Hi guys! Its’s Skye and this is my first back to school post in my series with Julia. It is not a typical back to school blog post, but I feel like so many people struggle with shyness, especially at school. I hope this helps and be sure to read Julie’s blog posts as well!
Growing up, I was a very shy person and making friends wasn’t always easy. However, I’ve started to break out of my shell and talk to more opportunities. Overcoming shyness takes time, but I’ve talked to a few people who are shy and they wish that they weren’t anymore. It was definitely something that I knew for sure that I wanted to change about myself. Since school is just around the corner, it’s a very stressful time, especially for people who are shy. If this is something that you would like to change about yourself, keep on reading.
Most people are generally shy around people that they do not know. That’s normal. Some people are more approachable or more likely to talk to a stranger than others. The first step to overcoming being shy around people that you see everyday, such as classmates, is to understand why. Are you intimidated? Are you afraid of saying something weird?
Many shy people are also very self conscious. Instead of focusing on every little detail and flaw about yourself, spend your time thinking about things that interest you. I like to be aware of my flaws just in case someone points it out, but I don’t obsess. That only causes nervousness around other people and intimidation.
This one is obvious, but put yourself out there! Sports are a great way to meet new people and it is also an easy conversation starter. The same goes with arts, clubs, and other hobbies. It is important to do what you are interested in. If you don’t like to play sports, then I wouldn’t recommend trying out for a team if you are just going to be miserable. Instead, I would suggest volunteering. Organizations are always looking for volunteers and usually the other people are nice and friendly.
Another tip I have is to keep a close group of friends that you can just be silly with. Having a close group of friends is important because you know they are reliable. However, you can’t hide behind them. Don’t always be their partners or always be talking to them. You need to be your own person and talk to other people, too.
So, have you ever said something and 10 seconds later think: “Why did I ever say that?” I have thought this to myself multiple times and it happens to everyone. As for this situation, this worst thing you can do is dig yourself deeper. Don’t try to reverse it or keep going with it. Depending on the situation, laughing at it or just ignoring it might be the best option. Don’t let these moments steer you away from interacting with people. It happens.
Maybe you need to change your body language. Looking approachable looks more appealing than someone who just never looks happy. Posture is important for your health but also in how people see you. If you’re slouching with a scowl on your face, you’ve already closed yourself off. I’m not saying you need to always have a smile on your face no matter what, but appearing friendly and showing some emotion will make people want to talk to you.
Lastly, you need to build up your confidence. Just like overcoming shyness, building confidence takes time. In the meantime, I keep a few quotes handy when I need confidence or right before an oral presentation. The first one is from the movie, We Bought a Zoo, and it is: “All you need is 20 seconds of courage. Just literally 20 seconds of embarrassing bravery. And I promise something great will come of it”. I love this because after those first 20 seconds, you won’t even have to think about it anymore. If you show confidence, something great might happen because other people like being around confident people. Another quote is: “Walk like you’re worth a million bucks”. It’s a little more silly, but every time I think this, I stand a little straighter and get instant confidence. These are only temporary though. You need to find your own confidence, and no quote can achieve that.
So, this was definitely one of my longer blog posts. I put a lot of time into it because I know many people struggle with this, including myself at times. I force myself to say hi to somebody at school, or to make an effort to help someone out. Even small things as holding the door for someone will help create some type of interaction with somebody else. But anyway, I hope this post was a little bit helpful and I wish you luck in gaining confidence and overcoming shyness.
Thanks for reading! – XOXO Skye