I have quite a few friends who were always pretty shy in school and college. In the early stages of life this is often seen as a cute and endearing trait amongst people around them.
A lot of people grow out of shyness but for many, it prevails into adulthood; and that’s when they are often alerted to problems associated with shyness, and how it can be quite crippling in a lot of facets of their life.
- Making friends: This is a struggle as to make friends, social interaction is vital. It is also quite common for more extrovert peers to assume that shy people that don’t involve themselves too much in the lives of others are aloof and snobby; so shy people get met with a hostile attitude form those that assume this. This is where the vicious circle becomes perpetuated as interaction with people becomes something to fear as well as something to find embarrassing.
- Opportunities: When it came to applying for jobs, my friend applied for ones that didn’t bring him out of his comfort zone; his comfort zone being the background where little interaction was needed. To streamline your opportunities like this can have long-term negative effects on your career. You may end up doing a job that is menial and boring just because you don’t have to face your fear every day. If shyness can be overcome then it opens up a world of jobs that are more progressive.
- Performance: Being shy makes you self-conscious about making your voice heard in meetings, and makes you feel awkward about asking for help with tasks that you don’t know how to perform. This will potentially prevent you from gaining the credit you deserve and also being overlooked for promotion.
So what can be done to overcome shyness?
- Learn to accept and like yourself: A major component in shyness is feeling uncomfortable and awkward in your own skin. These feelings come to the fore when surrounded by people that are socially confident. It is important to spend your time getting to know yourself, learning what your skills and passions are and mentally reward yourself every time you excel at a skill. One you feel comfortable in your own skin, you will start to feel self-confident. When you feel self-confident, social-confidence will come naturally as the outside world will appear less intimidating.
- Do daring things! I’m talking of doing a sky-dive, a bungee jump or white-water rafting. Doing things as scary as this will not only give you a buzz, but it will put things into perspective with regards to what is considered scary. If you can do something which is seen by many as the pinnacle of scary things to do, then the event of sitting in a room with a few strangers in it will no longer intimidate you! And there’s the added bonus of having an exciting story to relate to your peers about!
- Join an amateur drama club/group: This not only has the benefit of getting you into practice of socializing with other people but it forces you to get into the role of other characters. Some of which may be loud, expressive and confident. It doesn’t really matter what traits the character possesses, the point is that drama prompts you to ‘climb out of your, sometimes restrictive shell’ and explore the realm of another shell.
About the Author
Having people in your workforce who are confident, motivated and outgoing is key to the successful running of your company. Having some Drama Based Training sessions delivered to your workforce will enable them to sharpen their existing presentation, communication and Customer-service skills.
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One useful method of overcoming shyness I have had success with is putting your attention on other people. Most of the time a person becomes shy when they think that if standing out, they'll embarrass themselves.
Instead worrying about yourself, just focus on others, and transfer you attention elsewhere. One of the best way to doing so is concentrating on compassion. If you feel the
others, if you are sympathetic to their problems and dilemmas, you stop thinking about yourself and your mental attention is naturally transferred to them. There is nobody without some kind of problem or
struggle they are forced to fight on a daily basis. Try to figure out what that might be and how your care can help them. If you manage to do that even a little bit at the beginning, you will be
able to develop this skill further and your shyness will naturally disappear.
Thanks antonio, that's a great tip!