Are You Shy? Looking for Tips
 
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  1. #1
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    Red face Are You Shy? Looking for Tips

    Ok, well...frankly I'm a terribly shy person, and I have a really hard time talking to new people. Once I get to know a person I start to warm up and become less afraid of showing my personality. Usually though its the other person who has to speak first otherwise I wouldn't be friends with or know anyone . I was at an opening party for college just now and as always I'm the guy in the corner alone looking both sad and creepy at the same time because he's just sitting there with no one to talk to... but I'm ranting.

    Anyway I was wondering if anyone had any tips for people who are shy by nature; and ways of getting past it. People have told me "just start talking" but I can't seem to pull myself together enough to do that with complete strangers. I was also wondering if anyone else here is really shy. I've heard creative types tend to be introverts by nature and was wanting to confirm this. I have a friend who is always bragging about how easy it is for him to talk to girls; when I ask how he does it he never seems to be of any help. Oh, and did I mention I was ESPECIALLY shy around women? Its something I really need to get over if I ever want to meet someone.

    - Funny how I don't have this problem on the internet

    Last edited by Toxdel; August 23rd, 2008 at 12:47 AM.
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  3. #2
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    The human being is not shy by nature, but conditioned so by external (or irrational internal) influences and only believes that they are shy, when the reality of things is, they just aren't willing to go balls out and do something.

    All you have to do is literally just decide you want to start talking to people. You aren't shy by nature, you're shy by choice, so you have to choose not to be and presto.

    Change is immediate and easy, no matter the situation. People just think it takes time, takes effort, takes hard work or a complex solution but it doesn't... it just takes a decision.

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    Um, I'm totally the same way.

    You can ask the people from the Seattle workshop. I'm really, really shy until you start talking to me and then I realise you're not just going to glare at me for living.

    I don't have any recommended cures... 'Just start talking' doesn't work when that's the problem in the first place!

    Usually I just bring an out-going friend who will introduce me to people.

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    Lolz that story sounds familiar...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Toxdel View Post
    I was at an opening party for college just now and as always I'm the guy in the corner alone looking both sad and creepy at the same time because he's just sitting there with no one to talk to
    No fucking way man, that's my job, you go get your own.

    My solution is staying home and introducing large amounts of beer and chocolate into my system while either whittling away at art until my hands are ground down into hilariously polished nubs or smashing buttons on the input for my chosen electronic escapism device in a vain attempt to shut the problem out of my socially stunted, chemically imbalanced, sugar-and-alcohol powered BRAIN.

    The jury is still out on whether that's the right route to take

    (oh and I use humour as a coping mechanism, so flippity fart lollipop.)
    -----------------------------

    I guess I should be helpful so here's a delicious nugget of information from one hopeless nerd to another;

    I forget where I heard this, and even though it might not help with your actual PERFORMANCE around other people it certainly helped me in relaxing myself enough to actually not sweat liquid terror and that is; imagine that you are the fucking guy Who's the guy? You know who they guy is; he goes on adventures and does cool shit, he's the guy people find interesting even if he HAS no adventures to talk about. You have to believe that you're the guy, someone who deserves attention because yes, you are that awesome.

    Now I'm not advising you to go up to people and start conversations about how awesome you think you are, but that self delusion will help you think that people actually want to hear what you have to say. How you get into an actual conversation, shit, don't ask me. But imagining you're the guy when you are in one will definitely help you relax.

    Last edited by Jason Rainville; August 23rd, 2008 at 01:08 AM.
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  9. #6
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    I'm only shy around bombastic narcissistic control freaks....till I get angry at the bombastic narcissistic control freak.

    People don't seem to realize how frik'n oppressive they can be.

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    Speaking as someone who was a complete and total introvert in public and now so far in the opposite spectrum that people flat out do not believe I was ever quiet, it takes ONE thing...

    Have confidence in yourself. Love yourself.

    That's it. Really. Once you are completely comfortable and confident in yourself, you give off that air and people respect you and are drawn to you. You could be the craziest dressed, the one who says all the wrong things...but if YOU buy it, then everyone else will too.

