How to Be More Outgoing

If you’re somewhat shy or introverted, then learning how to be more outgoing is one of the smartest self-improvement steps you can make. There is no better way to solidify your social life than by comprehending how to be more outgoing and applying it

In my social confidence coaching practice, I frequently teach people how to be more outgoing and social, and I help them make real life progress in this area. I’ve realized that being social is much more a matter of attitude than aptitude, and that the attitude part needs to be handled above all.

Step 1: Outgoing = Out Going

One potentially illuminating way that I like to look at the word ‘outgoing’ is by dividing the two composing words and making it ‘out going’.

You could take that phrase literally, as in going out of the house more; because many of the individuals who aren’t very outgoing and social spend unordinary amounts of time indoors, alone, and this feeds their shyness.

However, to me it makes more sense to look at it figuratively. Thus, being ‘out going’ means putting your personality out there instead of keeping it hidden, it means expressing yourself fully.

There are multiple things you can do to achieve this. I recommended you start by watching my free presentation on Conversation Confidence. This insightful presentation will reveal to you the real key to gaining confidence and the proven formula for being more outgoing. Go here to check it out.

To assist you understand how to be more outgoing, I will list here some of the most effective ways that I know. These are ways I’ve used myself, and are recurrently used by my coaching clients.

Step 2: Break It Down and Then Put It into Practice

Do you know this joke: How do you eat an elephant? One piece at a time. Well, this concept applies extremely well for becoming more outgoing and sociable.

When you get frustrated with having few fulfilling friendships, it’s temping to just try to burst out and instantly become that super-sociable person you want to be. Unfortunately, human psychology doesn’t work that way. You don’t just change completely at once.

Real, organic change in how sociable you are happens by setting gradual steps for being more outgoing, and taking these steps one by one. For example, you may start by asking more questions in group settings, and when you become comfortable with that, you continue with making more statements in group settings.

In time, step by step, you’ll eventually find yourself becoming a lean, mean, socializing machine. In learning how to be more outgoing and social, it’s crucial to understand that this gradual process is what works best and to stick to it dutifully.

Step 3: Lower The Bar

One trait most shy people have in common is that they set lofty social standards for themselves. They demand of themselves to make a great first impression, to be liked by all, and they think that if it doesn’t happen it’s a tragedy.

Even individuals with very sharp social skills can’t rise up to such idealistic standards. Shy people only torment themselves by imposing this kind of standards on themselves.

For this reason, one of the best things you can do to become more outgoing is to lower the bar. If your standard for success is to get everybody to like you, then you’re bound to be shy. But if your standard is simply to have conversations with new people, then you’re bound to be more sociable.

The vital thing you may need to realize is that you don’t have to demand that much of yourself socially. You’re only human, you will connect well with some people, you won’t connect with others at all, and that’s absolutely OK. Accept it and live your life.

Step 4: Manage Your Self-Talk

I have a (rhetorical) question for you: How does a person set the social bar high for themselves?

The answer is that they do so through their self-talk. They say to themselves in their inner dialog “I must impress this person; they must like me” and other intelligent stuff like that.

Well, people who aren’t very outgoing tend to have many other dysfunctional ways of talking to themselves than the ones that create unrealistic standards. If you analyze their inner dialog, you’ll discover that it’s full of crap.

Thus, in learning how to be more outgoing and social, a very big step is managing your self-talk. This means identifying the stupid, unrealistic or dysfunctional things that you say to yourself and willingly correcting them. I talk in more detail about this in my confidence video presentation.

As you do so in a systematic way, not only that your habitual self-talk changes, but the underlying beliefs change as well. This helps you gain confidence and interact easier with other people.

As you become more outgoing, your people skills get put into practice more and they develop as well. This makes you even more outgoing and you get a positive cycle going, which ends up visibly enriching your social life. And the best part is that in this entire journey, the sky is the limit.

