How to overcome shyness: 3 key solutions

Are you a shy person? Maybe you just like to take your time warming up to new people and situations. There is nothing wrong with having a shy demeanor. In fact, it is perfectly okay and normal to cherish your time alone, especially if you are an introverted person. However, if shyness makes you extremely uncomfortable in social situations and prevents you from interacting with others the way you would like to, then there is a problem. In the latter case, you will need to seek ways on how to overcome shyness. But, before you can fight shyness and overcome it, it's important to understand what shyness is first.

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Understanding shyness

Shyness is generally a reluctance to engage with others for fear of being embarrassed, which explains why you can feel shy in one situation and not another. For example, in aroom full of family and friends who you are intimately familiar, it’s unlikely (though, not impossible) to feel shy. The reason for this is because you know these people well and they know you too. They’ve already witnessed your typical behavior many times over and you already know their reaction to it.

However, when you are in a room full of strangers, it is likely you will feel a little self-conscious or shy because you don’t know these people well and have no idea how they will receive you. You will probably have thoughts in your mind about how they will like you or take your typical behavior. The degree of your willingness to risk embarrassment is what will determine how shy you are.

Evidently, the fundamental problem with shyness lies in our minds and how we think others will view and or receive us. The main solution on how to overcome shyness, therefore, lies in working on our minds. Here are three key solutions to beat shyness by changing how you approach things. These solutions may not be enormous or cataclysmic, but they certainly are effective and can help you regain your confidence in social situations and live out your best life.

1. Stop labeling yourself as shy.

When you label yourself as shy, you are sub-consciously telling your mind to act accordingly and will psychologically feel more inclined to live up to those expectation. Just stop it with all the labeling and negative self-talk. It does not help the situation.

2. Recognize that the world is not focused on you.

You are not on the centre stage and, therefore, there is no need to be excessively anxious or sensitive about what you are doing. People are just too preoccupied with their own issues to pay much attention to your every move any way. Besides, focusing too much on yourself and what you are doing (or not doing) only puts pressure on you and creates unnecessary anxiety. Stop it now.

3. Turn the spotlight on other people as opposed to yourself.

Instead of focusing your attention on your own awkwardness or nervousness, focus on other people and what they are doing or saying. For example, think about what it is that is interesting about the person who is the “life of the party,” or that lady you are interacting with. Ask them questions to prompt them to speak more about themselves, and be genuinely interested in what they have to say.

People generally want to be heard and understood. They enjoy talking about themselves, their interests and experiences, and will appreciate that you are genuinely interested in them and what they have to say. Just by turning the spotlight on others you can instantly become more assertive and comfortable in social interactions. This is one of the most effective ways on how to overcome shyness and become more popular and likeable.

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