10 Tips for Overcoming Shyness and Being More Social

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  1. Smile:It sounds easy, and it is. The more you smile, the better you’ll feel about yourself. And smiling as improves others’ opinions of you. Don’t believe me? Give it a try. After all, it can’t hurt, and you might just brighten up your own day and that of others.
  2. Stay away from personal pronouns in conversation: What? Sound weird to you? It’s really not. When talking to others, using the words “I” and “me” over and over again can be a turnoff, even if just subconsciously. Focus a little more on other people, especially new acquaintances, and less on yourself. This shows other people you are interested in them, and obviously this helps with social situations.
  3. Don’t focus on your shyness: When you’re in a social gathering, just don’t think about your shyness. How do you do that? Focus on something else, maybe a person you want to talk to. Or just keep in mind how much fun the gathering can be. Thinking about your shyness just makes you … well, it can make you shy. So don’t think about it.
  4. Be prepared: If you are attending a gathering and it’s not something you’re used to, or maybe you’re not sure what to talk about with others, come up with a short list of conversation topics beforehand. Maybe you could even create a little cheat sheet and slip it into your pocket to help remind you while you’re mingling. Try to avoid topics that can be splintering, often religion and politics fall into this category for many people, but you can come up with a few seemingly light topics. Here are some ideas: Children, the weather, sports, recent events, etc. But try to stick with ideas of which you are somewhat informed. You don’t want to look the fool by not knowing what you’re talking about.
  5. Join a club:Make sure it’s something with which you have an interest. Maybe a book club, or a fantasy sports league, something that gets you to interact with other people on a regular basis. This way you’ll be in somewhat familiar territory, and you’ll be with people who share similar interests as your own. It’s much easier to overcome shyness among such a group than it is around a bunch of strangers.
  6. Reward yourself: Maybe it’s a chocolate bar, or a new book you’ve been wanting to read, or any number of little things. But when you feel you’ve made a new social accomplishment, treat yourself a little. This helps build up your self esteem, and it can be a lot of fun.
  7. Remember to introduce yourself: Let’s pretend you’re at a meeting or a party where you don’t know a lot of people. Normally you might just stand around talking to no one, maybe working your way to the sides of the room or over to the food table. Stop that. If you’re standing next to a person you don’t know, introduce yourself. This is easier said than done, but it can help break the ice with a lot of people. Yep, just by giving your name. It can be that easy.
  8. Remember the details: I’m talking about other people here. When you meet someone new, try to remember more than just their name and maybe their job. Try to remember some little detail about them. Maybe one of their children plays soccer. Maybe they’ve finished reading a good book. Maybe they like to wear flashy clothing. Anything. The point is, the next time you see this person, you can work in a comment about the detail you remember. This tells other people that you find them important. And this means you will become of interest, and possibly important, to them.
  9. Start with your friends and family: You don’t have to go out of your way to tell those close to you that you’re shy, not unless you’re comfortable doing so. But honestly, they probably already know. But you can use relationships you already have to try to break out of your shell. Practice being social with your friends and family. Maybe spend a little more time out in public with them, even if it’s only shopping or going out to eat. This is an easy way to work up to being more social in unfamiliar territory with unfamiliar people.
  10. Be your own best friend: Shy people have a tendency to beat themselves up mentally. They think they did some little thing to wrong at a party. They think they said the wrong thing at a meeting. Whatever it is, most people won’t even notice, and even if they did, in five minutes most of them won’t remember your little slip. Don’t speak negatively to yourself. Keep positive. Go forth into the world and smile. Social situations are never as bad as you think they might be.

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