Thursday, April 10, 2014

5 Tips For Overcoming Shyness

I'm shy.
Painfully shy.
As I child I remember hiding behind Mother,
not wanting to be seen.
Fifth grade was extremely difficult.
I remember talking to my mother.
Waking from bad dreams at night.
I quickly realized if I were to survive,
I must learn to cope.
It took years,
developing to overcome.
It's still there.
With our businesses and customers,
I can't come across as shy...uncertain.
This is what I've learned.
Maybe these 5 tips will help you too.
1.  Smile: 
 Make your eyes twinkle.
  Others are drawn to happy people and it makes them wonder what you've been doing. 
2.  Make eye contact:
 Practice awareness of your surroundings
 and make eye contact with other people. 
 As you do this you realize how many other people are struggling with similar issues.  You can see worry or weariness or shyness etched in their countenance too and you realize you aren't so all alone. Then it is easier to reach out.
3. Compliment the other person: 
You don't have to know someone to compliment them.
 People like to be noticed,
 to feel special,
 to realize someone is noticing them. 
Throw your attention off yourself and get them talking about their interests.  Mention their cute purse or shoes.  Tell them they are doing a great job.
4. Shake hands:
  Most generally, in American culture,
 when meeting someone new it is appropriate to shake their hand and clearly state your name
 ("Hello, I'm Rachel.  It's my pleasure to meet you.")
 I will be honest. 
 For me this is difficult, but I find it to be very effective, because it adds a personal touch that most people won't take time to do.  I try to always do this. Use discretion, occasionally it isn't appropriate.  With practice it gets easier.
5.  Mimic their body language:
Subconsciously, when you subtly "mirror"
the other person's body language, 
 they feel understood and barriers to communication come down.
 This takes practice too, because it is SUBTLE. 
 Did you read SUBTLE?
Those are the 5 things I've found most effective in overcoming my shyness,
 or should I say,
 trying to not appear painfully shy. 
Try it.
Make it a game.
You will see progress.
It takes time.
 I work at this constantly.
Sometimes I "flub up".
But I keep trying.
Now you know some of my deepest and darkest secrets.
And that is painful!
I think I will go hide in a closet...
and sew on a wedding dress...
to assuage my pain, you know!
My daughter tells me I make friends everywhere I go.
She thinks it's effortless.
Ah! If she only knew the truth,
the hard fought truth.
Honestly, she and I have talked about these things,
how circumstances in fifth grade shaped me.
I'm an "over comer"!
I want to teach her to overcome
now in fifth grade.
Are you shy?
What have you done to overcome?


Victorian1885 said...

Good afternoon
I was painfully shy as a child and teenager. Now I think I overcame it around age 45... you have given us some great tips. Nothing helps more than a smile... Enjoy the weekend ahead!

Donnie Pirtle said...

Well stated, good job. You have done really good in making it look you have overcome all the shyness of when you were little. Have a wonderful day.