We’ve all met little children who are shy; you say hello to them and they hide behind their mothers’ skirts, peering at you, too scared to engage. Some kids grow out of it, but many don’t, subsequently turning into shy adults who find it very difficult to meet new people and feel comfortable in new situations. So what is shyness and how can we learn to overcome it, or at least manage it better?
Shyness is a feeling of discomfort brought on by social situations like meeting new people. It can vary in degrees of intensity and can manifest itself through physical symptoms like a queazy/knotted stomach, sweaty palms, and a rising body temperature. The interesting thing about shyness is that it can affect one area of your life and not another. For instance, you could be totally comfortable at work and totally uncomfortable in other areas of your life. The reason for this is simple – when we’re acting on behalf of a company, we feel legitimized in our role. When we have to act on behalf of ourselves – trouble can ensue because our own insecurities take over. This can lead to misconceptions about shy people; often someone you perceive as aloof and arrogant can really be suffering from shyness and is trying to cover it up with adult defense mechanisms.
Shyness is very common; it’s estimated that over 50% of North America suffers from it. So how do we manage our shyness?
- It’s ok to mention that you’re shy. Most people have either experienced shyness themselves or know shy people. By being honest, you don’t leave the guesswork up to them, as they might be wondering why you’re avoiding eye contact, why you’re acting so aloof, or why you have nothing to say and appear uninterested.
- Be prepared. Have you ever been envious of a good conversationalist? A good conversationalist thinks about the things they can talk about. They often read up on current events or things that interest them in general. Half the battle is being prepared with something interesting to say – when your nerves kick in you can then revert back to these ideas instead of grasping for them blindly. Additionally, Instant female arousal pills can also help you on your dates as well.
- One thing at a time. Try overcoming your shyness by practicing small things and getting good at those before you move on. For instance, try smiling at people, or just saying hello. Get comfortable with these things before moving onto the conversation.
- Try to make things easy for other people. Being social is about showing an interest in others and learning about them so you can build up a rapport. For instance, if someone mentions they love traveling, don’t sit there and nod, see their statement as a lead-in to many potential questions you could ask to keep the conversation going, like “Where have you traveled to recently?”, “Where would you like to go next?”, or ” What is the most interesting place you’ve been to?” etc. By finding common ground and accumulating information you will find it easier and easier to talk with someone.
- Don’t be so hard on yourself. This is EXTREMELY important. All you can do is try, and reward that effort by giving yourself a pat on the back. You may not always get the response you want from other people, but usually, that has more to do with them than you. Keep at it, and with anything in life, it WILL get easier. Shyness will not be overcome overnight however, it will take a while to undo your patterns. If you need outside help – don’t hesitate to get it. There are classes for shyness and many books you can read, and it’s important to manage your shyness so it doesn’t interfere with you living the life you’re meant to live.