I really admire people who have superior communication skills. People who can entertain a group of strangers with no qualms inspire me because if there’s one all-encompassing word to describe me, it has to be ‘awkward’. With someone I connect with, I can have hours of stimulating conversations. But make me talk to new people, and I will be as blank as a white sheet after the initial exchange of pleasantries. I think it’s safe to say I am socially shy and a borderline introvert, who relies on the always-enthusiastic extroverts to come and initiate the conversation.
However, I have come so far when it comes to overcoming my social shyness. If you can relate to how I feel, then I can vouch that you too can go to a party with your bae and have a great time with people you’ve just met.
Here are five ways you can overcome your shyness while socialising.
1) Don’t see shyness as a negative personality trait
Several parents don’t understand that a child can be shy, and shaming them for it isn’t the way to help them be more confident. Most shy adults will agree that their parents pushed them at every social event as a child and that, as a matter of fact, made them withdraw more into their shells. It may require work and time, but know that shyness isn’t a negative trait.
Sure, being more open and welcoming makes your social life easier. But you have other amazing traits that make you an incredibly intriguing person to talk to. Identify your positive traits, say your kindness, your sense of humour, or your caring nature. And then, don’t let self-doubt make you withdraw into your shell.
2) Set small goals
Rome wasn’t built in a day, and you can’t just wake up one morning and not have social shyness anymore. Take small steps. Set a goal, such as going out as someone’s plus one to a gathering. Set smaller goals for the night. For instance, not keeping your head buried in your phone throughout the night, saying hi to each of them, and talking to at least one person beyond pleasantries.
But remember to not make it a do-or-die situation; it will only aggravate your anxiety. Play it cool. Keep the goals in mind but don’t forget to let your hair down and just be yourself.
3) Watch and learn
Find a role model. Watch them communicate and observe how they do it, without feeling shy. If the reason behind your social shyness is that you aren’t a confident speaker, then focus on making a good delivery. Observe and actively learn whatever you need to from people who know how to do it well.
4) Actively listen and mindfully respond
When someone with social shyness is having a conversation with someone new, they tend to worry so much about what to say next that they mentally zone out. You stress about what and how much you should speak, and if that will make them like you. Ease some of that anxiety by actively listening to them. That way you will be more in tune with the conversation and naturally, go with the flow.
5) Remember, everybody, is only human
Sometimes, when you put people and their opinions on a pedestal, you end up feeling a high level of anxiety that you won’t live up to their expectations. But the thing is, it doesn’t matter whether they like you or not. It doesn’t matter if they judge you. Most people who don’t know you well are not even thinking about you. So, keep that in mind. The less you care about their opinions or judgement, the easier it is to converse with them.
Also Read: How To Build Your Child’s Self-Confidence
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