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tips on how to overcome shyness

vasanthanju

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Jul 13, 2019
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If you want to learn how to overcome shyness, it’s all about how you act. Like anything else in life, you need to practice. Thinking it away doesn’t work.
 

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SpongeGod

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Jul 28, 2019
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@njord lol bro. I'm actually tempted right now. But I see your point. What I mean is that 2 minutes in the grand scheme of your life is nothing, but those two minutes could give opportunity. You have so much more to gain than lose by taking the chance and sticking with the pain.

And the thing is. If I stood in the middle of time square with a microphone and told every passerby about the time I jerked off with banana peel I microwaved for 30 seconds to hardcore porn high off my a$$ (my lowest moment), I doubt anybody would care.

I could even have fun with it. I kind of want to go in front some prudish old woman, the kind you'd see at church, and describe in full detail how the warm, moist banana felt. lol I'd probably get arrested, but I'd have the laugh of a century.

The world does not care about me. I try to drill this into my head everyday. Everything is our mindset.
 
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CaptainAmerica

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You've got some great answers here, and I'm going to add one more.

I used to be pathologically shy. Zero eye contact, dressed to be ignored, intermittent hygiene, damn near permanent stutter, the works.

Two things changed everything:

1. I moved 3000 miles away from anyone who knew me. Any way that I presented myself to my new community would be how they thought of me. I made a conscious decision to not blow that opportunity.

2. Brute force: it was HORRIBLE. I explain: I gave myself a challenge. I had 2 weeks to change my behavior. I didn't have to change my mindset, just my behavior. I went to the least threatening place (college science lab) at the least threatening time (4pm) to deliberately *give a compliment* to the least-threatening person I could find(older secretary).

Result: My hands were sweating, my knees shaking. I asked for directions to an office I knew was on the wrong floor, and as I went to leave, said, 'hey, that dress is a beautiful color on you'. Then I threw up in the bathroom.

And then I repeated it, in some form, every day, for 2 weeks. And it got me over the worst of the shyness. I started looking people in the eye, I bathed on the regular, got newer clothes, and talked slower to overcome the stutter.

You're probably nowhere near as shy as I was. The 2-week challenge will probably work great! Every day, find a stranger, and compliment them. Seriously, if I can get past it, you can.

Now? I may have gone too far in the opposite direction. YMMV
 

njord

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@njord lol bro. I'm actually tempted right now. But I see your point. What I mean is that 2 minutes in the grand scheme of your life is nothing, but those two minutes could give opportunity. You have so much more to gain than lose by taking the chance and sticking with the pain.

And the thing is. If I stood in the middle of time square with a microphone and told every passerby about the time I jerked off with banana peel I microwaved for 30 seconds to hardcore porn high off my a$$ (my lowest moment), I doubt anybody would care.

I could even have fun with it. I kind of want to go in front some prudish old woman, the kind you'd see at church, and describe in full detail how the warm, moist banana felt. lol I'd probably get arrested, but I'd have the laugh of a century.

The world does not care about me. I try to drill this into my head everyday. Everything is our mindset.
You are compleetly right most people will compleetly ignore you and carry on with what ever they are doing. But thats not the point, the point is conquering your fear and thats what your doing right there by talking about something very embarrassing infront of a crowd of people.
BTW using a microfoon is cheating the a big part of getting over your social anxiety is being able to rise your voice so everyone can hear you for most people this will be very hard to do with this exercize.
 

JayB

Contributor
Aug 13, 2019
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California
New to this forum and just came across this thread and figured I'd throw in a quick .02.
I don't know how similar my situation is, but I too am a very shy and introverted person. I've had jobs that forced me to put myself in situations where I had no choice but get over it and those experiences were very good for me no matter how hard they were.
I don't know how much this affects your life, but to some degree one lesson I've learned in my entrepreneurial journey is to sometimes just embrace who I am. I have owned a successful e-commerce operation for almost 10 years now, and one of the reasons I got into ecommerce is because it allows me work hard but not have to speak with or meet people directly. I'm not advocating hiding in your house forever, and if you feel your shyness is holding you back then by all means do what you can to overcome it but at some point we are who we are and I think we need to find ways to get our traits to work for us. Over the years I've had so many friends that gave me a hard time for not going on trips or places with them to work instead, and I can't tell you how many times I've been told that I work too much and am not taking the time to enjoy life. I do agree that sometimes you need to stop and smell the roses, but for my situation at least I found it to be a strength.
Now I just try to think about who I let into my life, I have created a CEO peer groups of local business owners to at least try to spend my time with like-minded people and try to help each other out.
Again, I'm not sure of your exact situation so take my words with a grain of salt but just something to chew on. As long as our traits are not self-destructive sometimes we are better off accepting certain traits, embracing them and tyring to leverage them to our advantage.
 

Johnny boy

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If you are looking for "tips" to hack your personality and become a totally different person, you are shit out of luck.

Do you really think something as important and "core" as your personality is just something you fundamentally change by following some tips??

I used to be pretty shy and anxious a long long time ago. Like, to the point of getting self conscious walking around in public. Not listening to music with headphones in when around people because I was nervous my breathing would be awkward and loud and I wouldn't hear it with the music playing. Not feeling comfortable peeing in public restrooms when there's someone next to me.

It's called being young and being a pussy.

You're in for a long journey. And that's okay because life is a lot longer so this is just a temporary starting position.

When you're young, you're full of fears and you think it would be unbearable if different things happened.