Image courtesy of NicoleAbalde


  1. i have both shyness and social anxiety. I’ve tried several times to go out with a good friend or a boyfriend and i end up sticking to myself doing nothing and clinging to the person i am with. I only talk to someone if they come to me first. My biggest problem is making friends, i don’t trust anyone hardly and so i just limit myself from people because i’ve been stabbed in the back by so many people i thought were my friend, that i just have given up basically to be around new people. I don’t know what to say or how to react to people when they say or do certain or weird things, i’ll just look at them like they’re an idiot or avoid them as best as i can. I also don’t have a job because of my problems and always get so depressed because i’m like this and don’t know how to do anything about it. I always feel i can’t do anything right, with work or in relationships. Now my boyfriend doesn’t really invite me over when there is a party or something going on because i just usually stay away from everyone else and not outgoing to speak with people.

    • Its ok. Im also shy like yourself and I find it hard to make friends as well. Last semester at college I basically had no friends at all and just stayed to myself. However this semester I am going to try to take a different approach. Im going to join a club, attempt to put myself out there, and be more outgoing.Its hard like you said, I know. But you just got to say to yourselg “screw it” and try talking to people you may not know. Its going to feel awkward at first, I cannot lie. But if you accept the awkwardness for what it is and do your best to communicate with people like im trying to do as well, you will greatly benefit. Thereare others out there that feel just like you amanda, so please dont feel like your alone. Just try your best to look beyond what others think of you as, be yourself, and smile :). Have a good day

    • Dear Sister Amanda,
      I am really eager to write to you because I have also the same experiences.So sticky the situation is to get up again, specially for some people like us who are very sensitive, can’t remove the pain not at all easily. But sister, life is only gifted for once and we should enjoy it, which is one of the greatest way of expressing thanks for our lives. We should try to enjoy the losses, defeats, pains and forgive those who did such things to us. If a mention about any medication , then it must be MEDITATION, specially the eastern type. we all have different types of qualities and GOD has created each and every human being with some unique potentialities to be successful and happy. I had such problems like those of yours. Now I am overcoming it day by day and a happy to happier man. Same thing will also happen to you. Keep faith on you and GOD, the best friend (though we don’t always understand. Thanks

    • I am exactly like you and i need help because i always wait for someone else to make the first move. I cant even talk to boys.

    • That’s me exactly. However, I cling to my boyfriend in social situations. Even when I am invited to dinner with his family, I am terrified to talk with them. If he goes to the bathroom and leaves me by myself, I don’t know what to do… It’s crippling. People think I am snobby, disconnected, and judgemental. I feel safer in doors then going out but it’s only doing a disservice. I have recently started seeing a therapist and it really helps to talk to someone. If I do go out I think of the advice my therapist gave me: Just Smiling says a 1000 more words, than nothing at all, people will automatically be attracted to warmth/kindness; Try to talk about yourself to others more; lastly meditate. Through this I gain a tad more confidence each time I feel socially anxious.

    • Okay, so my problem is pretty unique. When people look at me, they would usually think i fit right in with the popular crowd. I look like I would be popular, I have long, pretty hair, I wear cute clothes, and I’m attractive. My only problem is that I tend to get in my own head and I get super shy when I try and go talk to people. Sometimes I think I’m the one holding myself back. I tried out for the drill team (or some may call it the dance team)and I made the varsity team for next year. Not only did I make the varsity team, but I make it as an incoming freshman. Most of the people on the team are super outgoing and are older than me. So not only am I intimidated by popular people but ones that are older than me.

    • i am a very shy person as well but i also learned to accept the fact over the years that most people in this world can not be trusted mostly cause of past person experiances i have major issues trusting my family out of all people i always tell people the person i trust the most in my family is my grandma i dont make it a habbit to make friends or meet people cause i am literly afraid of the world around me cause i been pushed beaten and made fun of all my life and when peaopl frighten me i tend to go ape wild on them in some shape or form i been told all my life i am good at making jokes i tell people that i am not great at it nor am i good at it i am just being me all my life i never took the world seriouse because the world has always been a little 2 seriouse so every thing that comes out of my mouth when i talk to people is a joke in some shape or forum i also been told i am very blunt at times i know for a fact i am not afraid to tell people what i think or how i think about them when asked about them

    • Hi Amanda,

      I realize it may be difficult for you. But I say this drawing from a lot of coaching experience and personal experience: you can overcome this and be more outgoing.