    If you wear baggy clothes and hide behind hats/hoods/hair, or walk always hunched over and looking down...that body language says it all. You'll be surprised how people treat you differently if you pay attention to these things and change them.

    Quote Originally Posted by IanE View Post
    Change is immediate and easy, no matter the situation.
    I disagree. We have habits. We can't always see ourselves as others do to even figure out what the right change to be made is.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mirana View Post
    I disagree. We have habits. We can't always see ourselves as others do to even figure out what the right change to be made is.
    Why? What does the habit have to do with any of this? Nothing. The entire point to all of this is choice, or the lack thereof. The habit exists and continues through choice, just as anyone's good habits do. Change is absolutely immediate, though. Once you've made the decision and you finish the thought in your head, it can be final and tangible right then and there. It's the truth. If you don't like eating tomatoes, it won't take you years of bad dining experiences to stop. If you prefer white shirts over black shirts, you wouldn't slowly ween yourself from one to the other, you would make an immediate, conscious decision to make that change, and that's all it takes. The scenario is irrelevant.

    If one is aware of their habits, then they can see themselves in an outward perception, and even more, habits are voluntary.

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    People never get over the feeling, every former shy person I have talked to has only learned to put on an act. The feeling is still there, but it can get less intense over time.

    The world has a lot of bad advice about this kind of thing. Like, "just be yourself!" I already am myself. The only helpful thing I have found is this website.

    Shyness is an irrational fear, and you can't rationalize an irrational fear. Once your mind is set one way, it takes a lot of time and effort to change it. It's not just a matter of wanting to change. You can't wish genuine confidence into existence. You have to monitor your thoughts and it's kind of tiring.

    I'm actually better than I used to be. Now I'm just a somewhat quiet but still normal person. As a teenager I used to hyperventilate and stuff. And when I was a kid, I was such a wimp. Even when I was miserable I wouldn't complain about anything, I never talked back when people insulted me (happened pretty often). Once, I think I glared at someone... another time I intentionally threw a basketball out of court. I was such a rebellious child. I was very reluctant to join the world outside of my head, and one of my favorite pastimes was staring blankly into space when I was supposed to be listening to someone. I'm amazed I had any friends at all.

    One of the things that helps is writing. Writing to yourself and writing on the internet both work. Your writing skills influence your speaking skills.

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  14. #10
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    I'm still a little shy, but i'm coming to the ultimate realization... Why give a shit what other people think about you? Just be yourself and the friends will come. You don't have to please everyone.

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  16. #11
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    IanE, I also disagree. And rhyme.

    Let's talk about habits. Habits, if repeated often enough, make said action second nature. Rather, it makes it your nature. One simply doesn't 'decide' to all of a sudden draw figures as if they were just hit with a Leonardo stick, it takes practice to undo all the bad habits one learns in drawing, like putting eyes at the top of the head or making legs perfectly straight. How can you say that it takes no time whatsoever to undo the damage caused by the repeated habits performed for a person's entire life?

    If I all of a sudden chose to go balls out and force myself to talk to people, enter social situations etc (which I HAVE, with disastrous effects) I would still feel as awkward as I would if someone approached me out of the blue. Actually no, I'd feel awkward ten ties over since I'm forcing myself to approach everyone and talk about shit that I don't care about.

    That surely is a decision, but it's not an immediate cure, it's a facade, it's Jason Rainville as Jason Rainville in: The guy who tried too hard. It doesn't solve anything in the long term. Changing your view CAN be a decision, but it's a decision to go through the long process of learning something completely different through, you guessed it, habits. Just like rendering a perfect deltoid it takes a long time.

    If your view on habits were correct, we'd all draw like marko, sing like crosby and dance like jackson because all we had to do was decide to.

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  18. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jason Rainville View Post
    It's just another skill.
    There we go.

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    One thing I've discovered that helps me with these kinds of situations:

    You can give into your fearful emotions and anxieties

    or

    you can act despite your fear - grow, be more truthful about who you are, and be proud of who you are

    If you have the right motivation there is really no good reason for reacting to your fear, its only a hindrance. When you know what you want - then you know it will be worth suffering through the anxieties you have to stomach.

