Why are you so shy?
Why are you so quiet?
Why are you so emotional?
Are you upset?
Do people ask you those questions all the time? If the answer is yes, please keep reading, because I am going to change your life.
From experience, I have been asked those questions a lot. I was a very shy guy in the past, as I have no idea how to open up to people. Talking to strangers was like seeing Jesus and Allah at the same time—I was always at a loss of words.
I felt nervous. I felt like I might say something stupid, so I didn’t speak. I also felt that I should always say something that sounded smart or funny so that I’d please other people. But then I changed.
These tips are not just about being sociable. They can change your whole life in every aspect; they can make you a more confident person, an attractive person, a better leader, a better entrepreneur, and more, because it just keeps getting better once you are socially confident or confident in general. These are the important tips which changed my life and can change your life by helping you transform from being a shy person to a socially confident person.
1. Improve yourself in all aspects to build your overall confidence.
The whole idea is simple: just become a better version of yourself. You need to achieve more, become better or do anything that will make you proud of yourself. Confidence is something you have to build over time. It is built through hard work. You can start working out and have a better physique. You can take up dance lessons. You can start earning more money. You can do all kind of things which you think will make you more socially accepted. Confidence typically comes from acceptance by society. To be accepted by society, you will have to provide value.
Anything can be of value. For example: love, money or anything that is deemed to be worthy to others. Having a good physique makes you attractive and attraction is a kind of value. Being funny makes other people laugh, so that is value as well. So, the key is to improve yourself so that you can provide value which will be socially accepted. Acceptance is what will help you become confident gradually.
Just imagine a rich, good-looking guy with a nice physique; what are the chances of him being a person who has low self esteem? It’s more about the mindset and attitude! So, just remember: provide value. The world is harsh. Everyone only cares about people who can be of value to them.
2. Stop taking yourself so seriously.
If you are shy, chances are, you are taking yourself too seriously. Ask yourself: are you always feeling offended by little things, or do you feel the need to defend yourself when someone says something negative about you? If yes, you need to chill. You need to know that there are some things in the world, such as others’ opinions, that you cannot control.
Of course, I am not telling you to be ignorant and continue being idiotic, if you are. However, usually when people tease you, they are just making a joke. Even if they are laughing at you, they probably don’t really mean to hurt you. They just want a laugh. That’s all. There will always be jerks or toxic people, but if you truly do not take yourself seriously, you won’t be affected by them that much. Trust me. I have been there, and I am here now.
The trick here is to just start by laughing it off. Chances are, you are not going to be really laughing genuinely at first. You are probably taking others’ words seriously due to insecurities. So, build your confidence and in the meantime, practice laughing at everything! I am not telling you to laugh at every thing you see—you definitely need to know when it is the right place and time. For example, laugh when someone makes fun of your age group. Whether or not they are right doesn’t matter—they’re probably just joking.
And even if they mean it, you have to learn to accept yourself for who you are and keep improving yourself; then you will be free from your insecurities eventually. And if your close friend’s mother just passed away or if someone is being very serious with you, please do not laugh! You’ll be able to understand when it is appropriate—I believe shy people are generally smart people.
3. Stop judging what you say.
Are you someone who always feel that you have nothing to say? Do this one little thing: stop filtering what you say. Just say whatever is on your mind. Do not judge what you say negatively! Remember this: if you frequently judge your own words as rubbish and assume that no one will like what you say, you are disillusioned by your own thoughts. Say whatever you feel like saying. It’s not about what you do; it’s about why you do what you do.
This can be applied to what you say as well. For example, during a conversation about September 11, you could say something like “my dog passed away last year.” Is that relevant? Maybe. Is that stupid? Maybe. But it’s really okay to say stupid stuff. Applying the theory of “it’s about why you say what you say,” people might become interested in why you are saying those things, whether they are weird or not.
Every word you say is of value. You might feel stupid at first, but slowly, you will begin to stop judging yourself and say things more confidently. People may even find what you have to say funny and grow to love you! People generally like others who open up to them. They will feel that you aren’t hiding anything from them, and they will feel a sense of closeness with you when you open up to them. You will feel more comfortable speaking to them too! Just remember: don’t filter and judge what you say; you will see the greatest difference in your social confidence over time!
4. Don’t give a sh*t about anything!
This is one of the best pieces of advice I’ve ever gotten. It is a combination of both the second and third point. In order to not give a crap about anything, you need to have the attitude that you’ve got nothing to lose. And that is true. Life is full of uncertainties. Things just come and go. Keep in mind, though, that it is important that you don’t just throw your life away. You need to have your own priorities! For example, my priorities are my relationships, my health, and my money. I will cherish the things I prioritize, and I do my best to never let them go.
When it comes to everything else, I don’t give a crap! When you care less, since you know you’ve got nothing to lose, you feel more relaxed. You take things that are not priorities less seriously. When you do that, you have fewer insecurities, because even if you suck at some things, you don’t really feel ashamed because you just really don’t give a crap about those things!
Focus on building what you prioritize, and stop caring so much about other minor things. You will feel happier and more confident. Then, you can communicate much better as well because you feel that you are free from insecurities, you are more open to all kinds of conversations—even those you might have found offensive in the past. You actually magically and slowly become free from shyness and have a state of mind which allows you to socialize so easily!
5. Practice. Practice more.
You may know the theories, but you need to apply them! Applying them basically comes down to just putting yourself in many social situations. Take part in events where you have to socialize; start smiling at strangers; talk to random strangers; go to clubs and talk to random people. Step out of your comfort zone and test your limits. You will get better and better when you keep doing it! It’s perfectly fine to fail at first. All you have to do is to take the first step; it could be just starting to talk to your dog at first if you are majorly shy! I am not even joking—it probably helps.
You could also try spending a few minutes every day and make yourself talk about a particular thing, anything, continuously. This is an exercise to stop you from filtering your words. Also, you can try this trick: get slightly intoxicated. You know how you open up more when intoxicated? You tend to be more relaxed, filter less, have more guts to speak whatever is in your mind, right? Do that, and remember how you feel when you are sober, then apply it. It is not easy. You’ve got to take note of your state of mind when you are under the influence; maybe try to write it down the reasons why you have so much confidence suddenly when you are drunk, and review it again when you are sober. You probably have to repeat that many times because it is trial and error. Once you get it, you will have level 1000 social confidence!
Give yourself time. It depends on your starting point. Some may take a few months, some may take a year, or a few years. I have been shy since I was very young and all throughout high school. Then I decided to change, and it probably took me a few years to become much more socially confident. I still have a lot to learn and improve on. Believe in yourself and take action to make a change. You will be surprised at how you are starting to live your life finally!
Featured photo credit: Stokpic via stokpic.com