      Just trying to go out more may not be enough for you though if your anxiety level is high. You need to combine this with some cognitive work for changing some of your automatic thinking patterns. I suggest you get on my free social confidence newsletter, where I share specific psychological techniques for doing this. You can join at:

    • Amanda, that is exactly how I feel. I was in the same situation just yesterday. I would love to know if you have any progress since posting this. I need any help or advice I can get these days. I don’t want to be this way, I just can’t seem to help it.

  2. Mine is so crippling,that I had to search online for how to handle it. I’ve got tears in my eyes as I read these; just knowing that there are others going through this same odeal. I’ve always wondered what went wrong in my formative years, that got me so screwed up, that I can’t seem to stop the shyness and be able to socialize like a normal 28th year old.
    I just got married to a very social, engaging and talk active guy with lots and lots of Friends and family. He expects me to be as friendly with everyone, I want to, but I just clam up once I get around them. I keep guarding my words, actions and responses, trying to avoid any awkward times. It’s been the topic for a few quarrels in our marriage., He thinks I get quiet outside because I’m trying to be pretentious miss “nice” that doesn’t say much but smiles. But says everything on her mind,good or bad at home. The funny thing, is that I’m far from being introverted or quiet at home/ around ppl that I’m already comfortable around. That tells me that it’s mostly with new ppl.
    I often wish upon the stars, that there’ll be a magic pill I could take at night and wake up a social delight indoors and outdoors.

    After reading this, I’ll learn to take it day by day. and try to jump on any oppurtunity to get out and meet ppl…I now know it could be the therapy long awaited.

    • Hi Sandy :). I just read your comment and I think your taking a GREAT approach. Im doing the exact same thing as you just taking it day by day lol. I also feel the same way as yourself with the fact that once I get to know a person I really open up but when I forced upon new people im kind of shy. But its good that your attempting to open up more around people. I’m 20 myself and I have always been the quiet type of guy so I know how you feel. Just never feel discouraged and maybe talk to your husband about your feelings, it would make you feel MUCH better. I have this song i want to show you. Its by lupe fiasco.I dont know if you listen to hip hop or not but the message of this song is great. I think you may like it. The song is called “and he gets the girl”. It’s on youtube.

      Tell me what you think about it, I think you may like it. Peace 🙂

    • Day by day is definitively the approach in dealing with an axiety related issue. You can try to simply get out of your shell completely all of a sudden, but it rarely works. Learning how to be more outgoing and becoming so is a gradual process and assistance from the outside can help immensely. I’d love to help you further with this, so I suggest you get on my newsletter, here:

  3. Jason Stark says:

    I feel for you all. I used to be that super shy guy, and along came the super depression.

    I believe that humans are, by nature, social creatures. We need to interact… we need to be around other people. This very thing gave me that nagging at the back of my head years ago, “i’m such a loser,” “am I no fun?”, “am I not attractive?” the list went on.

    Because I wanted to be liked, I wanted friends, and wanted a fun and adventurous life. I could never do this by myself, at my computer. TV and games are not replacement for real interaction with people.

    It took my first love, and my first break up, to realize how alone I really was on this planet. I had to change. I had to be important to more than just one person.

    That’s when I started to try and be social — and it worked. As this article says: small steps! I had to learn how to pick up on mannerisms of people (do they want to talk? or do they have other things to do? People will avoid you if you are ‘that guy’ that is annoying and wont give them their space without having to ask).

    You can’t be too close to people, either… remember, you have things to do, too — that’s how you can prevent yourself from being overbearing to others.

    Be funny and cocky. Sounds generic but it works. We are all funny and cocky inside, it’s the finally feeling safe to let it out in a controlled manner that gets you over that big “hurdle” of social anxiety.

    You get the jist. Hopefully this can shine some light on others who are in despair over trying to be more outgoing and making friends.

