How can I get over my Shyness?

Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum
A shy child may be reluctant to join a group.
A shy child may be reluctant to join a group.

Shyness is a condition that afflicts people of all ages and in all walks of life. In some cases, the anxiety caused by social phobias of this nature can be so severe that it makes living a normal life virtually impossible. Fortunately, there are ways to combat shyness and get past a timid approach to life. Here are some suggestions for controlling and eventually overcoming shyness.

Working on public speaking skills may help a person get over their shyness.
Working on public speaking skills may help a person get over their shyness.

It is not unusual for children and adults to experience shyness when confronted with a social situation that is uncomfortable. For instance, a child may be shy when attending a new school where he or she does not have any friends or acquaintances. Unsure of the ability to make new friends, shyness acts as protective layer that prevents embarrassment. Adults may find themselves shy when called upon to provide some sort of service or function in a public setting, such as speaking before a large group of people.

Shyness may eventually cause a fear of being around other people.
Shyness may eventually cause a fear of being around other people.

One of the easiest ways to combat this type of shyness is to develop skills that can be used in those settings. As the individual begins to feel more competent to handle the demands of the situation, the shyness begins to fade and the chance for successful integration into the social climate becomes possible.

Other people simply find it difficult to relate to other persons, even within their own homes. Because they lack the self-confidence to open themselves to interaction with other people, it is important to begin the process slowly. As an example, instead of throwing a party with a large number of acquaintances present, begin by hosting a more intimate affair in the home with a select group of people that share some similar hobbies or interests with the individual. As social skills are developed in a safe setting, the introverted nature of the shyness will begin to fade. Incrementally add more acquaintances to the home events, then begin to incorporate visits with these trusted friends and relatives to other places. Slowly, the shyness will begin to fade into the background.

Extreme shyness can pose an obstacle to developing friendships and other relationships.
Extreme shyness can pose an obstacle to developing friendships and other relationships.

In some cases, the shyness will be of long duration and deeply ensconced in the personality of the individual. Gentle attention by trusted loved ones may not be enough to overcome the fear of being around other people. If that is the case, then professional counseling can often be the key to identifying the root causes of the shyness, examining them, and gradually defusing the origins of the condition. While this is not a process that often works in a short time, many people are able to utilize therapy effectively, and begin to make positive changes in the way they view themselves and the world around them.

Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum

After many years in the teleconferencing industry, Michael decided to embrace his passion for trivia, research, and writing by becoming a full-time freelance writer. Since then, he has contributed articles to a variety of print and online publications, including , and his work has also appeared in poetry collections, devotional anthologies, and several newspapers. Malcolm’s other interests include collecting vinyl records, minor league baseball, and cycling.

Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum

After many years in the teleconferencing industry, Michael decided to embrace his passion for trivia, research, and writing by becoming a full-time freelance writer. Since then, he has contributed articles to a variety of print and online publications, including , and his work has also appeared in poetry collections, devotional anthologies, and several newspapers. Malcolm’s other interests include collecting vinyl records, minor league baseball, and cycling.

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Discussion Comments

ZipLine

@candyquilt-- It sounds like you had a very minor version of shyness. I have social anxiety and the shyness caused by this disorder is debilitating. I'm talking about not even being able be around people without sweating and turning completely red.

I'm receiving behavioral therapy for this problem and I'm on medications too. So not all types of shyness are easy to get over. Sometimes shyness requires serious treatment.

candyquilt

@Ruggercat68-- I agree with you. The best way to overcome shyness is to take the plunge, gather the courage and become as sociable as possible.

I was also a very shy person at one point. But after I started working, I had to learn to interact with people I didn't know. It was very difficult in the beginning and I would become very nervous and tense. But the more I tried, the easier it got. Now I can give a presentation in front of a group without flinching.

So practice makes perfect. The important part is not giving up regardless of how difficult or unusual it might be in the beginning.

donasmrs

I think shyness is sometimes a character trait. Some people are naturally more reserved when they are around new people and only open up after they get to know a person. As long as the shyness does not get in the way of social interactions or affect life quality, I think it's okay.

Ruggercat68

I never thought I had a problem with shyness, but then I realized that I was only outgoing when I was around a certain group of people, like my family or my friends at school. If I had to do something in public in front of strangers, I'd become very withdrawn and shy. I could deliver a speech in front of my friends all day long, but if I had to do it in front of my boss, I'd stammer and stutter and forget what I was doing.

The way I learned how to overcome shyness was to jump right into the deep end of the social pool. I set a goal to talk to at least one stranger every day. It didn't have to be a long or deep conversation, but I had to introduce myself to that person and get them to tell me something about themselves.

It wasn't an easy exercise, and a lot of people wouldn't talk to me at all, but eventually I learned that most people were just as scared as I was to communicate with others. I wouldn't say I'm the life of the party, but I'm no longer afraid to make small talk at parties or make a speech at a friend's wedding.

mrwormy

One thing that helped me overcome my social shyness was singing karaoke. A friend of mine invited me to a really small club in a different city, so nobody knew me there. I picked out some songs that I knew really well already, so there wouldn't be any surprises when the music started. I was terrified beyond words when the host called me up to the microphone for the first time, but I managed to get through the song. I didn't get a lot of applause, but some people came over to our table and told me how much they liked my performance.

From that point on, I was hooked. I'd sing four or five songs every night, and soon I started picking out some really hard songs just to see how far I could go. I found that receiving applause and pats on the back really helped me beat the shyness. Karaoke may not be everyone's thing to do, but it does force you to get out of your comfort zone in front of other people.

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