We have also found ourselves in an uncomfortable social situation, afraid to do or say something wrong. It is not something unusual as shyness is a natural feeling that sets your body in an alert mode. However, when it stays in the way of your success, most likely, you might want to try and fight it.
Even the most sociable and outgoing person would feel qualms around somebody more influential and powerful. At the same time, even the shyest individual would shine in front of their family members and friends. So, no matter how extroverted or quiet you think you are, there will always be that place and time that will transform your ordinary behavior.
So, how do you combat shyness during an important social gathering or in class? Here are some helpful tips to utilize if you want to become a better more confident interlocutor.
Treat Shyness like a Bad Habit
Shyness like gossip or profuse chattering is a bad habit that can be eradicated when taking the right steps. You can notice it and then do your best to get rid of it.
People feel shy when they think they are being evaluated and, especially, if they suspect that this assessment is not very flattering. You just like your friends are a societal creature, and it is important for everybody, regardless of how self-assured they attempt to seem, to be accepted.
However, you should realize that shyness is not a permanent condition that cannot be challenged. Just like with smoking, the first step is awareness. You should register this behavior and try to transform it on spot.
Think of Your Good Qualities
Very often shyness hits when you encounter people who are better than you at something. For instance, at a school presentation, it may be your teacher. At the university discussion, it may be your more erudite peers or a professor.
However, if you take note of this tendency, there is an easy way to stop it. First of all, you should understand that, yes, somebody may be better than you, but there is definitely something where you can outshine them. With this thought in mind, you can start attacking your shy demeanor.
If your conversational partner is being arrogant about their superior abilities, then the feeling of shyness is especially inappropriate. Just think of how low this person has to go to prove their competitive advantage. Morality and understanding of other people’s faults is the most significant feature of being a good human, and at least in this aspect you are already better than them.
Just Do It
Do not overthink the whole situation. Very often people would find themselves oscillating between speaking and keeping silence; however, the more they contemplate it, the less likely they are to break their speaking barrier.
In this case I suggest you stop wavering and just do it. If you are having a hard time approaching somebody, do not think twice. You know this is your problem, so do not let it prevail over your reason. Just do it. Do not give shyness time to paralyze you.
Sometimes, you may start blabbering and feeling inadequate after committing yourself to this mode of behavior. However, even your blabbering in this situation is better than staying in the corner and fearing for your social status.
Practice in the Spare Time
It is an old saying that practice makes perfect. Therefore, the more you “unshy” yourself by talking to strangers in an inconvenient position, the easier it will become for you not to flunk major events in the future.
For example, when going for work or to school, leave the house a bit earlier than usual. Pretend that you are new in town, and try asking for directions. At first, approach those you fear least, like, maybe, your peers or people of your gender. It may feel inadequate at first, but very soon you would be able to ask almost anybody.
It is also helpful to start paying compliments to random strangers. It is a safe area as most people would be happy to hear compliments addressed to them. Whatever you do, do not get stuck in one activity. Try to increase the difficulty level of your interactions, and sooner or later you will be able to tackle almost any social conundrum.
Everybody likes talking about themselves. I mean, most people do. So, if you are feeling shy, afraid to open up, it is a good strategy to prepare a list of questions to ask your friend or colleague to let them talk first.
It will show your interest in other person’s life and how good of a listener you are. Such an approach will definitely make your interlocutor more favorable towards you and more forgiving of your little anxiety and social inadequacy.
Moreover, if you prepared the questions, try jotting down ideas for your own answers. Most polite people, when facing an inquiry, would direct it to their interlocutor afterwards. It will be your chance to radiate confidence if you prepared in advance.
Do not Blame Yourself
Shyness is a natural healthy reaction of any human being. Everybody is shy from time to time, and there is nothing really bad about it, as long as it does not hinder your life progress.
The ability to look at oneself with somebody else’s eyes can be a truly commendable quality. However, very often this self-evaluation turns into an outright critique and hate speech directed towards oneself. This is when it becomes a problem.
Be forgiving of yourself and your shy friends. Do not let this bad habit crush your hopes and dreams. Practice faking it until one day you will be the one your friends will ask for helpful tips on combating their shyness.