Not all of us are born orators or a social butterfly for that matter. But it is also essential that we do not shy away from communication and that we keep a fairly good social circle. If you are one of the shy ones, let the world know it is not because you lack ideas or social skills or interests. Let your voice be heard and let your shyness be overcome. The following pointers suggest a methodical pattern to shed your shyness:
10. Find out ‘why’ you tend to get shy
Know why exactly you get shy or regarding what and try to scrape it off. This could be attributed to many reasons starting from your low self esteem, your difficulty in digesting compliments paid to you or the tag of being shy that has been attached to you. What you ought to keep in mind is that all of the above are factors decided upon by your mind and can therefore be resolved by the same with a little practice as well. Do not allow yourself a low self image, but rather know your worth. Make it a point to not be self critical when someone compliments you. So the next time someone pays you a compliment repay it with a “thank you” coated in a warm smile. And if it is the label of having been a shy lass/lad, hey, we all shed labels don’t we?
9. Figure out what situations trigger your shyness
Figuring out what triggers your shyness is as important as finding out why you tend to shy away. These triggers could be meeting a new person, attending a party, a crowd, or speaking onstage etc. Sit yourself down and make a list of all the factors that trigger your shyness to surface and challenge yourself to beat it. Rome was not build in a day so chill, you do not have to build your confidence in a day either. Work your way up the ladder and deal one factor at a time starting from the easy to the hard. You could also make this more interesting by rewarding yourself with a little something or treat yourself to something you crave each time one factor has been dealt with. Who doesn’t like rewards and appreciation?
8. Shift your attention
One of the major reasons why you could feel shy when you talk and start to stutter, would be because you get conscious and all random thoughts, starting from how bad you are at starting or maintaining a conversation, to what will the other be thinking about you, etc. would be parading your mind. Stop being conscious and instead focus on the conversation or a certain attitude or aspect you like about the person.
7. Plan some sessions with your friends
You could ask your friends to help you out by planning discussion sessions on any and every topic under the sky. Since your friends are your comfort zone, you would ease up to them. Once you have a good flow and confidence going, move out of your sessions or start including a new acqaintance into the sessions and slowly warm up to them. Attending talk shows and listening to debates and elocutions in your schools/ colleges would also help to inspire you.
6. The body posture trick
Well, enough of being played tricks upon by your mind. Turn the tables over and step into the tricker’s shoes. There are certain ways in which you can fool your mind into thinking that you are calm, confident and stress free and therefore it would stop pulling you down with your old, familiar uneasiness. Set your body posture right. Adapt certain postures such as standing tall, holding your head high, walking with your shoulder held back and arms open. These little tricks will fool your brain into thinking you are calm and confident and thus it reduces your stress and makes it all the more easier to socialise.
5. Practice speaking
Chipping in a little advice my teacher once told me back in school so I could ward off my stage fear: to look in the mirror and speak to oneself or recite a poem that has to be recited. This is pretty effective since you get used to seeing yourself speak confidently and that confidence can be reflected outwards too. Also, if you tend to stutter or swallow your sentences halfway through thanks to your shyness compact it by sitting yourself down and speaking slowly and clearly to yourself. A couple of practices and you are bound to develop some self confidence which you can reflect into the social circle.
4. Do not do the comparison equation
A universal truth for many things, both in life and relationships, the truth applies here also. Know that we are all different and unique for a reason. If your friend ABC is a good orator, and XYZ is a good sportsperson, you would also be having your own good traits. This is no competition and all you are trying to do is to get over your shyness and indulge yourself more into the social circle. Do not compare, for remember that this is no race. Believe in yourself and focus on achieving your goal.
3. Identify yourself
While you are in the process of getting over your shyness, make it a point to identify yourself, to delve within, to look into yourself and identify your strengths. Allow yourself some time for some introspection and be aware of how great you are. These are striving forces to boost your confidence. After all, when you know how good something is, you would know equally how to flaunt it. Know yourself and bring out the colours in you.
2. Start a conversation
After all the above homework, let us now step onto the stage. You now know what are your fears, you have rooted them out, you have build your confidence and done your homework. Now let it pay off. Start by having a small conversation with someone, say at a party or a social function. Let it be a short conversation since this is your first step. Introduce yourself and ask about them, and after a small chit chat take your leave. It’s just the beginning and you do not have to speak about moving mountains or which planet is habitable next to Earth. Also, make it a point to appreciate yourself for your success and walk away with the promise to do bigger and better next time.
1. Bring the smile on, keep the look on
Now that we have stepped into making small conversations let us perfect the art. Do not look down, do not look away but look them straight and square in the eye. This is an age old mantra of calculating your confidence level and also triggers the other to the conversation. Also, do not look like a zombie by simply looking them in the eye, rather coat it with a smile. Let there be a hanging smile, a welcoming aura of pleasantness all through your brief conversation.
Do appreciate yourself for every little achievement and be your greatest mentor and motivator. Keep a record of your little achievements and the next time you feel off, bring in the records, and tell yourself, “hey, I have come this far”.