  4. I have a similar issue. With people I already know, I am perfectly open and friendly. However, it takes me a long time to really get close with people. I am taking summer classes at my college, and every day at meals I at first want to choose the empty table, and then sometimes I force myself to sit at a table with people I don’t know, but it’s hard. I feel like such a loser if I sit by myself or hang out in my room too much, but I just don’t want to be awkward and I don’t want to intrude on people’s conversations or whatever. I like being independent, but there comes a point where I just wish I had more friends I could just go and hang out with. While people may assume that I have a different friend group, in reality I just have a couple close friends and then a bunch of acquaintances that I sometimes say hi to in the hallways. What should I do? How can I challenge myself to be more social without being more awkward?

    • Maddie,
      1. you should write all the qualities you like about yourself and all the great things you can do and have done.
      2. day before you go out look in the miror and tell yourself that your beautiful, confident, and a good person,etc.
      3.Don’t set unrealistic goals for yourself like ” I’m going to get everyone I know to like me” because that’s not even possible for the most confident person. For example, set the goal that your going to introduce yourself a group of people at lunch and sit with them.
      4. Every day write positive things you accomplished.
      I hope this helps!!!!! 🙂

    • I understand where you are coming from. I have dealt with the same issues and still do. I think one thing that has helped me is the self talk thing in this article. It sounds crazy but anytime you start to think something negative, you need to instantly recognize it and replace it with positive things about yourself. Another thing is that I started working out and I feel so much more mentally balanced and confident. Lastly, is just effort. Which is what I still struggle with today because it can feel almost draining to me. But I just make an effort to get to know people. It’s really easy for people like us to listen to others. So just ask questions, people love to talk about themselves. Once they say something you can relate to then connect with them on that topic. It’s still difficult for me at times but it’s only because I forget that my personality is not set in stone and it just takes a little more effort for people like us.

  5. I am so glad to know that I am not alone. I was beginning to think am a unique case. I really want to change coz being who I am is even limiting my job options. I have great qualifications but when it comes to the interview, am to shy, I embarass my CV.

  6. I don’t get it . I have great job and very confident. I have to be very social and I am very talkative, but when I am with groups of friends I am quiet. I don’t know how to open up when I am around them. Also I have isuues with people I may come close with and they are so drama, so therefore I don’t know how to handle that and the fact of not having a best friend!

  7. I always find it hard to start a conversation, at party’s its always just people talking and talking and some how I always feel disconnected from the crowd,Most of the time being the observer just looking and making my judgement’s on peoples actions (Its a way to entertain myself and maybe learning what not to do or be) But still, I want to be part of the crowd (just without the crowd mentality)

  8. I am so glad I read this, because i would always set these standards like I have to be friends with everyone! Then of course I wouldn’t make the goal and I’d beat myself up about it. But now my standard is to talk to at least one or two new people every couple days at least. And I’m sure after reading this I’ll be a more confident and HAPPY person!!

  9. Hi, I am even to shy to write this but I did it!!!! So let this be encouragement to all, and also if there are so many of us why not just be real and tell people “I AM SHY” try that as a conversation starter. Shy people are some of the best people to be friends with. But also be strong and be and do what you want in front of the WHOLE WIDE WORLD ALWAYS!!!

  10. Why is it that it’s easier said than done? I have tried to be socialable but I still get rejected like crazy, so I tend to clam up even more.

  11. i feel like i seriously need help. i recently got my first job as a hostess in a restaurant as a high school student. Sometimes I wonder why I landed the job because I’m shy and not as outgoing as all the other workers in the restaurant…Every night after work I feel like a failure because I can’t connect with my coworkers, I can’t crack jokes I usually do with friends at school or come up with witty comebacks. It’s a serious problem that I don’t know how to overcome, and it’s started to take a toll on my position. Recently, my manager told me that she needed to see an improvement in my shyness, but this is something I can’t control, I can’t help the fact that I’m shy…although I read this article and it inspired my, taking those steps seem like it will make improvements at too slow a rate..

