I’m really shy. Even around people I know/have known for a long time. How can I be less shy around those people? -Amelia
Oh boy, I feel you! I’m also a naturally very shy, quiet, and introverted person, so I totally understand this. I think that it's really important to understand that it's OKAY to be shy. Everyone is different, and there’s nothing wrong with that. That being said, being shy can also make some things a lot harder, such as talking with people and going out of your comfort zone, so learning how to do that is also really important.
The thing that has made being ‘less shy’ easier for me, has been practice. Start with small things, and slowly it’ll get easier.
- Compliment someone who you’re already comfortable with, to start an interaction and maybe a conversation. It's an easy way to talk with someone who you already know, and are probably more comfortable with.
- Ice breakers! Think of some simple things to start a conversation, ahead of time. It could be anything from something that happened in a class you were in together, to books, to current events.
- If you know you're going to be hanging out with someone, ahead of time, think about different things that you could talk about beforehand. Make a little list of things that you think you'd both enjoy talking about that will help keep a conversation going.
- When you go to the library or a store (this might not apply right now because of Covid, but for the most part it should.) practice talking with people who you don’t know, ask them for something you need instead of looking it up or asking someone else to ask for you.
- Say hi to people who you see while on a walk or in your neighborhood. I know this might seem like a silly thing, but it actually really helps! It’s a little thing, but not only does it make someone feel good because you said hi to them, it’s also a really simple way to practice talking with someone who you may know well, or may not know at all!
- Practice talking to people on the phone, whether it’s calling a friend, or calling a store to find out when they’ll be open.
And again, remember that it's okay to be shy. Lots of people are shy, and it’s just a part of who you are. You may never be an outgoing person, and that’s okay! I’ve been practicing these things for years, and I’m a lot better at talking to people and the like, but I’m still really shy and I probably always will be. Even when I’m with close friends and extended family, I’m usually the quietest person in the room, and that’s okay, it’s just who I am.
I hope this is helpful, best of luck to all my fellow shy people!
~Amelia, S2S Mentor