COPING WITH SHYNESS
One of the worst things
about shyness is the feeling that no one else
suffers from it- and that everyone around you is
having a great time. But it really isn’t
like that. Almost everyone knows what it’s
like to feel shy – even people who always
seem outgoing and self-confident.
|Everyone knows the symptoms:
sometimes even sick, at the though of having to
go to a party where you don’t know anyone.
Realizing that your heart’s pounding, or your
forehead’s breaking into a sweat, when you
meet someone new (especially if it’s
someone you want to impress).
Believing that everyone is looking at you, even
laughing at you, watching you blush.
Shyness is uncomfortable.
Extreme shyness can be a real handicap. It forms
a barrier between you and other people, so that
it’s hard for you to join in a group and
make friends. It can make it almost impossible
for you to speak two coherent words to anyone of
the opposite sex.
What should you do?
When you feel shy you are
looking inward, you want to shrivel up
inside yourself. You’re far more conscious
of the way you feel, or the way you look, or the
impression you’re making, than of anything
else around you.
first, most important (and, it has to be said,
most difficult) step is to forget about
all your attention to what’s going on
around you. The more attention you pay to any
feeling, whether it’s pain, tiredness, or
shyness, the more intensely you’ll feel
distracting your attention means that
you’ll feel it less.
Act friendly. The best
way of doing this is simple. It just means
looking at other people when you talk to them.
Shy people tend to look down at their feet or
over their shoulder, or anywhere but at the face
of the person they’re to. But to the other
person, this looks as though you’re being
unfriendly, not just shy. They’ll feel you
have no real interest in them, and they’ll
probably feel rejected and back off quite
Think of the other person
as the one who’s shy. You know how
they’re feeling because you’ve felt
that way yourself. Try as hard as you can to put
them at their ease. You’ll be much more
able to forget your own shyness and self –
consciousness if you do this.
Think of your shyness as an
unattractive bad habit – like biting
your nails – and resolve to give it up.
When you meet someone new, act out a new,
confident personality. You don’t have to
stop being shy. The world is full of shy people;
they’ve just learned to act as though they
are not. You can do this, too.
and the more self-conscious you are, the more
readily you will blush. Blushing is that sudden
reddening of the face caused by the opening of
small blood vessels in the surface of the skin.
teenagers are very self-conscious indeed, which
is why blushing, and the fear of blushing, can
be such a real problem during these years.
Blushing will become less of a problem as
you grow more self-confident, and less concerned
about what other people think of you. But,
it’s hard to live with.
any emotion, but particularly embarrassment,
shame, or self-consciousness, can cause But you
don’t necessarily blush because
you’re embarrassed. More often
you’re embarrassed because you blush. And
this, of course, makes you blush even more. It
is a vicious circle.
are various strategies
you can try to help stop your blushes.
people find that learning relaxation exercises,
and using these when they feel tense or anxious,
helps them stay calm and blush less. But this
doesn’t work for everyone.
Probably a better way of tackling the
problem is to try to change the way you think
about your blushing. This means convincing
yourself that it actually doesn’t much
matter if you blush, that no one else notices it
as much as you do, and that anyway, it
isn’t the end of the world.
year-old blusher described her attempts to deal
with her blushes like this: “ I found it
helped to feel I was in control of the
situation, even if I couldn’t control the
blushing. I’d say to myself, ‘If I
blush I’m going to go on talking and no
one else is going to notice.’ I’d
even make myself take the initiative more, force
myself to take part in the conversation and ask
questions. Putting myself deliberately in the
limelight instead of trying to be invisible
seemed to help, although I don’t quite
“act” unembarrassed. Even if you
don’t feel it! Looking at your feet and
hoping the floor may swallow you up will only
make things worse. You need to use much the same
strategies as those suggested for coping with
shyness. Turn your attention toward anything or
anyone outside yourself, this may not actually
stop the blushing, but it will help you not
think and worry so much about it.