The bad news is shyness can cause you to miss out on rewarding friendships and experiences. The good news is shyness isn’t always bad. It can help you think before you speak and can make you a better observer and listener. The better news, shyness is not a permanent trait, so you can control its negative effects. This article will show you how.
Shyness can make you dread the very idea of talking to people face-to-face. As a result, you might feel isolated from others, as if you were alone in a dark room. That can be scary. But if you turn the light on your fears, you might see that they are unfounded. Consider three examples.
Fear 1: I don’t know what to talk about
People remember less of what you say but more of how you make them feel. You can take control of your fear by developing your skill at listening, and being genuinely interested in what others have to say.
Fear 2: People will think I’m boring.
People will form opinions about you whether you are shy or not. You can take control of your fear—and help people form a better opinion of you—if you let them see you for who you are.
Fear 3: I’ll be embarrassed if I say the wrong thing.
This happens to everyone. You can take control of your fear by viewing blunders as an opportunity to show that you don’t take yourself too seriously. Anxiety can also be a great factor in the fear of embarrassment. So if you’re prone to anxiety or overthinking, work on that too.
What can you do?
You don’t have to become an extrovert. Instead, your goal can be to bring your shyness under control so that you don’t miss out on rewarding friendships and experiences.
Watch sociable people and notice how they converse with others. What works for them? What doesn’t work so well? Which desirable skills of theirs could you develop? Having a great conversation starter skillset can be very valuable in overcoming shyness. Sometimes, people can start a conversation with you and if you can’t keep up, well bye-bye new friends.
People usually like to give their viewpoints on things, so asking questions is a good way to start a conversation with them. It also puts less attention on you.