Tuesday,23 April, 2019
Current issue | Issue 1412, (4 - 10 October 2018)
Tuesday,23 April, 2019
Issue 1412, (4 - 10 October 2018)

Ahram Weekly

Beating shyness

Are you shy? Do you want to feel more confident in social situations? Worried about a particular event? Well, don’t feel down: you’re far from alone as most people feel shy at one point or another in their lives. However, for some people shyness can be so devastating that it can prevent them from participating in social situations.

Research shows t

Find the root of your shyness to control it:

Try to identify the exact cause of your shyness. Finding out what triggers your shy feelings is a very important step in overcoming shyness and moving forward.

Accept yourself:
Admit the fact that it’s OK to be different and appreciate yourself. Know that everybody experiences some kind of insecurity, self-consciousness and awkwardness at different times. It’s not only you. Accepting your shyness and recognising your abilities can help reduce your anxiety and help you relax.

Be confident:
Confidence keeps you up and moving. It comes through action, learning, practice and mastery. Feeling anxious is not the problem; avoiding social interactions is. Eliminate avoidance and you can overcome your anxiety.

Start small:
Practice social behaviours with people you know or in settings you are familiar with. Start with making eye contact, smile, small talk, asking questions and inviting people over to your place. The more you see yourself successfully managing shyness, the more you will feel confident. Once you are comfortable and confident enough, try doing this in an unfamiliar space amongst a larger crowd.

Try new things:
Join a club, a sports team, take on a difficult task at work, or learn a new skill even if this could make you anxious. Do something to get out of your comfort zone. By practising new activities, you are confronting your fear of the unknown and learning to handle that anxiety more effectively.

Act relaxed:
Whenever you are in a new place, try to feel comfortable and make yourself at ease. When you sit, expand your posture and take up more space. Release the tension in your muscles, open your legs and spread your arms. Feel as if you own the place or do what you usually do when you are in a familiar space.

Do what is comfortable for you:
Be around people who bring out the best in you. If you feel social in places or settings that you connect with other than popular social settings, don’t try to force the latter on yourself. Don’t try to do what everybody else does. Do things only if you feel like doing them.

Practice before you speak:
When you are about to do something that you have been dreading, write down beforehand what you want to say. Say it out loud in front of a mirror. Don’t worry if it doesn’t turn out the way you wanted it to be. Be proud that you gave it a try. The next time you practice it will be better and it will be a little easier.

Stop excessive comparisons:
If you keep comparing yourself with others who are higher up or richer than you, you’ll automatically begin to feel insecure and bring down your self-esteem as well. Instead, you should stay away from constant comparison, feel good about yourself and see yourself as unique and valuable.

Don’t advertise your shyness:
It’s not as visible as you might think. Those who are close to you already know, and others may never even have an opportunity to notice.

Improve your posture:
Don’t slouch: stand straight and upright to feel more confident and secure. Experts say that people who stand in a slouched posture tend to feel more insecure about themselves and of course this leads to them feeling shy.

Socialise more:
Give yourself more chances to be around people and treat yourself like a best friend. Go out and mingle with people who share your interests. Practice socialising with new people and getting to know them. People who tend to go out a lot and make friends rarely feel shy in front of people they do not know.

Practice talking:
Be more talkative and express yourself more openly at work, with friends and family, or with complete strangers. Approach people, strike up a conversation and let your opinions be heard. Confident people are not afraid to talk, or do not fear being judged by others.


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