    Also you have to have a light sense of yourself.. realize it is ok to become embarassed and don't overreact to your blunders or when people bust on you. Everyone has their faults.. if you can laugh at yourself than it keeps you honest. Nothing wrong with that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jason Rainville View Post
    If your view on habits were correct, we'd all draw like marko, sing like crosby and dance like jackson because all we had to do was decide to.
    That's all they had to do :/

    They chose to achieve a positive goal. They made a decision to the be best, then followed the necessary steps to achieve that. And I agree, that sort of thing doesn't just happen overnight, it takes practice, but something so simple and easy like just being shy/nervous/anxious/introverted is much more simple to "correct," suggesting you find it needs any correcting, and truly is immediate and easy.

    The most important above all though, is it isn't BAD to be shy. There's absolutely nothing negative about it, what I'm saying is if somebody says to themselves that they don't like that aspect about their character, then, and only then, should THEY deem it something worth changing, not any outside source.

    Last edited by IanE; August 23rd, 2008 at 02:24 AM.
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  21. #15
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    I've been "shy" my whole life. I've had similar problems in my day, i had friends who were pretty outgoing and i have always been shy around strangers, it's just how i am. Once i warm up to people and have seen them a few times, i'm comfortable enough to talk but yeah, its normal to be like that. I had a lot of friends who were really outgoing all through high school and i half expected i was supposed to be like that, but once i moved away to college i found that, that was pretty normal, and a hell of a lot of people are like that. Pretty much everyone is shy in their own respect, everyone has their own insecurites , and everyone hides and shows them off in different ways. Take anyone out of their comfort zone and they'll be shy. It took my awhile to realise it but the best thing to do is just don't expect to have to be a certain way, just be who you are and roll with it.

    "I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain."
    --- Frank Herbert, Dune - Bene Gesserit Litany Against Fear

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    Tip - Alcohol

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    Tip - Alcohol
    hahaha, yeah, sad but true, it does loosen the shy reflexes

    "Every little step considered one at a time is not terribly daunting" - Ethan Coen

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    Alchohol makes me even more quiet and boring. It probably does the same thing to some other people... right?

    Quote Originally Posted by IanE View Post
    That's all they had to do :/

    They chose to achieve a positive goal. They made a decision to the be best, then followed the necessary steps to achieve that. And I agree, that sort of thing doesn't just happen overnight, it takes practice, but something so simple and easy like just being shy/nervous/anxious/introverted is much more simple to "correct," suggesting you find it needs any correcting, and truly is immediate and easy.

    The most important above all though, is it isn't BAD to be shy. There's absolutely nothing negative about it, what I'm saying is if somebody says to themselves that they don't like that aspect about their character, then, and only then, should THEY deem it something worth changing, not any outside source.
    Nobody seems to know what the steps for overcoming shyness are, and that might have something to do with the steps being different for every person. Finding the right thing to do is not easy at all. If you do the wrong thing it only worsens your anxiety and you dig yourself deeper and deeper. It's really bad to be shy, when you are shy you are helpless. If you decide it's not bad and just ignore it, it can just get worse. Imagine you're lost, and you are scared of asking directions. So you remain lost for hours. I know it sounds insane, but this is the kind of thing that happens when you let your seemingly harmless anxiety grow.

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  27. #19
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    but something so simple and easy like just being shy/nervous/anxious/introverted is much more simple to "correct,"
    lol, a comment like this could only be said by an extrovert.

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  29. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by romance View Post
    Tip - Alcohol
    That's why I carry around a flask labeled "social anxiety juice".

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    Quote Originally Posted by Linzoy View Post
    People never get over the feeling, every former shy person I have talked to has only learned to put on an act.
    I still have some tendancies left over from being an introvert (hate phones, rather stay in on days off), but the extrovert me is most certainly NOT an act! The shy me was the act!

    If you are a different person at home with family and close friends, then I believe that's the "real" you. The shy person you are in public is just so said public will ignore you and leave you alone.

