A man’s vanity is more fragile than you might think. It’s easy for us to mistake shyness for coldness, and silence for indifference.
Just because you’re shy does not mean that you are stuck-up or that you’re introverted and don’t like yourself. It just means that you get embarrassed when the attention is on you for some reason. So, think about why this could be. Usually, shyness is a symptom of a much larger problem (more on that in the next section).
When you’re trying to overcome something, the first step is to accept it and learn how to be comfortable with it. The same goes with shyness. When you learn to accept it, you’re on your way to being able to overcome it. If, on the other hand, you’re constantly fighting it- whether consciously or unconsciously, it will become much harder to overcome. If you have difficulty with this, simply repeat to yourself, “Yes I’m shy. I accept that fact.”
Chances are, if you’re like me, not all situations cause you to feel anxious and shy. For example, you may get stage fright when you’re asked to give a presentation in front of a room full of strangers. What if you were asked to give that same presentation to your close friends and family- that likely would not trigger shyness, right? When you feel shyness coming on, try to focus on the thoughts that are going through your head.
Get a notebook and a pen and start writing down all of the situations that cause you to feel anxious and shy. Put them in order of least (those causing the least anxiety) to greatest (those causing the most anxiety). Make sure that you’re as specific as possible so that you can put together a plan for facing them head on and overcoming your shyness. For example, don’t just list “talking in front of people”- specify what kind of people.
Now that you’ve made your list, start facing each situation head-on and overcoming your shyness. Start with those that cause the least anxiety so that you can build up your confidence to face those that cause the most. Sometimes you may take two steps forward and one step back in this process- don’t worry! It’s not about hurrying to the finish line- remember, slow and steady wins the race! You must take this at your own pace and don’t get too upset with yourself if you do experience setbacks. However, don’t just sit back and wait for it to happen- you still have to put forth the effort.
When you evaluate yourself and the voice in your head is negative, this results in a weak self-image. It can be difficult to stop listening to it. However, remember that at the end of the day, that voice in your head is yours and you are in charge of what it says.
You may have a hard time believing people when they pay you a compliment. However, even if you don’t think you look good, obviously they did. After all, they told you so- would you really call them a liar? When someone pays you a compliment, simply accept it and say “thank you.” Don’t try to explain it away.
Don’t worry about what others think of you. You are who you are- and that is that. The truth is that not everyone is going to love you- and that’s okay.
When you put too much focus and emphasis on yourself, you become preoccupied with the way you come off. After all, since you’re spending all day examining what you’re doing and why, you’re sure that everyone else is too. If you do this, you must learn to get the focus off of yourself and start focusing on others.
Many times, as children, we’re often shy. After all, we’re just learning to get out there and meet people. However, even if you grow out of it, people often still treat you as if you’re shy. Its quite possible that you’re simply trying to be who others say you are to please them. Guess what? You don’t have to do this! You really only have to be yourself.
Please read all 50 Tips and learn more about this book: 50 Things to Know About Overcoming Shyness by Lisa Rusczyk Ed.D.