This post reveals how to stop being shy and timid in a variety of situations: in front of girls or guys, in front of bosses, in front of strangers. In this article, I’ll explain why you should not be shy and I’ll give you some practical advice on how to get rid of this personality feature.
Since early childhood until recently, I have been very shy. Because of this I had a lot of difficulties in communicating with people, and I had difficulties in reaching my goals.
At the moment, I have achieved good results in fighting against this shortcoming (yes, I believe that shyness is generally a shortcoming, not a positive quality) and I enjoy reaping the fruits of getting rid of it.
Why do you need to get rid of shyness?
Many people associate shyness with politeness and restraint. A shy person, allegedly, will never stick foot in mouth during the conversation, he always goes easy on.
On the one hand, it is true, but on the other hand – shyness has a number of negative features. A timid person will avoid such situations, in which a “normal” person will act. Accordingly, a shy personality will miss opportunities that are available to others.
Such a person will be scared to approach the girl he likes in order to get acquainted. He will not start an unpleasant, but an important conversation with his friend and, thus, will not be able to solve the problem and will make it worse. He will not come to his boss and will not be able to require the reasonable increase in salary.
In general, a shy person just gives up some things: happy acquaintances, promising opportunities, achievement of his goals and desires! For the sake of what? For the sake of abstract considerations of a tact and for the sake of fear to be in an awkward situation. What does he get in return? Absolutely nothing.
Shyness protects us from nothing and does not help. It only limits our opportunities and cultivates other harmful personal qualities: self-doubt, weakness of character and anxiety. Timid people are easily manipulated because they are afraid to defend their own opinions and they are timid in the front of a stronger personality.
The lack of shyness does not exclude the presence of politeness and restraint. You can feel no fear of awkward conversation, make no bones of girls and still remain tactful. To me, shyness had an adverse effect on my life. And I am glad I’ve made a great progress in getting rid of this personality feature.
Shyness produces a negative effect on other people
Shy people may think that they are very sensitive, polite and tactful, never take liberties, do not disturb other people for nothing, and thus produce a very positive effect on these people.
But often, it turns out, that shyness makes an opposite to the desired impression on people.
For some people, your shyness is kind of a marker of your weakness and lack of self-confidence. When you demonstrate these qualities, others may treat you not in the most polite way.
After all, the archaic and animal principles of a herd are still present in human community. Those individuals, who demonstrate weakness, are suppressed by the stronger members of the species.
This happens not everywhere and not to everyone. Some people go through an unconscious rejection of those, who demonstrate timidity. When you feel shy, you seem to say to others: “I am very modest and shy, if you want to be rude to me or work off your angry on me, you can do it, because I am not able to answer you in any shape of form. If you want, you can use me, because I will be ashamed to say that I do not like it.”
When you feel shy, you allow people to treat you the way they want it. Good and educated individuals will not use it. But in the real world we meet different kind of people.
I was a repeated witness of my shyness’s negative effect made on some people. Several times I experienced such situations when shop assistants, security guards and colleagues bit my head off. I could not understand what was the matter, what was wrong with me?!
I’ve always been so polite, and before addressing to someone, I’ve always shifted from foot to foot for a long time, and began my request with the words: “I’m sorry, could you, please …” Why do I deserve such a reaction?
At first, I did not understand it. Over time, my character became determined. I learned to speak directly about what I need. I was not afraid to speak out about the things I do not like. I stopped being timid and embarrassed.
Since that time, people roughness towards me stopped.
Remember, have you ever experienced unmotivated rudeness, when you were polite, even too polite?
Ingratiating politeness, careful tact, excessive softness in communication, ignoring inconvenient, but important subjects during the conversation – do not represent you as an independent and courageous person.
For example, girls and women give their preference to those representatives of the opposite sex, who show the greatest perseverance in treating them.
That is why blushing in front of the girl is wrong – considering the point of view that confusion does not allow you to collect yourself and you can put someone’s foot in it – and is strategically unacceptable from the perspective of achieving the desired result!
If you are shy during the job interview, it will make a good impression on your employer, only if the company needs a passive, modest worker who will dutifully carry out all the orders and will ask no questions or raise no legitimate claims.
A job, which demands firmness, initiative, self-possession and constant communication, needs no shy people. In addition, the employer representative may consider your modesty as your lack of self-confidence. Lack of self-confidence reveals low professional qualities.
You should not make your disadvantages into advantages. In general, shyness is a poor quality. It disturbs you and creates a lot of problems on your way. Further, we’ll talk about how to get rid of it.
Getting rid of shyness
What is shyness? This is an unpleasant feeling that occurs in awkward situations. And, in order not to feel the emotion, you may want to avoid those situations that cause it.
For example, you keep putting off an important conversation with a relative at other time. You simply cannot approach the girl you like. You are afraid of being asked awkward questions, the answers to which, people want to hear anyway.
