Shyness is not a bad quality to have. However, your shyness may cause you to talk less or feel uncomfortable in social settings. Begin by taking small steps to feel more confident talking to new people and joining group conversations. Being shy does not have to stop you from having friends and a good social life. Becoming more social will take time. You must slowly address your fears and negative thoughts and step out of your comfort zone to practice your social skills.
Method 1 of 4:Talking to New People
1Practice some conversation starters. Starting a conversation with someone you do not know can be difficult. You will feel less awkward if you are well prepared. Prepare some conversation starters before you go somewhere so you will have something to talk about.Trustworthy SourceHelpGuideNonprofit organization dedicated to providing free, evidence-based mental health and wellness resources.Go to source
If you are going to a party, you may say, “The food is really good. Have you tried the ____?” or “How do you know ____?”
You can give a compliment. “Hey, I love your shirt. Where did you get it?”
If you are going to a place where you have something in common with the people there, talk about what you have in common and then ask a question.Expert SourceEddy BallerDating CoachExpert Interview. 7 February 2020. You may say, “I love video games too, what is your favorite one?”
2Practice what you will say. Write down what you would like to say and rehearse in front of the mirror or out loud. This will help the conversation feel more natural when you actually go through with it. Even though you practice, things may not go exactly how you planned, but that's okay.
After you have practiced and tried to do it in real life, you can make adjustments based on your experience.
Your practice should be specific to the challenge that you are taking on. If you are going to school, your practice conversations may focus on studying, note taking, or an upcoming project or test. If you are going to a party, your practice conversation may focus on music, providing compliments, and food at the party.
3Focus on the other person. Because you are shy, you are probably thinking about yourself when you interact with others. You may worry about how the other person perceives you or what you will say next. Instead of thinking about yourself and your feelings, focus on what the other person is saying or what is going on around you.Trustworthy SourceHelpGuideNonprofit organization dedicated to providing free, evidence-based mental health and wellness resources.Go to source
Being a good listener can help you focus on the other person. Make eye contact, nod your head every once in a while, and smile at the person.Expert SourceEddy BallerDating CoachExpert Interview. 7 February 2020.
You can also make comments like “yes,” “uh huh,” or “mmhmmm” during the conversation.
Watch their behaviors, tones, body language, facial expressions, and how they relate to others. Use empathy to try to experience what they are talking about. Doing this will also help you be more present in a conversation and more able to respond appropriately.
4Make small contributions during group conversations. It can be easy to sit back and observe a conversation instead of actually participating in the conversation. This is even more difficult if the group of people all know each other, and you are an outsider. If this is the case, try to stay engaged in the conversation and make small statements such as:
”Yeah, I know right.”
”I heard that too.”
Laugh when other people laugh instead of being silent.
These small statements can also prepare you to start saying more when you feel more comfortable.
5Ask open ended questions. Open-ended questions are questions that require more than a “yes” or “no” answer. These types of questions keep the conversation going and allow you to learn about the other person. Most people like talking about themselves so this takes the burden off of you.Trustworthy SourceHelpGuideNonprofit organization dedicated to providing free, evidence-based mental health and wellness resources.Go to source
For example, instead of saying, “Do you have a pet?” you say, “What type of animals do you like?”
Instead of saying, “Do you have plans this weekend?” you say, “What are you looking forward to this weekend?”
6Speak early in the conversation. When you are entering a group situation where you would like to speak more, try to get in the conversation within the first 10 minutes. If you jump in the conversation early, you are less likely to clam up or chicken out. You do not have to make a big contribution to the conversation either.
Simply agreeing with someone or asking a question will do.Score0 / 0
Method 1 Quiz
How can you focus on the other person in the conversation?
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Method 2 of 4:Becoming a Good Conversationalist
1Have small interactions. Build up your skills by having small interactions with people.Expert SourceEddy BallerDating CoachExpert Interview. 7 February 2020. Taking small steps will increase your confidence in your abilities. Because the interactions are small, it is not a big deal if they end up being awkward.Trustworthy SourceHelpGuideNonprofit organization dedicated to providing free, evidence-based mental health and wellness resources.Go to source
Smile at a person on the street.
Start a conversation with a cashier, waitress, salesperson, delivery person, or the mailman.
Give someone a genuine compliment.
Ask someone an informal question. If you were in a checkout line, you may say,"Have you been really busy today?"
2Study current events. Stay up-to-date on current events such news, sports, entertainment, and television. This will allow you to participate in any conversation that you find yourself in. You do not need in-depth knowledge about all topics, just enough to be able to comment and give an opinion.
Choose a few news or popular culture websites that you can skim daily to stay up-to-date.
You can also read the newspaper or watch the news once a day to keep up.
3Move the conversation forward. When someone else is speaking, they will give clues about other topics you can discuss. If you listen, you can identify different ways to move the conversation forward.
For example, if someone says,"Yesterday, I went out to eat with Michael."Based on that sentence, you could ask about the restaurant, other activities for the day, and Michael.
You could also connect any of those answers to your personal experiences. You could discuss any restaurants that you have been to or any new ones that you would like to try.
