How to become less shy?

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Vendetta1997
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My shyness is driving me insane and I have no confidence. Every time I meet someone new, I drop my head when they try to speak to me. If I try to speak to someone new myself, I hesitate and I seem to lose my voice because I'm scared of being rejected as I was in primary school (I got beaten up because of my Chinese heritage and deafness). I've always been a social outcast for as far as I can remember and I can't seem to support friendships. What should I do? I'm scared that when I go to sixth form and university I won't have any friends.
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BefuddledPenguin
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First things first, at college and uni typically you find that people are much nicer, as everyone at college and uni wants to be there, unlike school, which is compulsory, so hopefully the bullying will stop. Personally I find shyness highly attractive, but I guess you can't really wait around for friends who also enjoy the company of shy people, my recommendation would be to fake confidence until it becomes genuine, much easier said than done of course, I was incredibly shy, to the point where I could go weeks without talking to people, until I got a job in which I had to talk to people, I'm still an introvert, but I do find talking to people much easier than I used to.
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advent2
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(Original post by Vendetta1997)
My shyness is driving me insane and I have no confidence. Every time I meet someone new, I drop my head when they try to speak to me. If I try to speak to someone new myself, I hesitate and I seem to lose my voice because I'm scared of being rejected as I was in primary school (I got beaten up because of my Chinese heritage and deafness). I've always been a social outcast for as far as I can remember and I can't seem to support friendships. What should I do? I'm scared that when I go to sixth form and university I won't have any friends.
There are a number of things you can do to become less shy but I have to warn you, it requires a considerable investment of time and energy and it won't be easy.

There's what I call the inner game and the outer game. The outer game is learning the social skills and techniques to navigate the social environment and the inner game is dealing with your fear of rejection and shyness.

The outer game

Body language is very important as most of our communication is through body language and voice tone so I would recommend becoming familiar with body language. I'm guessing you will already have a natural ability for reading body language in other people if you are deaf. A great book on the subject is 'What every BODY is saying' by Joe Navarro. Whilst it is fictional, the television show 'Lie to me' really emphasises the benefits of reading body language and being aware of your own body language and one of the world's leading experts Dr Paul Ekman was an advisor for the show.

An excellent book for improving your social relationships with people is 'How to win friends and influence people' by Dale Carnegie. It's a classic self-help book which has sold millions of copies and it is one of the best books I have ever read, it taught me so much about people and how best to interact with them.

The inner game

Your shyness is esentially rooted in fear, a fear of rejection, so you need to overcome your fear. The book which changed my life and inspired me to overcome a lot of my own fears is 'Fear-the friend of exceptional people' by Geoff Thompson. (Interestingly it was written by a man who was bullied as a child and he overcame his fear of physical violence by becoming a martial artist and nightclub doorman and he's now a successful BAFTA winning writer).

The only way to overcome your fears is to confront them in what psychiatrists term 'exposure therapy.' It's as simple (and as difficult!) as that. You need to expand your comfort zone until you become desensitised to the feelings of discomfort and create a new comfort zone.

I did a personal development course when I was 16 years old which brought me out of my shell a lot. Within 12 weeks I went from being a teenager who would physically shake in a room full of strangers to giving a speech in the college lecture theatre on how the course had changed my life. It was called the Prince's Trust team programme and if you are aged between 16 and 25 years of age and have 12 weeks spare, I would recommend doing it.

Following completion of the course I started volunteering full time in a charity shop which required me to deal with strangers on a daily basis and that is how I gradually overcame my shyness.

I've been working at Citizens Advice Bureau for three years now (I started as a volunteer which eventually led to a paid job) and again that has really brought me out of my comfort zone. I've worked on reception, I've provided telephone advice (I hated using the phone), I interview and advise people on a regular basis and I've staffed promotional stands and given talks to other organisations. All of those things were very difficult for me at first but with practice you get better and your confidence grows.