    Quote Originally Posted by CosmoChimp View Post
    Why give a shit what other people think about you?
    That's the other thing that helped me. I learned to identify specifically what upset or embarassed me and went about dissecting it. Do I really care what so-n-so thinks of my hair? Pfft, no. Then why would I be embarassed if so-n-so said something about it? It also helped later when I had to work with the public...I never got flustered b/c I knew I didn't give a crap what someone else's issues were, they had nothing to do with me.

    Quote Originally Posted by Linzoy View Post
    Alchohol makes me even more quiet and boring. It probably does the same thing to some other people... right?
    It does different things to different people...

    Imagine you're lost, and you are scared of asking directions. So you remain lost for hours. I know it sounds insane, but this is the kind of thing that happens when you let your seemingly harmless anxiety grow.
    Geez. A friend of mine had that happen when she came to visit me. She called her mom in another state to drive an hr away and find her because she wouldn't go into a gas station to ask directions. :/

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mirana View Post
    I still have some tendancies left over from being an introvert (hate phones, rather stay in on days off), but the extrovert me is most certainly NOT an act! The shy me was the act!

    If you are a different person at home with family and close friends, then I believe that's the "real" you. The shy person you are in public is just so said public will ignore you and leave you alone.
    That's a good point. I've always been very outgoing with family and friends.

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    Shyness is nice but shyness can stop you from doing all the things in life you want to.

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    Yknow as a kid and a teenager...I was so shy...even more with girls around... And nobody knew that I used to draw...but in late teen years..people around started really taking notice...of me..and my art.....that build such confidence...in myself...dat now I can talk anywhere..with anyone ..regardless of anything..I sweetalk to all the ladies around me...hell soem time back... There was a speech and show in cour college a few months back..the original speaker turned ill and I was chosen to do it...I went on stage infront of 400-500 people... and spoke...nervousness dint even last five seconds..... And its all because of the confidence i have in myself,
    SO be confident.....be positive....be nice.....smile....treat everyone as a a friend..its hard at first...being open to all... but its fun and you make friend with some wonderful..some not so.. but wat the hell..you meet more beuatiful girls that way....

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    Introversion, I love it and I hate it

    Self confidence is the key (or, one of the keys). Shyness isn't introversion; I myself am very introverted, but only a bit shy, which depends on the situation. A smile can work wonders.

    but something so simple and easy like just being shy/nervous/anxious/introverted is much more simple to "correct,"
    haha, I went out with a guy not too long ago who said therapy could help (against introversion). Needless to say that didn't last long

    My point being, self-acceptance and self-confidence has helped me Sure, I'm not the most social person, in fact, I talk a lot more to people over the net than in "real life", and I rarely go out, but I can make friends easily if I want to.
    Approaching complete strangers to strike a conversation though... this I'm still stuck with xD I try to get people to come over to me.

    Insanity is the key!
    Also, studies are a key. And passion is a key. Also, so are inspiration, motivation and dedication. Talent can be a key. Insomnia can also be a key, depression is a sad rusty little key. Damn, artists need one hell of a keyring.

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    Once you realize, that with enough dedication you can do anything in art, you might realise, that the world is just there in front of you and you just have to take that one step, if you wanted to, you could master anything you try. It won't "cure" you, but realizing that will give you some confidence.

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    I used to have the same shyness problem, but I've mostly gotten over it now.

    I feel the need for a very systematic approach for pretty much everything. The stuff everyone above has said is all awesome advice, but I'm going to talk about it slightly differently. What I have below is (as silly/insane as it sounds) pretty much a step-by-step approach to how I got over my shyness.

    I found that the number one way to become more comfortable talking with strangers is to do so more often. It just comes with practice. If you really, really can't get yourself to start a conversation (as used to be my case), make it so that others want to talk to you. Just appear interesting. Draw in public, build something somewhere, be the friend of the guy performing on stage, whatever. I found that even wearing tie-dye clothing gets more people taking to you. It doesn't matter what you do, just look like the kind of person that someone would want to strike up a conversation with. Assertiveness and self-confidence are key, of course, because you have to keep the conversation going. Pretend that you've known them for a while when you speak to them.