  12. I just turned 16 & im a junior in highschool. I’ve always been shy and awkward in school unless im around people that make me feel comfortable. I just moved schools and I hate it. I find it to hard to interact with people. I try sitting with a group of people and I have no idea what to say. Then when I say what’s on my mind I just feel like a total moron. I want to be able to act like my goofy loud sarcastic self like I am at home. The only time im social around people I dont know is when im drinking alcohol. And I know that’s not healthy lol

  13. for some reason today i felt the need to look up this subject and makes me think of all that im missing out on…im 23 and still shy…i use to be super shy in high school but one day i decided to change my appearance and it worked i was a diffrent person. more talkative better luck with the ladys id ask more questions and start up conversations but i still cant get over being anti social…it sux because my gf wants to go out and dance and have fun but i cant seem to push myself into doing so…and i rarely want to go because i dont wanna be the party pooper of the group….im sad as i write this because i think maybe im not meant to be with her and want her to be with someone who will take her out n show her a good time. i am a little better at it when i drink but i want it to come from within not from alcohol…i will try and take it a step at a time do my best for her and myself. i dont want to be quiet i want to be part of the crowed laughing at jokes especially because im a funny guy but with ppl im familiar with. i dont want to be the guy looking around the room keeping to himself just makes me feel pathetic and sad knowing im something like that…wish me luck everyone. im glad im not alone and hope we all get over our shy nature and live it up. we only have one life to enjoy so lets make the best of it

  14. Thank you for your insightful, straight-forward approach!
    I’m starting Uni soon and your articles have really helped me 🙂

  15. Don’t just rely on self-talk. I tried that for a long time. It wasn’t working. Then I thought about how I’m more of a visual thinker and started picturing better outcomes and it worked.

    @Josh, why is getting rejected making you clam up more? That means you still care about being rejected. Maybe if you didn’t things would work out. If not, at least you wouldn’t suffer through clamming up.

  16. Reading all of these post makes me feel so much better. I thought I was such a weirdo!! I have not been diagnosed with it, but i’m pretty sure I have an extreme case of social anxiety. To the point where every time I’m talking to someone I’m not very close to I want to puke! I get nervous even making phone calls. I go to college and I was debating if I should drop out or not just because a speech class is required to graduate. I know how ridiculous it sounds and I seriously dont know what to do about it. I get so afraid I’m going to say something that makes me sound stupid or have an opinion someone does not agree with. Everyday I sit alone watching other people talk and be open just wishing so badly I could be that way. It’s a daily struggle that I’v been dealing with as long as I can remember. Is there any medication that will help? I started taking Adderall because I read it help with anxiety and it does for a bit but it makes my depression worse. Someone please help!

    • My sister and i both suffer from social anxiety. since grade 9 (3 years ago), i just started pushing people away and had a negative outlook on everything and everyone around me. i have always thought to myself; what if this person thinks im an idiot when i talk? last night my sister, who is 15 years older than me, gave me some advice that i am extremely excited about. “Fake it till you make it”. Put on a smile, tell people what they want to hear. ask questions and pay attention to what they say. GET OUTSIDE OF YOUR SKIN AND FOCUS ON OTHER PEOPLES PERSONALITIES!! just like you do with people youre comfortable around. and after you\ve “faked it” (just another term for practising), you’re confidence will grow and you will become a stronger person when you realise that you are just as important to this world as anyone else! focus on being positive. much love to you!

  17. Wow… i feel so much less of an outcast knowing that there are people out there like me!!! i always feel awkward in social situations, it takes me a while to warm up to people, i recently transferred to a new college and i have not made any friends at all. I feel so awkward and cling to my cell phone to make myself look busy. I am soooo desperate to have a social life, and do stuff but i know noone apart from my family in this state. I tried making friends but everyone has their own friends. i try making small talk and looking more approachable but i still havnt made any friends =( i was thinking of joining a club or some sort of activity, but im so scared to. I feel ridiculous saying that im scared of people and of meeting people, but thats the only way i can describe it. I am so desperate to have a life and not feel like an introvert.