The best way to overcome your fear of rejection is to get rejected as many times as possible or to risk getting rejected. I always had a fear of rejection when it came to women so I would never flirt with them or approach them. I overcame that fear last year by asking a girl for her number and she rejected me. And do you know what? it was no big deal, me and my mates just laughed about it and I lost my fear of rejection. I actually pulled another girl that night which just goes to show that rejection is not the end of the world. Yes it's painful and yes it's emarassing and uncomfortable but it will not kill you.
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Vendetta1997
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(Original post by advent2)
There are a number of things you can do to become less shy but I have to warn you, it requires a considerable investment of time and energy and it won't be easy.

There's what I call the inner game and the outer game. The outer game is learning the social skills and techniques to navigate the social environment and the inner game is dealing with your fear of rejection and shyness.

The outer game

Body language is very important as most of our communication is through body language and voice tone so I would recommend becoming familiar with body language. I'm guessing you will already have a natural ability for reading body language in other people if you are deaf. A great book on the subject is 'What every BODY is saying' by Joe Navarro. Whilst it is fictional, the television show 'Lie to me' really emphasises the benefits of reading body language and being aware of your own body language and one of the world's leading experts Dr Paul Ekman was an advisor for the show.

An excellent book for improving your social relationships with people is 'How to win friends and influence people' by Dale Carnegie. It's a classic self-help book which has sold millions of copies and it is one of the best books I have ever read, it taught me so much about people and how best to interact with them.

The inner game

Your shyness is esentially rooted in fear, a fear of rejection, so you need to overcome your fear. The book which changed my life and inspired me to overcome a lot of my own fears is 'Fear-the friend of exceptional people' by Geoff Thompson. (Interestingly it was written by a man who was bullied as a child and he overcame his fear of physical violence by becoming a martial artist and nightclub doorman and he's now a successful BAFTA winning writer).

The only way to overcome your fears is to confront them in what psychiatrists term 'exposure therapy.' It's as simple (and as difficult!) as that. You need to expand your comfort zone until you become desensitised to the feelings of discomfort and create a new comfort zone.

I did a personal development course when I was 16 years old which brought me out of my shell a lot. Within 12 weeks I went from being a teenager who would physically shake in a room full of strangers to giving a speech in the college lecture theatre on how the course had changed my life. It was called the Prince's Trust team programme and if you are aged between 16 and 25 years of age and have 12 weeks spare, I would recommend doing it.

Following completion of the course I started volunteering full time in a charity shop which required me to deal with strangers on a daily basis and that is how I gradually overcame my shyness.

I've been working at Citizens Advice Bureau for three years now (I started as a volunteer which eventually led to a paid job) and again that has really brought me out of my comfort zone. I've worked on reception, I've provided telephone advice (I hated using the phone), I interview and advise people on a regular basis and I've staffed promotional stands and given talks to other organisations. All of those things were very difficult for me at first but with practice you get better and your confidence grows.

The best way to overcome your fear of rejection is to get rejected as many times as possible or to risk getting rejected. I always had a fear of rejection when it came to women so I would never flirt with them or approach them. I overcame that fear last year by asking a girl for her number and she rejected me. And do you know what? it was no big deal, me and my mates just laughed about it and I lost my fear of rejection. I actually pulled another girl that night which just goes to show that rejection is not the end of the world. Yes it's painful and yes it's emarassing and uncomfortable but it will not kill you.
(Original post by BefuddledPenguin)
First things first, at college and uni typically you find that people are much nicer, as everyone at college and uni wants to be there, unlike school, which is compulsory, so hopefully the bullying will stop. Personally I find shyness highly attractive, but I guess you can't really wait around for friends who also enjoy the company of shy people, my recommendation would be to fake confidence until it becomes genuine, much easier said than done of course, I was incredibly shy, to the point where I could go weeks without talking to people, until I got a job in which I had to talk to people, I'm still an introvert, but I do find talking to people much easier than I used to.
Thanks, guys. Help's much appreciated. I'll keep it in mind.
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CSM1996
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I'm the same with my shyness. I feel like it holds me back and I often reframe from saying things as I do not wish people to judge me

