Do you consider yourself to be a shy person? Do you find it difficult to meet new people or function well in groups? Some people are naturally outgoing types, while others are a bit more reticent, more likely to keep to themselves, or have a small circle of friends. Both types are very common and completely normal, but there is a certain stigma associated with being shy. Some feel that shyness is a negative trait that can hinder one’s success in both regular and working life, though there is really little proof that this is true.
However, if you consider yourself to be shy and would like to change that, here are some initial steps to take. It won’t happen overnight, but you will gradually find it easier and easier to break out of your shell and become the person you desire.
Stretch Your Boundaries
Are there certain social situations that make you especially uncomfortable? One of the best ways to change that is through exposure. Pick an occasion that is of little importance and one that you can freely leave whenever you like. See how well you do interacting with the people there. Where you able to start and/or contribute to conversations? Did you leave after a few minutes or did you stay a good while? Do this more and more often. Chances are, you will find yourself staying longer and longer.
Expect a Few Failures
As a shy individual, you might be surprised to hear that outgoing people don’t always do well in social situations either. With that in mind, expect that you will have some awkward, and possibly even unpleasant moments, while you are stretching those boundaries. Take them in stride and remember that it really does happen to everybody.
Shy people tend to be more sensitive and that means they are also harder on themselves after making a mistake. Don’t be—this is a learning process and a significant one because you are changing the way you naturally are. The bad experiences may seem upsetting, but you will learn from those, too, so that makes them valuable.