    The easiest kinds of strangers to strike up conversation with are friends of friends, classmates, or members of some group that you associate with. They probably share a few interests with you, so you have plenty of stuff to talk about. You should have a topic ready before you even say hi or introduce yourself to someone, since it's hard to talk about absolutely nothing for very long.

    After that you just basically work your way up and start talking to stranger and stranger people. It became easy pretty quickly after that for me. Just look for excuses to chat. Ask someone for the time, hold a door for someone, offer to help a person struggling with something, etc.

    I still have a fairly difficult time talking to some people but I've got it pretty much down.

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    I think my biggest hangup is not that people won't want to talk to me, but rather that I won't want to talk to them. I do have very close friends, and they can assure me that I'm not particularly self-centered, but without external reference I can very easily convince myself that I'm a jerk and they're better off without me bothering them. My shyness seems to be rooted in excessive internal dialogue that forms a barrier to impulsive behavior. I think we're all equipped with a basic starter kit for social interaction, it's just that pesky brain getting in the way, trying to prove its acumen for figuring shit out ahead of reality. The trick is in taking hold of that internal dialogue before it becomes a fact. I have to catch my thoughts all the time and direct them to the nearest meat-grinder lest they poison me against action. I have to remind myself that I'm not nearly as good at figuring other people out at first encounter as my brain thinks I am. I make myself try new things. If I get an inkling, I act on it before I rationalize my way out of it. I haven't quite worked my way up to people yet, but if you told me 5 years ago that I'd have performed karaoke in front of hundreds of people before I was 30, I'd have told you to go to hell.

    People respond readily when someone is interested in their opinion, which is probably the most crucial aspect of overcoming shyness. People want a chance to reveal who they are, to whatever degree. We have avatars, signatures, bumper stickers, hats, t-shirts, any number of things we employ specifically to reveal some aspect of our personality. Ask-me buttons. Stop that poisonous dialogue and just... ask. People like to be asked.

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  41. #29
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    Heh, I guess I'm a different kind of shy, whilst I don't particularly mind meeting new people, I won't approach strangers or anything. Also I have confidence when it comes to public speaking or talking within a group of people, but I can't seem to hold an individual conversation, which my friends find weird as I'm quite talkative when there's more than one person around. But yeah, with one on one conversation I usually don't want to say anything, and after failed smalltalk and awkward silence, it usually makes me feel quite awkward.

    But I regress, I think I've vented rather than trying to pose an answer for your problem. I used to be an awkward public speaker, with low confidence and everything, but that helped me get over it, was, in my own words; to put on a mask and just pretend I had confidence, and to be honest it's the next best thing to having confidence.
    But I don't think that one person's solution will work for another one's problem, so I wish you luck, and hope this post at least tried to help .

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  42. #30
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    Heh, I'm the other way around. I was extremely social and outgoing when younger, and now I'm the cavebear that is only lured out if somebody offers a bloody raw steak...

    There's phobias, there's mental reasons, etc, but overall I think it might have something to do with choices and needs as well. I moved when I was 17, I was on my own, and I spent the first day at school wandering in a haze, alone. I was then kidnapped by my new class (which had already been together for a year), and from thereon I made a pretty conscious choice about me needing to be extrovert to get along in my environment.

    Somewhere I decided that it wasn't needed anymore, and I went back to my natural state of being, being social when it fits me, not everybody else, and not talking to people I have no interest in whatsoever in the first place.

    I think you might have to figure out *why* you're shy though. Is it because you get sweaty and nervous, because you don't think you have talking skills, or is it something else? I basically just don't have the need to talk to people, which I didn't find out before years after my "tender teens" If that's the case, it's not that hard, it's just a matter of finding a person or two to build a "base" with, and take it from there. Just don't try to get to know the whole crowd at once

    If it's other reasons though, like mental or something else, I can't help you much...

    "The fact that no one understands you doesn't make you an artist"

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