P.s. I find chinese people cute so I would be your friend if you lived here
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advent2
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(Original post by CSM1996)
I'm the same with my shyness. I feel like it holds me back and I often reframe from saying things as I do not wish people to judge me

P.s. I find chinese people cute so I would be your friend if you lived here
We judge people all the time so regardless of whether you say it or not, people will be judging you.
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Vendetta1997
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(Original post by CSM1996)
I'm the same with my shyness. I feel like it holds me back and I often reframe from saying things as I do not wish people to judge me

P.s. I find chinese people cute so I would be your friend if you lived here
Heh. Thanks.
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CSM1996
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(Original post by advent2)
We judge people all the time so regardless of whether you say it or not, people will be judging you.
Tell me about it! I still stay silent though
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Thatstudentdude
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Do you have a job?

I was quite shy - I found getting part-time jobs really helped boost my confidence though. In a way, it forces you to have to be open and talk to people and deal with situations that arise. Now, I can actually see the different me compared to when I didn't have a job. I find myself going into other shops and openly talking to people, asking questions, not afraid to speak up if they try charging me wrongly or something. Working in retail makes you realise that actually, people aren't that scary! (Well, unless it's Boxing Day sales).
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advent2
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(Original post by CSM1996)
Tell me about it! I still stay silent though
Silence can have its virtues but like you say sometimes it can hold you back in life. It's the same with everything in life, you just need a fine balance.
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Vendetta1997
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(Original post by Thatstudentdude)
Do you have a job?

I was quite shy - I found getting part-time jobs really helped boost my confidence though. In a way, it forces you to have to be open and talk to people and deal with situations that arise. Now, I can actually see the different me compared to when I didn't have a job. I find myself going into other shops and openly talking to people, asking questions, not afraid to speak up if they try charging me wrongly or something. Working in retail makes you realise that actually, people aren't that scary! (Well, unless it's Boxing Day sales).
I don't have a job yet, but I will be having work experience next year in year 11. I can't wait to have my work experience! Lmao: "Working in retail makes you realise that actually, people aren't that scary! (Well, unless it's Boxing Day sales)." :lol:
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Zenzic
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I'm less shy when either,
1. Drunk
2. Hyper (Sometimes 1 => 2 )
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Vendetta1997
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(Original post by Zenzic)
I'm less shy when either,
1. Drunk
2. Hyper (Sometimes 1 => 2 )
:lol: I remember getting drunk on a pint of shandy. I was an arse cause I wouldn't shut up or stop being rude.
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und3niable_
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(Original post by advent2)
There are a number of things you can do to become less shy but I have to warn you, it requires a considerable investment of time and energy and it won't be easy.

There's what I call the inner game and the outer game. The outer game is learning the social skills and techniques to navigate the social environment and the inner game is dealing with your fear of rejection and shyness.

The outer game

Body language is very important as most of our communication is through body language and voice tone so I would recommend becoming familiar with body language. I'm guessing you will already have a natural ability for reading body language in other people if you are deaf. A great book on the subject is 'What every BODY is saying' by Joe Navarro. Whilst it is fictional, the television show 'Lie to me' really emphasises the benefits of reading body language and being aware of your own body language and one of the world's leading experts Dr Paul Ekman was an advisor for the show.

An excellent book for improving your social relationships with people is 'How to win friends and influence people' by Dale Carnegie. It's a classic self-help book which has sold millions of copies and it is one of the best books I have ever read, it taught me so much about people and how best to interact with them.

