6 Tips for shy people on how to speak up
1. Stop labelling yourself as an introvert
What if I looked at my personality from another perspective? By judging myself on a time in my life when I wasn’t comfortable in public, I ended up believing that I was just simply shy. However, I have many qualities; I’m creative, sporty, curious… so STOP!
Let’s get things straight
Shyness is just a filter temporarily preventing me from showing the world who I really am. It doesn't define me; it's a momentary state, like when you get a cold!
2. Don't use it as an excuse
Shyness is the worst type of counsellor. If I listen to it, I will never conquer my shyness, but instead do the opposite. By hiding behind these excuses, I don’t make any progress and I miss out on fun times and meeting great people.
> Read about the symptoms and causes of an anxiety attack.
3. Learn to come to terms with the notion of failure
Introversion often involves feeling scared. Stop trying to be successful and overly pushy, because that’s just risking not succeeding. And it also means you are not learning how to recover and bounce back (by the way, bouncing back makes you just as proud of yourself as succeeding does).
4. Take care of yourself and learn to love everything about you
Behind my timidity, I’m hiding the huge lack of confidence I have in myself. I need to find a way of working on my introversion and addressing that shortfall when I have no other choice than to expose myself in front of others. Introverts are often told “you can’t tell you hate speaking out!” (The red blushing invading my face mustn’t be that bright…), the proof that I can fool anyone… During public events, I pluck up courage by getting ready and putting on an outfit I feel great in. Other people are like a mirror; if they see that I’m comfortable, I go along with it without worrying about what they think!
5. Stop considering other people as scary strangers
We are all human, and in that sense, they are not there to judge me or make me feel inferior. Each time I start to stutter when speaking to someone, I think of this phrase: “A stranger is just a friend we haven’t met yet”. By telling myself that I am talking to someone who is probably very kind, I instantly feel more relaxed.
6. Take on small daily challenges
I do this progressively, so that my hard work doesn’t seem overwhelming. I set myself challenges step by step, such as asking trivial questions to a new person every day (“What time is it? What’s the best restaurant round here?”). Then, over time, I realize that no one is going to bite me, therefore making me better able to string a sentence together in order to start a conversation with someone.
Editor’s opinion - It’s not an illness, but there is a cure
Conquering your shyness isn’t as difficult as you might think. It looks complicated to pass as someone who is confident and a great speaker, but by going through certain steps, at your own pace, anyone can do it.
There are several methods we can use: developing your self-confidence is a solution allowing you to assert yourself and not get scared when someone looks at you. Some breathing techniques can also be adapted to help you speak in public, without stress getting in the way. For the more artistic amongst you, many people who used to be shy have learnt to manage their emotions and work on their speaking voice through drama classes!
And, if despite all that, the thought of having the attention on you still terrifies you, you can overcome this character trait by getting help through behavioural therapy.
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