Social anxiety is an extremely prevalent disorder among people of all ages and genders. With currently over fifteen million people suffering from it, if you suffer, you are not alone. This can be very tolling to the people who suffer, both socially and personally.
There are a lot of things that cause people to be shy, and it is a big obstacle when trying to find work or go to school, or even just staying healthy. Job interviews, participating in class, and making friends are all very difficult things to do when you suffer from this disorder.
However, it is not hopeless there are many things you can do to try to improve your ability to interact socially. It isn’t easy, and it won’t happen right away, but you should never give up on yourself. Here are 10 tips on how to stop being shy and quit.
HOW TO STOP BEING SHY AND QUIET:
1. Increasing Confidence:
I know this seems obvious, however it doesn’t just mean to talk more or with more power or “believe in yourself”. It means have self-confidence, try to believe in whatever you are doing and understand why you are doing it. This will make you feel as if everything you do and say has a purpose and a meaning, making it easier to speak your mind.
2. Visualizing Daily:
Try to imagine yourself having a good and effective conversation with a person who you might encounter that day. Have this scenario be clean, no embarrassments or stutters, just you clearly articulating what you want to say. Then try to think of this encounter when you talk to someone that day, and act just how you did then.
3. Change Your Thinking:
This comes from visualizing daily. Tell yourself that what you imagined can happen. You can have this conversation, nothing will happen and it can be normal. Use the skills you attained from trying to increase your confidence to be more effective in changing your thinking. Stop thinking everything will fail, and focus on succeeding.
4. Mimic Others Interactions:
Ok, don’t take this literally. This is what you should do if you start freaking out mid conversation and you feel as though you are going to clam up because you don’t know how to interact with them.
Try to mimic their posture, movements, and tone. It will make it seem not only as if you are understanding what they are saying, but also that you are still calm and enjoying what they are saying.
5. Put Yourself Into Uncomfortable Situations:
I know you’ve probably heard these a thousand times, “face your fears” “put yourself out there”. However, this really is an effective way to overcome it. You condition yourself, in a way, to be comfortable in these situations. You also learn how you should start approaching people after enough practice, and who looks like they want to be talked to.
6. Make Yourself Noticeable:
One of the hardest things about overcoming your social anxiety is initiating conversations with new people. This can be avoided if you make yourself noticeable so other people will come talk to you.
From expressing your talents to wearing clothes that can start conversations such as book or band tees, this will help other people approach you. This can be scary at first, but eventually you will become more comfortable with people coming up to talk to you. You may eventually begin to showcase your abilities such as art or singing, which will also increase your confidence.
7. Learn About Yourself:
Understanding why you have the thoughts and feel the way you do is one of the most important parts of overcoming your shyness. If you can try to grasp what makes you anxious in these situations, you can try to use the previous skills to change this thinking.
Try to understand what you fear you will do or what they will do, and use the visualization technique to convince yourself it won’t happen. Eventually you might be able to overcome one fear you have, until all of them have been eradicated.
8. Fake It Until You Make It:
This might seem counterintuitive, but if you pretend you know what you’re doing people will often believe it. This will make it appear that you’re calm and in control of the situation, which will be beneficial in making yourself more comfortable in these situations.
Just act out what you visualized yourself doing, and eventually those will be your normal actions. “Don’t fake it til you make it, fake it till you become it” -Amy Cuddy
9. Watch Who You Interact With:
There are a lot of people who you could potentially talk to, on the subway in class etc., however not all of them will want to talk to you. One bad interaction can make everything you worked towards fall apart, and you will be back to square one.
Try to look out for their facial expressions and tone while talking to them, because everyone will not be as nice as you want and will make your anxiety worse. This isn’t your fault, some people just have bad days or don’t like strangers, and you should try your best to avoid confronting people who look angry.
This is the most important of all. Try to make a change, have a want to overcome your fears. If you don’t try to do it, you won’t be successful in doing it. You must use the skills whenever you can, but don’t overburden yourself with it. Find a balance, and keep working towards your goal until you are finally free from your social anxiety.
This is not a magical list on how to cure-all your fears, it is a small set of things you can do to change what you think about yourself and how you will interact. By doing these things every day, you can slowly improve and be more comfortable in your own skin until you can publicly display who you are without fear of being judged.
This will not happen in a day, or a week, or even a month. It will take time, you just have to keep persevering until you are finally there and feel good about yourself.
Start small with each of these things, wear a bracelet someone could comment on, sit in a restaurant by yourself, imagine yourself having a conversation with someone when you wake up.
Just keep doing these things, and eventually you will improve, until you are finally ready to face the world. Practice makes perfect. How did the greats become great? Practicing until it was second nature. Are you shy? how did you overcome it?