4Have open, accepting body language. Make good eye contact and stand up straight. Speak confidently: project your voice so that the person can hear you, don't speak too quickly, and speak with a friendly, outgoing tone. These small tips can help others better understand you, but it also can help you feel more accomplished and heard socially.
5Practice as much as possible.Expert SourceEddy BallerDating CoachExpert Interview. 7 February 2020. Being a good conversationalist is a skill that can be developed. The more you practice, the better you will get. You will be less nervous in social situations, and being talkative will feel more natural.Score0 / 0
Method 2 Quiz
How can you identify ways to move a conversation forward?
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Method 3 of 4:Overcoming Your Shyness
1Choose an area of improvement. You may be shy in certain situations and more comfortable speaking in others. Choose an area where you would like to improve. Do you want to be more talkative at work? Would you like to talk to new people? Do you disappear in group conversations?
For example, If you were trying to speak more at work, a goal may be to give your opinion in a meeting or make small talk with 2 coworkers every day.
2Recognize negative thought patterns. There are many thought patterns that can cause you to become shy and uncomfortable in social settings. Although these thoughts are not the truth, they can make you feel insecure and less confident. Common thoughts include:Trustworthy SourceHelpGuideNonprofit organization dedicated to providing free, evidence-based mental health and wellness resources.Go to source
You are weird and/or unlikeable.
People will constantly judge you.
People will reject you if you make a mistake.
You are defined by what other people think of you.
Being rejected is the worst thing that can happen to you.
Your opinions are not important.
You have to say the right thing every time.
3Talk out loud when you are alone. As a shy person, you probably spend a lot of time in your own head. You have many thoughts that you do not share with other people, and you are used to being silent. You must train your brain to actually say your thoughts out loud.
Whenever you are completely alone (e.g. in the shower, your room, in the car) say every thought that comes to your mind.
Talk to yourself out loud for at least 5 minutes every day.
It will feel weird at first, but you will get used to it the more you do it.
4Face your fears gradually. You may be shy because you are afraid of rejection or looking silly or dumb in certain situations. You cannot overcome your fears overnight. It will take time and practice. Set an overall goal and then take small steps to reach it. Start with the least stressful steps and work your way up.Trustworthy SourceHelpGuideNonprofit organization dedicated to providing free, evidence-based mental health and wellness resources.Go to source For example, if you are afraid of talking to new people in a group setting, here are the steps you could take:
Smile and make eye contact with a few people.
Ask someone a question such as,"How did you hear about this event?"or"Have you been here before?"
Find an approachable group of people and then join the group. Listen to the conversation and make a few comments if you want to.
Join a group again, but join in the conversation this time.
Do not move to the next step until you have had a positive experience in the previous one. For example, you would not ask someone a question until you have smiled at a few people and received a smile back.
5Get out of your comfort zone. Shy people tend to do the same activities a lot and hang out with the same group of people. Put yourself in new situations to get out of your comfort zone. One of the best ways to do this is to volunteer or join a club that you are interested in.Trustworthy SourceHelpGuideNonprofit organization dedicated to providing free, evidence-based mental health and wellness resources.Go to source
If you volunteer or join some type of club, you will already have something in common with the other people. It will be easier for you to talk to them.
Trying new things will also give you new topics you can discuss with other people.
6Be patient.Expert SourceEddy BallerDating CoachExpert Interview. 7 February 2020. You will not go from being shy to talkative overnight. It is important that you have realistic expectations and be kind to yourself. Just try to make progress each day. If you smiled at one person on Monday, then try to smile at 2 people on Tuesday. If you are consistent, you will make improvements.
You may make a mistake or feel silly sometimes. Try not to be too hard on yourself. Everyone makes mistakes.
Keep in mind that some people may not have time to speak with you or they could just be rude. Do not take it personally if you are not successful.Score0 / 0
Method 3 Quiz
What is the benefit of joining a club or volunteer program?
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Method 4 of 4:Thriving in Social Settings
1Attend group activities. Try to go to group activities where you can be around people who share your interests. Shared interests give you an automatic connection to the other people you are around. You will not have to worry so much about what to talk about.
Also accept invites from friends to go different places whether you are excited about the event or not. Once you are there, you may find that you are actually having a good time.
Group activities you can try include school clubs, sports teams, or volunteer activities in your community.
2Arrive early. It could be tempting to show up late to an event so that you can just blend in to the crowd. However, this will actually work against you. Arrive early to give yourself time to adjust to the surroundings and get more comfortable. If you know the person who is hosting the event, ask if they need any help setting up. You will feel more comfortable because you have something to do.
By the time the crowd comes in, you will already feel comfortable.
For example, if the party starts at 7:00 pm, get there at 6:45 pm.
3Take a break. You may get overwhelmed or drained when you are socializing with others. This is completely normal. If possible, set a time limit for how long you will stay. Maybe you plan to go to the party for an hour and interact with people.
If you are not able to leave, try to get 10-15 minutes of alone time in a bathroom or a quiet area.
You will feel refreshed after being by yourself.Score0 / 0
Method 4 Quiz
What is the benefit of arriving early to an event or party?
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