I Hate My Life! I’m so Shy! How do I Change It?

Shyness frustrates those who wish to have more fulfilling lives, expand their circle of friends, or improve their networking skills to advance their career. Fortunately, there are many things you can do to improve your comfort level in different social situations. But before learning how to reduce your shyness, one of the best ways to reduce the impact your shyness has on your happiness is to change your perspective.
Strengths of being shy
Not everyone can be extroverted, and though it’s an extrovert’s world, introverted people bring their own strengths to the table. Not all introverts are shy, but all shy people are introverts. When you come to appreciate some of the unique qualities your introversion has given you, you may not hate it so much! You can also strengthen these natural qualities to benefit you personally and socially:
  • Approachability
  • Independence
  • Thoughtfulness
  • InsightfulnessWhy you should try to be less shy

    You probably wouldn’t be reading this article if you weren’t frustrated with your shyness. However, for many shy people, “there’s nothing wrong with being shy” is a statement they use to excuse themselves for letting their social fears get the better of them.

    Yes, shyness is often accompanied by great strengths, but it can also hold you back — if you let it! It may be easier to decline invitations and sit at home than face your fears, but it’s also lonely, isolating, and doesn’t let you share your strengths with others.

    Do something about it!

    There’s lots of advice out there, but not all of it is created equal. Many “confidence boosting” tips only work for people with good self-esteem, who just need an extra boost before doing something nerve-racking, like going for a job interview. Similarly, many “people skills” books or blogs are for people who talk too much, and listen too seldom.

    • Relax
      • You’re shy because you are tense and nervous, making social interaction feel awkward. The opposite of being nervous is not being confident, but being relaxed. When you feel that shallow, quick breathing coming on, force yourself to practice deep breathing from the stomach to dispel physical tension. When your body is comfortable, it’s much easier for your mind to feel at ease as well. Another good exercise is to consciously relax every part of your body. Start from the top down and go through all your body parts. You’ll be surprised at how much of a difference just the first one makes: Relax your eyebrows!
    • Open up to a trusted person, or professional
      • Many who are shy think they’re unlikeable, that something is wrong with them. This is not true! Shyness is hard to get over because it’s a two-fold problem. One is the feeling of being nervous and uncomfortable; the second is shame about those feelings. Therapy can be very helpful for shy people because it helps open up and get rid of those feelings of shame accompanying your shyness.
    • Allow yourself to let things go
      • What’s something shy people have trouble with? Conversing! That’s because shy people put too much weight on the words that leave their mouths! Guaranteed, no one is thinking about that one not-so-brilliant statement you made a couple of weeks ago. They weren’t even thinking about it 15 minutes later. Not every conversation has to be about something important. And not everything you say has to be clever, eloquent, or even add much to the conversation. Talking without thinking (yes, this is how non-shy people talk most of the time) is hard, but with practice, it will become habitual. When you learn to let things go, you’ll find interactions much less painful.
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