Living With Shyness

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Shyness is usually associated with being quiet, insecure, and/or socially anxious. Being shy is not always a bad thing. We can all feel shy from time to time so it’s alright to feel a little uncomfortable in new situations and with new people.

What causes shyness? Some people are born shyer than others. Shyness is generally associated with new situations, and can often pass as you get used to the new environment, people, or activities that you originally found stressful.

What can you do if you are feeling shy? It can be really useful to talk to someone if you feel that your shyness is keeping you from doing things that you want to do. Consider talking to your family, friends or counselor.

Here are some tips that can help you start to overcome your shyness:

  • Prepare an appropriate topic or two for conversation before going into a new situation. 
  • Smile. Not grimace, smile. :) And breathe. 
  • Practice social skills in comfortable environments, and take notice of how you behave. This natural response is the real you, what you want to bring into any social situation. 
  • It may help to run through some of the worse things that could happen, so you can learn how to handle stumbling over your words when giving a class presentation or dropping your drink at a party. 
  • If you are afraid people will notice you are shy, one way to address that right off is just to tell people, so then the pressure’s off. 
  • Remind yourself that what you did really well after you’ve been in an uncomfortable situation. Reward yourself. Do something that helps you relax and unwind. 
  • Remember everything that went right, in the face of anything that went wrong, like the fact that you tried.

Acknowledgement: This fact sheet was originally developed by youth and staff at ReachOut.com, a website that helps teens get through tough times. 
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