Shyness can be difficult to overcome as it can easily be mistaken for something it’s not.
Shyness can hold us back from the things we really want to do in life. We may not go for certain opportunities, and it can make connecting with new people very difficult. The first step to overcoming this quality is to understand is that shyness and introversion are not the same things.
Although they can cause a lot of the same issues, they stem from different places. Knowing how to deal with your introversion does not tell you how to overcome shyness. So first of all, you need to learn the difference.
So, how are shyness and introversion different?
A shy person might not actually be introverted, and vice versa.
An introvert gets tired and emotionally exhausted spending a lot of time around people and may need some time alone after long periods of socialization. This is not to say, however, that they are shy. They may have great ease getting to know people and talking in groups, but it will drain them if they socialize for too long.
Shy people, on the other hand, get nervous about meeting new people, speaking in public and can feel a lot of anxiety in social situations. Being social for long periods of time might not cause them to feel drained as it would the introvert.
Imagine being at a party. A shy person is the one who is nervous to speak to others but wishes to. The introvert is someone who may feel the need to leave early because they are tired but do not have a problem speaking to others.
Shyness is something you can learn how to overcome, whereas being an introvert is as much a part of our personality, such as, for example, being neat or slobby.
How to overcome shyness
Shyness is a natural feeling that can come from a fear of rejection or criticism or a lack of confidence in ourselves. It can be hard to overcome shyness without knowing the exact cause, but there are some exercises that can help. By consciously practicing these exercises, you can slowly begin to build your confidence and overcome the shyness that holds you back.
Plan for success
Find the things that are totally in your control, then look at how you can plan these circumstances to ensure they go well. The more prepared you feel for a situation, the more confident you will feel when you are in it.
It’s not always possible to plan conversations. However, you can think about interesting conversation points and practice presentations to make sure you are comfortable with the content.
An active interest in others will help to take the attention away from yourself. Ask questions and let other people do the talking. This will boost your relationships without you having to think of answers on the spot. People love to talk about themselves, so an interest in others will always go a long way.
Be aware of your inner monologue
We are all our own worst critics. We all have that voice in our head telling us we’re doing everything’s wrong. What we don’t realize is that we are in more control of that voice than we realize. Be aware of when your inner monologue is most critical and don’t be afraid to tell it when it’s wrong.
The phrase ‘fake it until you make it’ can actually be a great help in building confidence. Take note of how confident people present themselves and try to emanate this. The more confident you seem to others, the more you will begin to feel confident for real.
Try new things
Make your New Years’ resolution this year to try the things that scare you. Approach a new person, put yourself in a new situation or try joining a club.
Whatever it is you choose, putting yourself out of your comfort zone will only work to expanding it. The wider your comfort zone, the wider the variety of situations you will be able to manage.
Practice confident body language
It is said that our body language can be key when it comes to overcoming shyness. The simple act of standing up straight and smiling can have profound effects on how we feel about ourselves.
Present yourself confidently and try to maintain it as long as possible. You will feel more confident in the moment and your internal confidence will begin to grow.
Be aware of the cause
Shyness is always the product of something, and this is different for everyone. Try to figure out what it is that is making you feel shy and work on ways to improve it.
If you doubt your intelligence, take some time to read around the subject you feel you know less about. If you worry about your appearance, take some time to figure out what looks best for you. It is always best to solve the cause of the problem rather than deal with its symptoms.
Sometimes shyness can feel impossible to overcome. Many mistake it for introversion and give you the wrong advice. The key is to know the difference and practice small steps to building your confidence and overcoming your shyness from within.
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