I thought that I wouldn't be able to live without my girlfriend at the time. Then she dumped me and I didn't die. Weird...

Growing up is everything you were afraid of becoming true, realizing you're not gonna die, and then being a better person because of it.

I remember being afraid of driving a car. I thought that maybe everyone was a good driver and I was worried maybe I wouldn't be, and I'd crash right into someone and die. Guess what? I'm not dead yet. I should be, since I drive a datsun 28 with no airbags and race that thing around at 120mph. The damn brakes don't even work right. It pulls into oncoming traffic if I stomp on the brakes quickly. Still not dead though...

My point is that you're just afraid and shy, and if you expose yourself to life, it will grow some hair on your chest and you'll laugh at what used to scare you. Shyness is just the fear of being judged for the most part. You'll get over it as long as you don't run from being embarrassed. Embrace that shit.

My best suggestion is to embrace your fears and pound through them. Go do some cool, ballsy shit. Go climb a mountain. Go bungee jumping. Start hitting on some more girls. Start a business. And then go through all of the stress and failure you've got coming, and you'll realize your fears were hyped up.
 

Johnny boy

Gold Contributor
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May 9, 2017
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You've got some great answers here, and I'm going to add one more.

I used to be pathologically shy. Zero eye contact, dressed to be ignored, intermittent hygiene, damn near permanent stutter, the works.

Two things changed everything:

1. I moved 3000 miles away from anyone who knew me. Any way that I presented myself to my new community would be how they thought of me. I made a conscious decision to not blow that opportunity.

2. Brute force: it was HORRIBLE. I explain: I gave myself a challenge. I had 2 weeks to change my behavior. I didn't have to change my mindset, just my behavior. I went to the least threatening place (college science lab) at the least threatening time (4pm) to deliberately *give a compliment* to the least-threatening person I could find(older secretary).

Result: My hands were sweating, my knees shaking. I asked for directions to an office I knew was on the wrong floor, and as I went to leave, said, 'hey, that dress is a beautiful color on you'. Then I threw up in the bathroom.

And then I repeated it, in some form, every day, for 2 weeks. And it got me over the worst of the shyness. I started looking people in the eye, I bathed on the regular, got newer clothes, and talked slower to overcome the stutter.

You're probably nowhere near as shy as I was. The 2-week challenge will probably work great! Every day, find a stranger, and compliment them. Seriously, if I can get past it, you can.

Now? I may have gone too far in the opposite direction. YMMV
Great post.
 

FierceRacoon

Bronze Contributor
Jun 1, 2019
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The problem with most advice of this kind is that it comes from people who were at, say, 5/10 and were able to push themselves to 7/10, and think they overcame shyness. There are two problems here:
* most people saying "just try X, it has helped me" were not that bad and have no clue, how bad social anxiety can be. If somebody tells you they've got over social anxiety in two weeks, as I see in the comments above, they were not that bad. It's like saying, "I had to score in the 99-th % on the quant part of the SAT/GRE/GMAT (insert your favorite standardized test), but because I was not good at math, I had to study 10 hours/day for 2 weeks." You'd be like, really, that person was bad at math? Many would need 10 hours/day for 2 years, combined with very skillful guidance.
* similarly, most people giving this kind of advice have only improved marginally

Ask yourself,
- how many times in the last year have you had food with another person? What about the previous five years?
- how often do other people call/text you socially, without a particular reason such as a work project? How many of such people?

If your answers are 30 and once a week, that is one thing. In other words, you have a friendly chat once a week, perhaps with 2-3 rotating friends overall, and you sort of go out every couple weeks, or at least have a sandwich with a buddy. You can call yourself not very outgoing, but still you have a decent amount of experience under your belt.
If your answers are 1 and once in 6 months, that is another thing. That means you are just not in the habit of socially interacting with people and basically lack skills — which, naturally, makes every interaction anxiety-provoking. In this case you lack skills when it comes to thousands of common-sense nuances that others may call manners or common sense or social intuition, but are really just little bits that you will have to learn at some point, and better sooner than later.

If you are in the second category, no amount of visualization, meditation, self-reflection and the like will help you. Absolutely nothing else other than quantity of practice, which ideally should be combined with guidance. And by quantity I mean at least TEN times more than you are used to, if you want to have a chance at becoming comfortable.

Some practical ideas:
* never reject a social invitation. Somebody invites you to a birthday (if it ever happens)? Say yes. Boring barbecue party? Yes. Bar where everyone gets trashed? Yes. Don't listen to anyone who tells you it's a waste of time — it's exactly who you get more social.
* talk to everyone and embrace small talk.
* find people who have strong social skills and spend as much time with them as possible. Pay them or do stuff for them if needed. Some good candidates are salespeople and promoters of various kinds, restaurant and hotel managers and managers in general, politicians.
* it's not so much about doing weird stuff in public. It's about doing normal stuff that feels weird to you until it doesn't. If you feel uncomfortable going to a loud venue, guess how do you fix it? By going there, and not once and not five times. Understand it's a process. With a lot of practice and exceptional guidance, becoming more social takes years. Without a lot of practice for many introverts it will just never happen.
 
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Monkeycom

Contributor
Aug 20, 2019
33
25
43
UK
Hi everyone,
I am a very shy boy and I cannot express myself in the way I would like. it's hard for me to make new friends and I prefer to be alone. I would like to overcome my problem to get to know new people and start new projects because I would not go ahead alone. do you have any tips to overcome this problem?
Go play Football !
 

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