Shyness is not something that you overcome overnight, because for many of us, shyness, is something that we have had to live with for a long time. Some people outgrow their shyness, when they get a bit older, but for others, it can be a problem that can stay with them into adult life and it can impede on their success at work and impose massive social challenges. You can combat shyness, though, it just takes some time and practice and here are ten tips on how you can overcome your shyness.
1. Be bold
Sound too obvious? Well, the first step in overcoming your shyness is to be bold enough to step outside of your comfort zone, and try some new things. One step at a time, though. The next time that you are presented with a social opportunity, that you would normally shy away from, give it a try, just the once, and see how you get on.
2. Try and speak up
People really won’t think that what you have to say is silly, so try and speak up a little. You can practice talking, in front of a mirror and imagine how your voice will project in a crowded room. Play with the volume of your voice, until you feel you have got it right.
3. Tell yourself that you are not shy
If you keep telling yourself, and other people, that you are shy then you will never get over your shyness. Everyone worries about how people will perceive them, even the most confident of public speakers. The only difference is that they don’t tell everyone about it.
4. Focus on other people, rather than yourself
When someone is talking to you, try not to worry what you are going to say next, concentrate instead on what they are saying. If you are not careful; you will be so busy working out your next move, you will have missed entirely what they have said.
5. Don’t over criticise yourself
You know what? When you think that you have said something stupid, it is almost guaranteed that you have not or, even if you did, no one has noticed it, nor will anyone remember it. A conversation does not just consist of one sentence, so don’t beat yourself up over one little slip that no one else even noticed.
6. Practice really does make perfect
Identify the situations that make you nervous and expose yourself to those situations gradually. If you find talking in a group difficult, then start by trying to just make one single comment within the group. The next time, make two comments, and the time after that, three comments. The more that you do it, the easier it will become.
7. Take deep breaths
If you feel that your shyness is taking over and you begin to feel really anxious then take a-few deep breaths. No one will notice you doing it and it will give you a chance to re-gather your composure.
8. Be who you are and don’t try to emulate others
One of the worst things that you can do, when you suffer from shyness, is to judge yourself against other people. Remember, you don’t need to be that other person, because, being you is just fine. There will always be someone, somewhere, who is more outgoing than you are, but that doesn’t mean that you need to try and be that person.
9. Offer your help to other people
One of the easiest ways to break down barriers is to be able to offer your help to someone. In doing this, you are passing the baton over to them. You’ve opened the door, now you can let them walk through. There is no pressure on you and you will find more in common with other people than you thought you had.
10. Picture people in an embarrassing situation
There are many great levellers in life, which bring everyone down to an even level. If you ever feel intimidated by anyone, just remember that they have to go to the bathroom too! It sounds like a strange thing to do, but many public speakers know this trick. When you picture, in your mind, a person sitting a toilet, just as we all have to do, they suddenly don’t seem quite so intimidating, after all!