Well, I got a request a long time ago about writing on the topic “shyness”, but I’ve been a little reluctant to. Perhaps, because of some underlying truth between the fact that I happen to be a shy person too and I may or may not have entirely overcome my shyness but then I’d say that I’ve been able to work
on it with it by mastering my own self and being able to relate my differences with that of others to a more reasonable and balanced level. So I learnt– The No.1 thing that triggers shyness off a person is “Proximity”. After all if we lived alone on earth, without another human being to associate with, there wouldn’t be reason for shyness. Since we’re all stuck with each other, how do we combat shyness when in close proximity with others?
“Shy” is not a curse word, let’s just call it a bad habit that poses more threat to you than you can imagine! Let’s explore these simple tips/tricks that can help you to overcome this bad habit –Don’t worry, I’m taking notes too! 🙂
1) Understand yourself
The first step to conquering shyness is acknowledging that you’re indeed a shy person. Not everyone likes to identify with shyness probably because they feel it will make people look down on them. Pretending that a problem isn’t there doesn’t take it away. When you stay in deliberate denial of your shyness, it keeps winning over you. Instead, you can deal with your shyness by understanding the circumstances that make you shy, and working with it. You can only kick away shyness by coming to terms with it.
2) Break out of your comfort zone
When you have come to agreeable terms with your shyness, beat it off by breaking the bars of limitation. This begins with destroying every form of over consciousness and modesty you place on yourself in social gatherings. Such modesty might even be feigned because who you are on the outside may not in the least translate to who you really are on the inside. Step out, focus outwards, try to connect with people and who knows, they may love that part of you that you’re overprotecting even better!
3) When you have to speak, speak –Let it out!
Given a chance to share your input, an idea, give a useful piece of advice or say your mind generally, do so with such audacity and unapologetically! Start by asking yourself who or what it is that you’re over shielding or over protecting yourself from? Are you a dumb mute? No, so speak! If you find it hard to give your inputs, prepare beforehand and practise often. Don’t connect with only those you roll with, this will not combat your shyness. Make that extra effort to bond with as many as possible, even if it’s just to say hello. Engaging in simple introductory and fun conversations can help to bolster up your courage and give you a platform to relate better with others. E.g “Hey I hear you’re from shy-ville, pleased to meet you! I don’t live there anymore though…..” 🙂
4) Be easy!
Relax. They don’t bite. Well if they do, sharpen your teeth too with more confidence. When trying to connect with people, don’t put up so much guard because it holds you back from letting out your true nature and it entirely shows! This will make people get the wrong signal and they may think that they’re boring you or you’re just faking friendliness. And if you’re the kind type, people may not perceive you as such because you would appear “stuck up”, “snobbish” or just plain annoying which will surely piss people off. If possible, do mental rehearsals of a more relaxed, chatty and friendlier side of you. Bring it to reality when connecting with people.
5) When all else fails, SMILE!
This would be a trick and not a tip, but if you may, it could serve as both! I tell you what, smiling is a good “concealer” and it works for me all the time! Since shy people unfortunately have a first-hand perception as being ill-disposed, standoffish or ‘stuck up’, unfriendly and cold especially towards unfamiliar faces, with a smile on your face, you can correct that about yourself. The catch is that when you mask the shyness with a smile, people will feel more relaxed and want to connect with you better. Even if the other tips don’t work for you, smile! It bolsters your courage and squashes up that shyness.
In the end, the worst thing you can do for yourself as a shy person is to constantly beat yourself over it. Shyness is often overcome with time. In the mean time, just be you!
Written By: ‘Nonye J. Chidolue (@NonyeWrites)