All this happens because you do not want to experience emotional discomfort, which, within your mind, is strongly associated with such moments. That is, shyness is an internal phenomenon, not external one.
Although not all the people fully understand it and unconsciously associate their reluctance to create uncomfortable situations with some external circumstances: what others will think about them, how their actions will be acceptable in society, whatever they will look, etc.
Thinking this way is a great mistake, and because of it, you can experience great difficulties. I will explain it. First of all, in order to stop feeling shy, you should aim not at complete freedom from such feelings as shyness. You should learn to tolerate it and act contrary to it.
Shyness is merely a feeling
To succeed in it, you need to learn to be aware of shyness exclusively as a phenomenon of the emotional world, your body’s response to an external situation, a usual feeling of emotional discomfort, which will pass, as well as it started.
Before you administer an injection against infection, you realize that you need to do this. You do not run and do not hide from the doctor just because you will have to exercise a little patience, because it comes to your health. In this situation, the expectation of unpleasant feelings does not make you avoid doing things you need to do.
Why then shyness can make you be timid and be afraid of realizing the uncomfortable situation? After all, the feelings of uneasiness and shame – known by you so well – are some kind of discomfort feelings, the same light and fast pain, only mental, which you have to learn to endure, in case you want to achieve your goals.
It is difficult for you to deal with shyness, because you think about it, not as a feeling that you experience in an unpleasant situation, but as a chain of some external phenomena: what if I seem ridiculous, whatever I will look, what a thing to do!
These external events pass into barriers on the way of achieving your goals. In order to eliminate these barriers, you should reduce in your mind the whole awkwardness of the situation, up to the banal emotional reaction to an event!
How to stop feel shy around girls or boys
I will consider, for example, a situation in which a lot of people may feel uneasy. You want to get acquainted with a girl or a guy, but you hesitate to approach and speak with her/him. If you start doubting – “what if she/he does not like me”, “what if I look stupid”, “what if …”, “what if …” – then you will never approach the girl/the boy and you will miss your chance.
The correct attitude should be: “I will approach her/him, because I want it, and no matter how negligible the chance of success might be, anyway, I know that one cannot succeed without running a risk. I lose nothing at all. I can experience some feeling of uneasiness in such a situation, which is nothing more than an unpleasant emotion. But, in order to achieve my desired result, I am ready to endure the feeling a little bit.”
Add to that: “I should not feel shy. It scares people and lowers my chances of success.”
If your mind still doubts, then continue to reduce everything only to your feelings, and not to the properties of the external world:
“I will look silly in someone’s opinion …” shall be replaced by “I will have a feeling that I look silly, which is only an unpleasant feeling that will pass as well as it appeared.”
“People will laugh at me” shall be replaced by “Even if someone will find something funny in my attempts to get acquainted (why should they?), so what? I will feel uncomfortable because of this, but I should endure this light embarrassment for the sake of achieving what I want to.”
This discomfort is nothing else but the answer of your brain at a specific event. Specific biochemical signals, which are perceived by you as unpleasant feelings. However, as well as any pain, this one can be borne too.
Consider the feeling that occurs when you think, for example, about how to start a conversation with an unknown girl. Do not try to suppress it. Look at it as if from the outside. What happens when you feel shy? The arterial pressure increases, color rushes into your face and your pulse accelerates.
Pay attention to all these signals and to what is going on inside you. Do not try to get rid of it, just watch and then act despite the shyness. And then you will be able to get shyness under control.
Shyness is a deception
Do you know, what an important metamorphosis has just happened to you? You have reduced the diversity of issues, which are showed to you by your brain (the probability of looking foolish, unfavorable views of others, imaginary invalidity of your claims on someone’s attention etc.), to a single problem that can be easily solved.
Obviously, shyness, in essence, is nothing more than a fear of unpleasant emotional feelings disguised by mind under the fear of something external and objective.
You are cheating yourself, when you build some exaggerated barriers on this feeling basis, without wanting to see the irrational fear in this action. In short, you act irrationally and incorrectly, when you follow your shyness (after all, you are absolutely in no danger in these awkward situations!). In order to compose yourself and to lull the vigilance of your mind, you instinctively feign a bunch of excuses for your indecision. This is a deception!
For the purpose of getting rid of this illusion, you should take shyness as it really is – an unpleasant emotional reaction to external circumstances and that’s all!
Always think about it in this way. I must say, that, in such a way, you can learn to control many negative feelings, not only shyness.
Before you get rid of some feeling, you should learn to realize and endure it. When you learn to tolerate some emotion, to act contrary to it and not to pay attention to it, then the emotion will appear weaker and weaker with every new situation in which it occurs, since you give no way to this feeling.
If you were always shy and now you decided to take my advice, then, you can feel some difficulty and high internal resistance in awkward situations at first.
