their shyness is a chronic condition that can trigger every time they have to have social interactions. It can be a problem when shyness starts to hold us back from what we can do and achieve in life. It's essential to know first what can be the root cause behind shyness, as people may have different experiences and reasons that led to them becoming shy people. Any of the following can be why someone tends to feel shy often.
- The social environment a person grew up in can influence his demeanor. For example, growing up not immersed in many public situations or surrounded by judgmental people can make someone feel more cautious towards social situations.
- Past experiences can affect one's behavior as one grows up. For example, experiencing bullying or being rejected or ridiculed often can make some feel anxious whenever they interact with someone, especially if it's a stranger.
- The parenting style used by one's parents when they were a child can influence one's behavior. For example, if one's parents are too strict and don't allow the child to interact much with others, especially strangers, it may cause the child to become more avoidant of people, which can carry into adulthood.
- One's genes can affect why one can become a shy person. So aside from the environment and other factors, a person can be naturally born shy.
How to overcome feeling shy
It's not wrong for a person to experience shyness. However, it can act as a defense mechanism that protects someone from engaging in acts or situations that may present some danger. Also, people don't need to force themselves to interact and socialize with others if they don't feel like doing it, especially if one is going to interact to avoid pressure and fit in with others. However, certain situations in our lives will arise where we need to interact with others, such as in the workplace. If we can't bring ourselves to talk with others in such situations, it may cost us opportunities that could have brought us success. When making new friends, extreme shyness can prevent us from meeting them, which may lead to loneliness and a lackluster social life. When one's shyness starts to impact one's life, it's time to try to overcome it and gain more confidence to strike conversations with most people and interact with them. It may be challenging for somebody who is chronically shy, but it's doable.
1. Level up your self-confidence and self-esteem levels
Self-esteem refers to how one sees themselves, while self-confidence refers to how capable you think you are of doing things based on your abilities and knowledge. If a person lacks both, they can shy away from others. The good news is that self-esteem and self-confidence can be both improved. It's a matter of willingness to develop these two factors and taking the time and effort to build them up.
2. Identify what's causing you to be shy
Before taking any drastic action for improvement, it's vital to determine what's causing you to be shy. If it's any of the reasons we mentioned above, maybe it's time to move forward and change your life. On the other hand, if you're having difficulties moving forward on your own, you can try talking to a life coach.
Another thing to determine is if you are shy or you might be experiencing something else like introversion or social anxiety. Introverts know how to interact with people; it's just that they prefer more solace and "me" time because that's where they thrive more. Social anxiety involves avoiding social situations due to fear of what other people may say and think of you. It can get overwhelming and impede progress in your life. But, again, talking with a therapist for support would help.
3. Take it slow to improve
If you're looking to overcome shyness, don't throw yourself in a situation that can be too overwhelming for you. For example, attending a convention or concert where many people come or attempting to speak in front of a large crowd can be a nightmare for someone timid. Instead, take small steps for improvement and gradually increase the effort once you are comfortable with something. For example, maybe you can start by talking to one person and progressively increase the number of people you hold conversations together. Eventually, you can step out of your comfort zone and try immersing yourself in various social situations, such as attending parties and going to get-togethers.
4. Immerse yourself in environments with many people
Immersing oneself in places where there are many people can help somebody become more comfortable with people. Places like malls, parks, or supermarkets are full of people. They are reasonable training grounds to develop social skills by talking to strangers or interacting with service personnel when interested in something. If it feels challenging to do it alone, try taking along somebody with you, like a friend or family member. They can help ease the situation, knowing you are together with somebody familiar.
5. Don't think the spotlight is always on you
If you're feeling shy because you think people have their eyes on you all the time, here's one thing that can bring relief. The truth is that most people wouldn't be too concerned with you unless you are walking directly in front of their eyes or you are a celebrity or a prominent person that can catch the attention of others. Nowadays, many people may be too busy fiddling with their cellphones and gadgets, so their attention is the least of your concern. That means it's easier to do something in public, as long as it's not an indecent act, knowing people's attention is not necessarily on you.
6. Focus on your other talents
When you want to overcome shyness, ask yourself what difference it makes to you. If socializing with others can provide you with more career opportunities, and you want to make more friends, then overcoming your shyness is a worthy goal. However, suppose you are okay with your occasional shyness and only want to mingle more because you feel pressured to do it because of other people. In that case, you may not necessarily need to force yourself to change. In this world, it's good to have a mix of people with different personalities and traits, and people who are a bit shy are just as good as other people. Besides, shyness is not a disease that needs treatment. Also, there can be different things where a shy person shines outside of conversing and socializing with people. As a shy individual, it can be a good idea to focus on the other strengths that can help you achieve success in life.
You can get over your shyness or let it as it is
Overcoming shyness is not something that needs immediate treatment like it is a disease. Instead, it is just one trait that some people have and part of what makes them individuals. It can even benefit them as it can make them more cautious when dealing with people, preventing them from running into toxic relationships or getting pulled into scams. However, shyness becomes a problem when it becomes too much and prevents one from pursuing goals that matter but can't do due to hesitancy to deal with people. Therefore, when one finds shyness an obstacle, it's better to learn to make oneself more confident and move over what's holding you back to achieve more in life.