Though some people are born with an almost natural ability to approach strangers and speak freely, many people suffer from a severe shyness that prevents them from ever approaching a person that they may find attractive. This kind of problem can affect friendships, career and especially relationships and is often very difficult to overcome.
Simply stating that a person is shy is truly only scratching the surface of the problem; in most cases there are past events, even traumas, that may have caused the person to become withdrawn. This kind of behavior typically develops during childhood for various reasons, but can also be the result of some abusive interaction as an adult.
The first step toward overcoming a severe case of shyness is to diagnose what has caused you to act this way. What thoughts are running through your mind when panic seizes you and disables any possibility of your speaking with a stranger? In many studies the number one fear amongst adults, in various cultures, is to be embarrassed in front of their peers. This is a concern for even the most confident person and in the extreme can nearly paralyze a person's social abilities. A lack of confidence is most often at the root of the problem and must often be dealt with before any real social progress can be made.
Determining what causes you to feel insecure around others can be a very tricky step to take, but may result in some self discovery that can cure you of these socially disabling feelings. Because so many judgments are solely based upon a person's physical appearance many people feel socially inadequate and end up falling into a reclusive pattern in social atmospheres.
Phase one begins with tracking down what parts of your physical appearance or personality you believe are causing you to feel uncomfortable around others. This will take some close self examination and can even be very traumatic as you begin to dissect your life. One of the most important things to keep in mind during this phase is to determine the difference between what you believe needs work in your life and what you do not, however others may feel. To change yourself, in any way, simply because you feel it will create a more socially acceptable you will often result in disaster. However, making changes in your life that you feel will benefit you and make you feel more attractive are often an excellent way of progressing.
After determining what things, if any, you would like to change about yourself it's time to get to work on the new you. Setting goals that include set time frames is often a great way to push yourself and prevent a slacking off that will only create more frustration. It may take time to reach your goals, but in the long run you will find that as you progress forward with these changes your confidence builds.
For those individuals who trace the source of their behavior to a particular event, or perhaps a pattern set in childhood the changes that need to be made are often very different. One who seeks to improve their life because of poor habits or ideal dreams has a very different task in front of them than those who must essentially travel back in time to face moments when their insecurity was born. Determining the exact cause of your social behavior may prove too difficult a task to accomplish alone and you may want to seek the aid of a professional to help you through this time. Many people feel strangely about seeking therapy for a problem such as this because they feel that it is one that they should be able to solve without help; this idea is often only birthed by those who are in fact insecure themselves. Reaching out for the aid of a person who has witnessed the same kinds of issues that you are currently working through is a healthy and positive step and should never be looked at as moving backwards. Knowing when it's time to seek out this help may make all the difference between reaching your goals and simply sinking deeper into your frustration.
For those that experience only a minor problem with social interactions there are some tips that may help you:
- Don't allow yourself to become too intoxicated in social situations when you feel anxious or nervous around others if it has a negative effect on your ability to socialize. It is important that you are enjoying yourself, but also that you can feel comfortable; try to put yourself in social situations that include activities that you love to do, this may help you to feel more relaxed without having to completely rely on alcohol.
- Though many people enjoy dressing up when they go out it is also important that you feel comfortable with what you're wearing; make sure that your cloths suit your personality or you may feel as though you're hiding something.
- When you have spotted a person with whom you would like to speak don't allow yourself too much time to prepare for the approach as this often only creates more tension while adding to your anxiety.
- Never use cliche lines unless you're hoping to appear comical.
- If possible try not open your conversation with propositions; such forms of greeting can make a person feel as if they are on the spot and may force them to reject you simply because they are taken by surprise.
- One of the most effective and popular ways to open a dialog is simply to say: hello (try it out!)
- However attractive you find a person remember that they too have flaws just like everyone else; don't allow your hormones and nerves to dramatize a fairly simply form of social interaction whenever possible.
- Don't enter into the conversation with an agenda. Whether it's a physical experience or love on your mind, try to remember that for the moment all you have to do is meet the person and keep it simple.
Remember that to varying degrees almost every person experiences feelings of nervousness before talking to others for the first time, especially if they find that person attractive. Presenting yourself to others in a positive way is often only accomplished if you feel proud of the person you are. Once you achieve this kind of pride you will most likely find that a great deal of the shyness you once experienced is left behind you.