Some people may feel particularly inhibited in social situations. Meetings cause them stomach-aches, conversations overwhelm them with shyness, and anxiety does not allow them to utter a single word.
Shyness in social situations often occurs due to a bad self-image. Add to this a nagging concern about what others think about you, and self-labelling like “I’m a shy person”, and what you get is a recipe for limiting yourself to the expectations created by the label you’ve put on yourself.
With a little effort, perseverance, and practice, anyone can overcome their shyness and anxiety. By applying a few tips, you can change your life for the better by improving your relationships with others.
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Ridding yourself of shyness and anxiety
Learn to like yourself
Each of us is unique and possesses, in addition to flaws, a lot of qualities that make us wonderful. Find out what your strengths are and become aware of them. This way you will be able to improve your own opinion of yourself and maybe not over-emphasise the importance of others’ opinions about you. Also, avoid comparing yourself to other people, or falling into the extreme of perfectionism.
Try some kind of exposure therapy
This method is often used for people who have various phobias. They are gradually exposed to the things that make them tremble. This is done in order to help them manage and eventually defeat their fears. Therefore, do not run away from social situations by finding all kinds of excuses. Even if it might seem strange at first and not at all comfortable, don’t give up. The more you practice, the more relaxed you will become in social situations. And if you fail, remember that failure is not the end of the world!
Become fascinated by those around you
People often like to talk about themselves, and this can be “your secret weapon” in defeating social anxiety and shyness. You can ask them all sorts of things about themselves, remembering the answers they give you in order to secure an important bridge for opening communication in the future, as this article on Self-Confidence points out.
Many times you increase your anxiety all on your own. You might think intensely about a moment that made your heart race, and this habit embeds a negative label into your memory of that moment. This type of thinking ends up “programming” your state of anxiety, according to Pick The Brain. Try to adopt some techniques that help you relax, such as breathing exercises, physical activity, or a bubble bath. Then imagine yourself at the meeting that makes your heart jump out of your chest, and imagine that you are extremely confident and doing great.
Imagine that you’re actually meeting your best friend
When you talk to people close to you, people you know well, you probably have no restraint, and feel no discomfort and inhibition. But, as soon as you are in the company of a stranger, you feel your legs starting to shake and your heart rate accelerating. You could try this method, found on Positivity Blog, to imagine that the stranger in front of you is in fact your best friend. This trick could help you create a more relaxed, stress-free atmosphere, and build an effective and natural conversation.
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What is important to remember is that these methods do not work overnight. However, by repeating them you will gradually manage to reduce your shyness and be more relaxed in social situations, building even stronger connections with others.