But if you, while feeling a lot of resistance inside you, still act contrary to your shyness, get acquainted with the girl and start up a conversation, then two very pleasant feelings are born inside you.
The first one is relief, the second – the consciousness of controlling yourself, the understanding of the fact that you could and you have done what you wanted to do in spite of everything! As if, you performed exploits.
And all this happens in a moment: once you do it, everything goes like clockwork. You have to pass the control line at the beginning of awkward conversation, the moment of pain and relief!
This is really a “prink”! And then you realize that this unpleasant moment was just a flash. Everything appeared to be not as scary as was painted at the beginning and it was worth all the effort!
If you happen to endure this short-term “pain”, “prick”, then, next time it will be easier, because the endurance of any pain increases the pain threshold. With each repetition of this situation, it will be easier to you to hold back your shyness, until you stop feeling anything unpleasant.
Those awkward events, that could earlier cause a storm of unpleasant emotions, will be perceived by you cold-bloodedly. You will need no efforts to set yourself up properly and to get ready.
f you stop obeying your shyness, then later, you will have no problem in starting a serious conversation with a close friend or asking a stranger about something. Now I have no such a problem as well.
Therefore, learn from mistakes and do not give up.
Get rid of unnecessary thoughts, set yourself up for your purpose
Often, in situations when we should up and do something, our thoughts are our enemies. Therefore, if you feel shy before some responsible talk, focus on your goals and get all the unnecessary things out of your head. Being coupled with the previous recommendation, this helps a lot in awkward situations.
For example, you want to ask your boss for an increase in salary. Thousands of vile thoughts can creep into your head at the same time (the notorious “what if …”). But, we already know that all these “what if …” manifest the irrational creation of the emotional world, posing as something reasonable and thoroughly. These are “wolves in sheep’s clothing”, who live inside your mentality.
All sorts of unnecessary thoughts can overcome your intelligence. Get them out of your head and think about your goal. “I need to get an increase in salary, I’m sure there is a chance, I do not care of the rest.” While thinking about nothing else but this, boldly enter the boss’s office. Clear your brain. This is a big help.
Get rid of excessive politeness and introductory phrases, be self-confident
During conversations, you should not be more polite, than the situation requires. Avoid any overloaded phrases containing unnecessary use of politeness words like “excuse me, could you, please, answer the question, if this presents no difficulty for you.”
You should not think that people do you a great favor, while answering your question or satisfying your request. Often they are just doing their job (“Could you, please, be so kind and do your job” – you must admit that this sounds ridiculous), and very often it costs them nothing.
Be polite, but moderately. Excessive tact does not present a good education. It reveals a lack of self-confidence that can push people away.
The same principle shall be applied to introductory phrases: “I’ve got a question here, I do not even know how to start, the thing is so uncomfortable, the situation is that …”
No need to go overboard with introductory phrases. Always go to the main point quickly, but, at the same time, not too sharply. To do this, get ready for an important conversation in advance in order to know what to say and not to get flustered.
Be self-confident, at least, portray this confidence. Do not give other people the occasion to think that you doubt yourself. During all uncomfortable situations act in the opposite way to the behavior, that is set by shyness: meek and uncertain. This does not mean that you have to be impudent and rude.
Simply do not hide your eyes, sit and talk quietly, do not make unnecessary and nervous gestures. Always watch yourself, look at yourself as if from the outside, pay attention to the fact of how quietly you talk, whether you make intense gestures or not. (For more details, refer to the article How to stop being nervous all the time)
In case things went not as you expected. Maybe during a meeting, you were not self-assured as you wanted, maybe you have said something wrong and now you’re ashamed. Do not mind that, just tell yourself that you will continue to refine yourself and learn to restrain your emotions born in you in all sorts of difficult situations.
Do not be ashamed and distressed. Remember, shame is just an unpleasant emotion that must be tolerated, and this is an internal phenomenon, not external one, and therefore it should be taken accordingly.
That is why, everything I have said earlier, is true here as well: get all the unpleasant aspects of communication out of your head, do not think about them. What it’s gone, it’s gone.
When you hesitate, do not drive this feeling away. Just watch it or do not pay attention to it, but do not give it way. If you try to suppress it, it will come back to you double-forced!
When you learn to act contrary to your shyness by restraining it, you will make a decisive step towards the realization of your emotions’ nature and their management. Your character and willpower will develop as well, because you should overwhelm yourself without paying attention to what is going on inside you.
Getting rid of shyness and timidity represents an effective exercise for self-development, which will help you get rid not only of the above-mentioned shortcomings, but will allow you to strengthen and develop many useful life skills! Starting with something small, you will achieve much!
Once you begin refining yourself and making initial progress in this deal, new horizons of self-improvement (about which you had no idea before) will be immediately opened for you. I hope that with my help or without it, the truth will be revealed for many of my readers, in case it did not reveal for the moment.