The inner game

Your shyness is esentially rooted in fear, a fear of rejection, so you need to overcome your fear. The book which changed my life and inspired me to overcome a lot of my own fears is 'Fear-the friend of exceptional people' by Geoff Thompson. (Interestingly it was written by a man who was bullied as a child and he overcame his fear of physical violence by becoming a martial artist and nightclub doorman and he's now a successful BAFTA winning writer).

The only way to overcome your fears is to confront them in what psychiatrists term 'exposure therapy.' It's as simple (and as difficult!) as that. You need to expand your comfort zone until you become desensitised to the feelings of discomfort and create a new comfort zone.

I did a personal development course when I was 16 years old which brought me out of my shell a lot. Within 12 weeks I went from being a teenager who would physically shake in a room full of strangers to giving a speech in the college lecture theatre on how the course had changed my life. It was called the Prince's Trust team programme and if you are aged between 16 and 25 years of age and have 12 weeks spare, I would recommend doing it.

Following completion of the course I started volunteering full time in a charity shop which required me to deal with strangers on a daily basis and that is how I gradually overcame my shyness.

I've been working at Citizens Advice Bureau for three years now (I started as a volunteer which eventually led to a paid job) and again that has really brought me out of my comfort zone. I've worked on reception, I've provided telephone advice (I hated using the phone), I interview and advise people on a regular basis and I've staffed promotional stands and given talks to other organisations. All of those things were very difficult for me at first but with practice you get better and your confidence grows.

The best way to overcome your fear of rejection is to get rejected as many times as possible or to risk getting rejected. I always had a fear of rejection when it came to women so I would never flirt with them or approach them. I overcame that fear last year by asking a girl for her number and she rejected me. And do you know what? it was no big deal, me and my mates just laughed about it and I lost my fear of rejection. I actually pulled another girl that night which just goes to show that rejection is not the end of the world. Yes it's painful and yes it's emarassing and uncomfortable but it will not kill you.
Good tips!
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Zenzic
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(Original post by Vendetta1997)
:lol: I remember getting drunk on a pint of shandy. I was an arse cause I wouldn't shut up or stop being rude.
How could you get drunk off shandy? unless you're making them yourself, then it's not really shandy . Maybe it was more of a placebo effect. But you should try it again, you might not always be like that. Nice bit of dutch courage.
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Vendetta1997
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(Original post by Zenzic)
How could you get drunk off shandy? unless you're making them yourself, then it's not really shandy . Maybe it was more of a placebo effect. But you should try it again, you might not always be like that. Nice bit of dutch courage.
I really did though! :lol: Even my mum said I was drunk!
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Gwindor
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(Original post by Vendetta1997)
My shyness is driving me insane and I have no confidence. Every time I meet someone new, I drop my head when they try to speak to me. If I try to speak to someone new myself, I hesitate and I seem to lose my voice because I'm scared of being rejected as I was in primary school (I got beaten up because of my Chinese heritage and deafness). I've always been a social outcast for as far as I can remember and I can't seem to support friendships. What should I do? I'm scared that when I go to sixth form and university I won't have any friends.
I seem to have the same thing...the odd thing is that I'm so different from my family. My parents and siblings are perhaps the complete opposite of shy, being noisy and very outgoing...however I've always been a quiet and reserved person since birth (an introvert is suppose). I still find it quite difficult to look at someone in the eyes, often just looking at their cheekbones instead. I just feel a sense that they're reading my mind, and then I blank out. That's why I'm far better at giving speeches on stage, than actually having a conversation with someone. Talking about giving speeches, I find it quite odd that I'm pretty comfortable on stage with tens of people watching me but can't really strike up a conversation with someone I don't know.

I feel very sympathetic after reading your experiences. The fact that you got beaten up for your Chinese heritage and deafness is...it's simply barbaric! How can people be so cruel...as being of Chinese descent myself I completely understand your position. I hope that everything's better for you now though .

I think in the end the greatest cure to shyness is confidence. My (over)confident dad always told me that the main reason people are shy is because they think too much about what others think of them. However the truth of the matter is that 99% of people are too busy caring about themselves to take much notice of you.

