5 Simple Things I did to Overcome my Shyness and Social Anxiety

7 minutes

When I was in 6th grade my class was doing a small theatre performance. Back then standing in front of a large group of people and being on cue to do something made me feel uncomfortable, tongue tied and flustered. My teacher kept telling me to be more enthusiastic, but all I wanted to do was crawl under a desk and hide. It was then that I started realizing I was a shy person.


I’m a constant thinker and analyzer and would always have an inner dialogue telling myself to, “stop being so awkward” or “stop worrying so much.”

I decided to take action on my shyness and conquer my fear of how I felt in certain social situations. Here are the tips I’ve been using to overcome my shyness that I hope will help you too.

Enroll in a Course:

If you are shy like me, then the thought of signing up for a course on public speaking or improv acting might seem like a daunting task. But, actually, this is a great way to overcome your shyness.

I have always loved theater so in college I signed up for a class about it and this brought in several occasions where I had to stand up in front of the class and perform lines from a play. My first time I could barely focus on what I had to do. But, over time, my apprehension of getting in front of the class and having to perform went away.

Source: thiraseela.com

You can sign up for any course to help you confront your shyness whether it be a public speaking course or a cooking class. Find something you are passionate about or want to get better at.

Yes, at first, you will be out of your element and definitely feel like a fish out of the water. But, if you just give yourself a chance at trying something that makes you feel uncomfortable, you will see that over time it does become easier. This definitely will help you overcome your shyness.

Get Out of Your Comfort Zone:

Shy people often times have triggers that make them feel shy. For me, I get super nervous about speaking in front of a group of other people. But, instead of letting my fears consume me, I chose to do something about it.

Source: lifestyletradie.com

Over the past few years, I started getting more active in doing public speeches so I could confront my fear of standing in front of an audience and speaking. By repeatedly facing my fears of public speaking I was able to conquer it. This, in turn, helped me overcome my shyness. I encourage you to try and do the same.

If you confront your fears, you will see they really aren’t that scary after all and this will help you overcome your shyness.

Write Down Your Goals and Make Efforts to Achieve Them:

Spend some time thinking about a few goals you want to reach. Try to think of a goal that would help you overcome your shyness. After you’ve come up with a few goals make sure you write them down on a piece of paper, because penning them down will make you more accountable to it.Something I try to do is stick post-it note reminders in places I will see, like on my laptop keyboard.

Source: curvyceo.com

An example of a goal to overcome your shyness could be to spend time socializing and making small talk every day. Each day, you can try to find ways to achieve this goal. It can be as simple as taking five minutes of your day to make small talk with a colleague at work.

When you reach your goal that you set and wrote down, you will feel happier and more confident with yourself. Over time, you will see that this will help you overcome your shyness.

Focus on Your Breathing:

Often times when we are shy, we get very nervous in certain social settings. This nervousness makes our breath quick and shallow. This is a normal reaction of our body to the mental state we are in at the moment.

This is why it is important to become aware and focus on your breathing, especially when you know you are feeling shy.

Source: abouttownmagazines.com

Something that really helped me with my breath was learning about mindful breathing. Mindful breathing is about learning to concentrate as you inhale and exhale. You can read about a good mindful breathing exercise here

Try practicing this mindful breath a few times a week. Over time, mindful breathing will become a natural habit that you do and it will help you to overcome your shyness.

Use Your Body Language to Appear Less Shy:

When we feel shy, our body language can easily convey that to other people. For example, when I am very shy I often stand with my arms folded across my chest and with a slouched back. I also have a hard time maintaining eye contact with others.

In order to appear less shy, it is important to learn to stand with a confident posture. Standing upright with your shoulders rolled back will help you appear more confident. Try to keep your arms at a neutral position. As mentioned above, folding them across your chest will make you appear guarded and insecure.

Source: thetimes.co.uk

Finally, making and maintaining eye contact is something you would want to do to overcome your shyness. A personal tip I found that worked for me was to first start making and maintaining eye contact with people I was comfortable with—like close friends and family. After that, I started to make eye contact with other people as well and kept doing that until I felt comfortable speaking to just about anyone while maintaining eye contact.

Make an Effort to Overcome Your Shyness! 

Remember to be patient with yourself; you can’t overcome your shyness overnight. If you work little by little on tackling your shyness, then eventually you will feel more confident and be able to handle any social situation life throws at you.

Anna Alapatt

Anna Alapatt was born in the United States. Her father is from Kerala, her mother is from the United States. She studied psychology at American University, with the goal to help others. She has lived in England, Germany, and Dubai. Currently, she is living in Germany where she works part-time as an English teacher. She also works as a blogger and writes about: love & relationships, travel and personal development. You can read more here: http://absoulutelyanna.com/