Shyness is a feeling that most people have experienced. Whether it be mild or extreme, shyness is that feeling of being awkward, uncomfortable or scared in social situations.
Many of my clients suffer from shyness or social anxiety. They are unable to speak up and share their thoughts and opinions with other people and they hate the idea of speaking to a group or being in a crowd.
When people feel unsure about how to act, how to relate or what to say in a social setting or with people of authority figures, they experience feelings of discomfort and anxiety which is commonly referred to as shyness or social anxiety.
A person who has overcome shyness has an understanding of social confidence and is more likely to be comfortable speaking with others and meeting new people.
According to Dr. Bernardo J. Carducci of the Shyness Research Institute, shyness has three components:
- Excessive Self-Consciousness – you are overly aware of yourself, particularly in social situations.
- Excessive Negative Self-Evaluation – you tend to see yourself negatively.
- Excessive Negative Self-Preoccupation – you tend to pay too much attention to all the things you are doing wrong when you are around other people.
All three of these fears will make people withdraw from others and be more reserved, which can cause people to avoid social situations al together. But avoidance will only make a shy person even more socially anxious. Human beings are social creatures. We must interact and connect with other people! The less we interact with people, the less comfortable we will be in social situations, which can lead to more avoidance. It’s a vicious cycle! Stepping outside your comfort zone, getting out there and being willing to try new social situations is an absolute must in overcoming shyness and building social confidence.
Social confidence is the quality which enables us to be our authentic selves when interacting with other people in social settings and allows us to enjoy the company of other people.
When you increase your level of social confidence and the way you interact with other people, you will notice that other people will respond to you differently. Learn to master the art of social confidence and you will find that talking to people and expressing yourself is MUCH easier!
Here’s my top 7 tips for overcoming shyness:
#1 – Plan ahead.
Plan out what you want to say and what do you want other people to know about you.
Have something to say because boring people make for boring conversation.
#2 – Utilize the space around you.
Don’t sit and twist your legs around your chair or sit in the smallest place at a meeting.
Make better use of your personal space. The more room you appear to occupy, the more confident and important you appear. But moving too close to others is unsettling, so don’t get too near.
#3 – Smile!
I know it sounds cliché, but it’s true! Confident people are happy people, they smile more! Show others that you are confident and approachable by smiling more often.
#4 – Make eye contact.
This may be one of the most valuable forms of non-verbal communication you can use. One glance from
another person can speak volumes about that person’s feelings and attitude about you.
Eyes are very expressive. They say, “Come and talk to me, I’m approachable.” or they can show disinterest, deviousness or insecurity.
#5 – Practise calming your breath.
Slow, calm and deep breaths can combat nervousness any time.
You can calm down instantly and become less tense and anxious by paying attention to your breath.
#6 – Be an active listener
Good listening will earn admiration and respect. Listen actively and find moments when you can ask questions or make supporting comments. Doing so is one of the secrets of popularity.
#7 – Express yourself well.
Make your conversation sound interesting by using colourful, descriptive language and by varying your volume and tone. By adding variety to the way you express yourself, other people will be more drawn to you. Try speaking slower during key conversation pints, emphasizing key words and pausing for dramatic effect. Doing so will keep the other person’s attention.
By: Suzanne Fettting
Do you want to become more social, make more friends, be comfortable in social situations and easily strike up conversations with other people? YES, you do! Please contact me today!