Being shy

on Feb 05, 2012 @ 12:09 pm

In real life I am painfully shy ( I also have a lot of anxiety.  My bf in super social and I would love to feel more comfortable and be more outgoing with people but I have a hard time letting my guard down and being myself.
 I am constantly questioning what I'm saying or what I should say and I usually say nothing because I think I say stupid things all the time( which I know isn't true but I still feel that way).I've been this way my whole life, and I'm tired of it.I know my mom was super shy and she overcame it and has no problems talking to anyone, my dad is also super shy and still is.

Has anyone overcome shyness or have any tips?

7 Replies

Talk! on Feb 05, 2012 @ 12:29 pm

Whenever you feel nervous or shy put a smile on your face and it will help get you pumped. Before you go out with a big group of people think of some convo topics (was there something big happening in the news/ new movies or music being released/ something exciting going on) and then just bring this to the table when someone is chatting you up!

Shyness on Feb 09, 2012 @ 10:30 am

I totally get shyness and the feeling of constantly thinking you'll do or say something wrong.

Here's the thing though, I have blurted out and said some of the most embarrassing things ever... and nothing bad happened. What helps me is to seriously think about the worst case scenario. Often times, after you contemplate it for a while, you'll realise it really isn't so bad. So what- you suffer through 5 mins of embarrassment, it'll go away. And ten bucks- no one will remember it.

I have trouble approaching people sometimes and I've found two or three tricks to help deal with this. One: Compliments. People LOVE to talk about themselves. Compliment someone on their shirt, bag, shoes- it doesn't matter, it's an ice breaker and will totally open them and you up.

Two: Get an entourage. I use this only in certain cases and after a few times, you won't even need them. If I am going somewhere where schmoozing will occur, I bring along my very outgoing friend. It helps to see someone so confident in action. You'll learn from them and they make a handy wingwoman too! :)

Three: Fake it til you make it. When you act like you know what you're doing, people will think you do. I guarantee it. Fake it enough, and it will become true.

Good luck! Remember too that shyness just means that someone needs to get to know you better before they realise how awesome you are. It's a great tool to weed out the fake friends!


Fake it 'til you make it on Feb 09, 2012 @ 11:39 am

Everyone who meets me assumes I've always been an extrovert. That is 100% untrue. I was (and to a certain extent still am) an introvert.

Sometimes we introverts have difficulty interacting socially and blurt out the dumbest comments. I still blush thinking about things I said back in junior high school even though I know no one else remembers (actually, that's not true: I recently bumped into an old chum and she asked me "so, how's that [situation] working out for ya?") So I completely understand what you're going through!

I know that you can survive it - even thrive with it. AlexJC made a really great point: everyone likes to talk about themselves, so if you're ever in an awkward situation ask a leading question. "Do you have any big travel plans this year?" "Where did you get those shoes?" "I'm thinking of going to see [this new movie] - have you seen it?"

Usually people are polite enough to return the favour and ask your opinion on the subject too, but keep if you keep your answers minimal and turn the conversation back onto them, all you have to do is smile and laugh in the right places and everyone will think you are the best conversation partner in the world. True extroverts usually end up holding court and amusing everyone around them with their personal opinions on every topic. They can be a lot of fun to be around, but a receptive listener is just as good in a different way.

I guess what I'm saying is that there's no need to compete with the class clown. You will probably end up looking foolish. Instead, use your natural strengths to your advantage and you will find yourself more and more comfortable as you practice.

Finally, put yourself in situations where you can excel, not situations where you set yourself up to fail. If you have to go somewhere completely new and you don't know anyone, bring a wingman who is a little more comfortable to help you ease in. Attend events and parties that genuinely suit your interest (no need to go to a Star Trek convention if you've never watched the show) so that when conversations arise, you have plenty to say. Even write yourself a mini script before you head out - pre planned topics that you can work in when the opportunity arises (hopefully goes without saying that you shouldn't bring your notes into the party with you!). If you're headed to a family party or hanging out with friends, bring along a card or group board game that has wide appeal (read here: Apples to Apples, not Risk).

It all feels like a lot of planning and preparation, but that will ultimately make you feel like you have more control over your situation which will lead to fewer verbal gaffes and embarrassing situations.

Good luck, and if you learn any new pointers, please share! There are many introverts and pseudo-extroverts out there who could use the advice :)


Me too.. on Feb 09, 2012 @ 12:01 pm

I can definitely relate to you! I am so shy, introverted that some people think I'm rude and it's really frustrating. Just know you're not alone! And i completely agree with @mamaluv and @Alex about faking it, asking questions during an awkward moment.

It can never be worse than this.... on Feb 09, 2012 @ 01:38 pm

When I get nervous I either completely shut down, like NO talking whatsoever, or I go on and on and on and I get into really weird, awkward territory.

Once I was talking to someone who I thought was very cool and cute and I went on and on about laxatives and the importance of not eating things that are natural laxatives. I kid you not. Needless to say, it got super weird.

Also when I did an interview with a fairly well known celeb, I blurted out how beautiful and attractive he was and I told him I was nervous because of how beautiful he was. Pretty professional and cool, calm and collected eh?

The point is, it happened and now I have a hilarious story to tell my friends. It wasn't the first and it wont be the last time I embarrass myself!!!

Love yourself on Feb 10, 2012 @ 09:34 am

I wrote an article for my blog about how shyness can affect relationships and what you can do to start getting over it. The comment in the middle of the article might be of interest to you. You're certainly not the only one with these issues. I was always the same until very recently. I hope you overcome it X

I no how you feel. on Feb 10, 2012 @ 11:42 am

For years I would always stay in the back ground for fear I'd open my
mouth and say the wrong thing, only because that's mostly what happened
to me when I did. I even ended up drinking to much in my teens and twenty's just to have the guts
to talk to people and we all know how bad that can turn out. I'd say
something trying to be funny and fall flat on my face every time. To
tell you the truth I was even afraid to talk to someone on the phone.
Say I needed to call the gas company for some reason. I had to build
myself up just to get the guts up to make the call and by the time the
call was done my heart would be pounding so hard I could hear it and my
face would be red as a beet. I
always though that other people thought I was stupid, just calling to
complain about nothing and I even felt ugly even over the phone when
they couldn't see me. Then I had kids and after you have kids you end up
having to talk to so many more people then you can imagine before hand.
Doctor's before and after they arrive, nurse's when they arrive, then
teacher's and new one's every year, your kids school mats mother's, the
list goes on and on. Even when I worked in restaurants I always went for
the job's in the kitchen's so there was less people that I had to talk
to. Like I said as I got older and had to talk to more and more people
just to make it in this world, I began to realize that as long as I was
happy with who I am, I'm not hurting any one else, then I can open my
mouth and not feel stupid about every word that came out of it. I still
have my moments when I meet new people face to face, I think we all have
a bit of that in us some where, but I've learned that not everything I
say or do is wrong and not everyone will agree with me, but that's
alright too. Our world would be a pretty sad place if we were all the
same. If your shy over the phone like I was, try practicing what your
going to say before you have to say it. mamaluo and Alex also gave you
some great advice to try. You made always have a bit of that shyness in
you, but that's what make's you you and remember that's alright!!
Remember this isn't something you will get over over night, it will take
some time and you might even want to talk to your Doctor about the
anxiety you feel. He/she maybe able to give you something to help with
that part. I sure hope some of the advice that was given to you here has
help you out even if it was just a little. Keep your head held high and
let us all know how you are doing. Good luck and big Hugs to ya.


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