So I've slowly tried to become less shy and more talkative. Although I'd never consider myself to be very social, I still want to build friendships :rolleyes:.
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Vendetta1997
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(Original post by Gwindor)
I seem to have the same thing...the odd thing is that I'm so different from my family. My parents and siblings are perhaps the complete opposite of shy, being noisy and very outgoing...however I've always been a quiet and reserved person since birth (an introvert is suppose). I still find it quite difficult to look at someone in the eyes, often just looking at their cheekbones instead. I just feel a sense that they're reading my mind, and then I blank out. That's why I'm far better at giving speeches on stage, than actually having a conversation with someone. Talking about giving speeches, I find it quite odd that I'm pretty comfortable on stage with tens of people watching me but can't really strike up a conversation with someone I don't know.

I feel very sympathetic after reading your experiences. The fact that you got beaten up for your Chinese heritage and deafness is...it's simply barbaric! How can people be so cruel...as being of Chinese descent myself I completely understand your position. I hope that everything's better for you now though .

I think in the end the greatest cure to shyness is confidence. My (over)confident dad always told me that the main reason people are shy is because they think too much about what others think of them. However the truth of the matter is that 99% of people are too busy caring about themselves to take much notice of you.

So I've slowly tried to become less shy and more talkative. Although I'd never consider myself to be very social, I still want to build friendships :rolleyes:.
My parents are the complete opposite to yours! They're so shy and quiet towards new people, so I suppose me and my brother took after them. It's far easier on the computer though because the person's not right in front of you. I usually drop my head to avoid eye contact and stare at the floor instead. I personally think speeches are easier. They're planned and you know what you're going to say to the audience, only I have a fear of audiences and I'm scared that I'm going to be laughed at. I guess I lost my confidence because of bullying. I'm smaller than most people in my year too so I suppose that was another reason I was bullied. My classmates still regularly take their anger out on me, but I know that if I retaliate it will just make everything worse. :mad: I guess this is why I find it so hard to trust people because I've been stabbed in the back and betrayed so many times before

I guess I build my confidence through judo. I pretty much focus on judo which is how I can pull myself through week after week. I have friends there too so I'm pretty happy to see them three times a week.

Thing is, I wear clothes that aren't too noticeable all the time, i.e. hoodies, trousers/jeans, trainers and a t-shirt. I don't like being the centre of attention, I don't know why, I just feel extremely uncomfortable when everyone's staring at me. :rolleyes:

I want to be able to build friendships too. I can make friends but I can't find the right groups to fit into. I feel like I'm this one lonely jigsaw piece out of an unknown jigsaw that's looking for the right jigsaw puzzle it's in. Are you the same?
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apostrophe87
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I used to be a lot more shy than I am today. I basically started taking small steps towards being more of a leader and kept challenging myself. Like for example if you are looking for something in the supermarket, instead of wandering around; ask someone where it is... and so on.
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pheekum
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Seriously, i can relate in a way, i used to be super confident in high school, always talking to anybody and everybody, went to a college where I knew nobody & suddenly became this shy quiet person for half the year, i knew it was because I didnt know anybody and I have a paranoia of who I can trust and since it was a new college I didnt have anyone I could trust

So i started by talking to the person next to me, after I was abit confident I knew what they were like, I started saying hello often when I passed them by, its going to be hard in the first couple of times but always try and be willing to greet them if you walk by and dont ignore, usually I say 'hey, you alright?' and have a very small converstaion, suddenly I knew more and more people and from developing small talks, I felt I could go a step forward and ask them about their day, what they are up to, how was their holiday and stuff like that, eventually im almost as confident as I was back in high school, im still learning, and so are you!

We've got so much to learn in this world, you have to be willing to make mistakes and learn from them, even when you fall flat on your face, you're still moving forwards!
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