Shyness and feeling awkward or uneasy in social situations is something that a lot of people experience at one time or another. Yet, shyness for some people can be debilitating that they don’t attend social events willingly despite an intense desire to connect with others. If you are constantly uncomfortable during social encounters and do your best to avoid them, then here are some helpful tips for conquering shyness.
Ask yourself what type of social situation unnerves you the most. Perhaps, you have a hard time mingling with new people because you don’t feel as successful, pretty, confident or as educated as you want to be. This self-imposed label that you put on yourself may have started developing as a teen through social interactions at school. High school social skills and lack of popularity can make a person self-conscious enough to seek refuge and solace instead of interacting socially with others because it is safe. Nonetheless, you can learn to work through how you see yourself to project more confidence that can get you through the awkwardness.
Conquering Shyness at Social Functions
In spite of all this, what helps is imaging how you’re going to change for that next social encounter and plan for it. You can lessen your anxiety by preparing what you might say at home.
A simple way to start the ball rolling is complimenting a person. You might love her dress, a necklace, shoes, etc. Still, you don’t want to come off as insincere by just saying that you love that dress and so forth. Be specific in why that dress is so flattering such as by the neckline or the way the certain fabric flows with movement.
Maintain eye contact to show that you genuinely interested in what the person you’re speaking to has to say. Eyes that wander or habitually are downcast are not the approachable signals. A warm smile is also friendly and makes the other person feel comfortable in your presence.
Then again, complimenting someone may not be as easy feat for you to do. In this case, a safer topic to approach is talking to this person about how he or she knows the host or hostess at this function.
Food is another simple conversation starter. You can always discuss what is served or any similar taste you may notice just by peering at what is in a hand or plate.
Observations about the decor or the weather also can make small talk happen.
Rehearse some possible answers and responses in your mirror until it comes out natural.
Something else that works is making the person talk about himself or herself, which most people love to do. Pretend that you’re interviewing this person and ask appropriate questions about career, likes, interests, hobbies, etc.
To begin with, you may want to promise yourself that you’ll stay for a certain period of time even if it is just ten minutes and talk to someone. Chances are that another person may be just as uncomfortable as you are. Therefore, your first attempt may be practicing on the man or woman that is alone nursing a drink in the corner. Until you get more at ease talking to someone socially, it might be a good idea to seek out a member of your same sex.
After that initial ten minutes that you promised yourself for talking to someone passes, try to extend the conversation by talking about something that you are knowledgeable or passionate about. After all, you have a lot to offer sharing what is important to you.
If you run out of things to say and feel too uncomfortable, you don’t have to worry. Instead, you plan a polite exit such as you have an early meeting and you need to say goodbye to your host, etc.
The important thing is that you are putting yourself out there and talking to someone new. Attempting to do so is the first step to conquering shyness. Practice perfects your skills. A sense of ease with others will come in time. Remember that being a good listener and focusing on the speaker takes the pressure off of you that will eventually help in conquering shyness once and for all.