Overcoming shyness

By M.Farouk Radwan, MSc.

Help Me! I'm Shy!

If shyness is your major problem in life then you are a lucky person because shyness is one of the easiest personal disorders to get over.

If you are shy you will tend to avoid talking or interacting with people as much as possible so as not to get embarrassed or say something that people may not like.

Although you may still enjoy people's company you will hardly say a word while being with them.

Avoidance and the shyness problem

Shy people think more than all other people. They analyze everything that happens, keep thinking about the comments they hear and over think everything.

The problem with that way of thinking is that it strengthens the shyness problem especially if the person started avoiding people. When you avoid people you allow all of your irrational fears about them to grow since nothing will prove your beliefs wrong.

That's why avoiding people is one of the biggest mistakes you can make if you want to get over shyness.

Overcoming shyness

Your shyness may be caused by many reasons. The following is a list of tips that can help you overcome shyness:

  • Practice: If you think that this is not worth mentioning then you must understand that this is the most powerful method for overcoming shyness. Practice talking to people that you don't know well or even people that you don't know at all!! If you are a shy person then most probably you will find it very hard to approach someone that you don't know. It seems very hard because you didn't try hard enough to do it. start now to force yourself to talk under any circumstances. You must even do this with your friends. Try to talk more than you are used to. It will be hard at the beginning but as long as you keep trying it’s going to be easier and easier. What's amazing about this method is that some people tend to turn totally to the other side after practicing and they become very social people!! It’s all about training and practicing!!
  • Get rid of inferiority:Sometimes underlying your shyness is an inferiority complex(feeling inferior compared to your peers) that was created during childhood and stayed there in your mind. In this case removing shyness requires an additional step which is getting rid of that inferiority complex. By the way, if you only practiced without getting rid of the inferiority problem you will still succeed to become a social person but behind the scenes you will still be feeling inferior although no one might notice it.
  • Build confidence: In the Solid Self confidence program i said that one of the famous causes for shyness is lack of self confidence. You may be afraid to talk because you are not sure what other people are going to think of you. The solution is simple, just start from now to build your self confidence and you will overcome shyness in no time. One important thing that is related to self confidence is putting people first even before your own wants. You may be trying to please everybody and as a result analyzing what you’re going to say hundreds of times in order to make sure that everyone around you will like it. wake up!! This is not a perfect world!! you can't make everyone happy all the time
  • Control your self talk:One other thing that plays a big role in increasing shyness is negative self talk. Self talk are the things you say and the words you use when talking to yourself. Examples of negative self talk are "I won’t talk now, they will laugh at me" or "I know they’ll get bored if I told them that story". Using a positive self talk instead of a negative one is not that hard, you just need to use a method called CBT(Cognitive Behavior Therapy), this method will help you control your thoughts and your negative self talk and this in turn will help you control your unwanted behavior (which is shyness in this case).

How long does it take to overcome shyness

This is a popular question and the answer is it depends. However you can make sure that your recovery will start to happen the moment you face your fears and work on changing your irrational beliefs.

For some people it might take weeks and for others it might take months. Personally i recovered from shyness in few weeks but i did a lot of effort in that short period of time.

Shyness can be treated so start working on it now.

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