HOW TO GET OVER SHYNESS?

DEAR DALI MAMA:

I’m very shy and don’t know what to do. My parents tell me to get over it but I don’t know how. What do you recommend?


–B.R. (United States)

DEAR B.R.:

If you feel like your shyness is getting in the way of you making friends, maybe you could start out by volunteering at an animal shelter where you can get a chance to be around people and get to know them while hanging out with beautiful animals and getting to know them as well. Or do something else where you have some specific tasks to do, which makes it easier to start up or join in a conversation. Plus then you’ll be so busy doing stuff, your beautiful spirit can’t help but shine through, words or no words.

Another thing you could do is shift the energy in which you meet or talk to people. Focus more on how the other person is and ask questions to show an interest in what they’re doing. Sometimes we can feel shy because we’re worried about not having anything to say or not being able to say the right thing or worried that people make not like us. Usually, the other person is just as worried about the same thing, so your taking an interest in them will help break the ice and open up a space for communication and developing friendship.

You can also take initiative. When you see someone else that seems shy, take the opportunity to go over and say something to them. You just might make their day. You could also invite someone over (or a small group–start by either inviting one person or three so you end up with an even number of people, which is easier) and have an activity planned, maybe playing Pictionary or watching a movie or playing a Wii game, for example. That will give you something to do and create a fun environment to get to know each other.

Just let your beautiful self shine and keep opening up that space for communicating and relating with others. In the end, you must do what feels right for you and makes you happy.

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