  18. @Sarah – nothing wrong with being an introvert – its a personality type. we all have different personality types and each has its pros and cons. The issue maybe is one of self confidence – something I struggle with myself everyday. i have tried self hypnosis etc which can be found for free online and it has helped – as well as learning relaxation techniques. i understand exactly how you feel – i felt the same when i started uni some 20+ yrs ago. Really felt like an outsider looking in. i wonder if it was to do with always having had friends who were extroverts during my formative years – relying on them to do all of the interactions with others. anyway i still feel awkward at social occasions occaisionally today – not knowing what to say to people etc so just i try to ask Qs as others have suggested and listen to answers – this sort of works for me, but i can still come away sometimes from social gatherings (and work meetings etc) feeling ‘down’ at my ‘performance’. my wife on other hand is total extrovert and loves to be centre of attention and i remain after 20+ yrs of marriage totally in awe of how she can work a room!I think we all need to accept we have a certain personality that maybe we can’t change but can understand how to make the best of what we have – and i think that is down to self confidence which is something we can have some input into – one v.small step at a time – i now practice by making small talk with the checkout person at the local store every time i shop

  19. I recently started high school, and I reallly want to make new friends. I have a few very close friends, but they are very outgoing and they have other friends and plans. I want to have fun weekends like them, and plans all the time instead of just sitting at home alone over the weekend. I feel very lonely. My best friend and I hang out often during the week, but on weekends she’s usually busy with other friends because she is really outgoing. When I’m with my friends though I’m like extremely outgoing and funny! But when I’m by myself around new people, I’m really quiet and like I don’t know. I’m not completely quiet, I will laugh along with other people and sometimes compliment someone or something, but I can’t get to like an actual conversation. Like in this one class, I’m sitting next to this nice girl I’m acquaintances with, and we’re helping eachother with this project. We usually only talk about the project, but she’s really nice and outgoing and will often make conversation. However I feel awkward and answer with short answers. I’ve been beginning to open up a bit more, but I don’t know how to make more conversation about things other than the project and I want to be more funny! and i don’t want to make acquaintances, I want to make ACTUAL friends that I can see myself talking to everyday and being myself around and hanging out with. How can I do that? I really need help! I want to stop being so scared self conscious and expand my circle of friends.

  20. I have the same problem. I used to be much worse but have come a long way being in the retail business…But most of the time I truly don’t care about what the other person has to say. Why??? I dont reallly listen either. Most of the new ppl i meet are through my boyfriend (who owns a business) so I always feel like I am working when I meet his “clients”. I’d like to meet new people that I have things in common with but have no idea on where to start.

  21. I’ve always been shy, and like most people, I’m usually outgoing when I’m with my close group of friends. I’m in high school now, and through the years, I realized I have been going less and less out on weekends than before and this is HIGH SCHOOL. In middle school, I used to go out a lot and I used to have a lot of really close friends, but I realized that through those middle school years and the first 2 years of high school, I changed because I thought I was too introverted. I started seeing other extroverted people’s way of socializing and I tried that and I have now been adapted to how they act, yet I am still not social because I realize that’s not me and when I act like that (which is practically all the time now) I feel lonelier than ever. Not just that, but I AM lonelier. People used to call me sweet, a little shy, but someone they can trust, but NOW, I’m still shy and no one really comes to me to talk things over because I guess I’ve lost all my innocence trying to be someone I’m not. I am hardly close to anyone anymore and although I have somewhat mastered the art of small talk, I want to enhance upon that and go a step further to actually be FRIENDS with people. What went wrong?!

  22. I am VERY shy myself. Every time I’m around people I just don’t know what to say or how to add to the converstion. Everyone knows me as the “shy girl” 🙁 But when I’m with my friends they know how crazy and wild I am. I just feel all weird and nervous when I’m around new people, and I just don’t know how to act or what to say. When I’m in a group projet I always just sit back. Even my zodiac sign (leo) says that i should be really outgoing and a leader.
    Please help me!!!!!!! Im desperate 🙁 🙁 🙁

  23. I consider myself mostly an introvert, but I have abilities to be extroverted. If there’s any advice I’d give anyone, it’s this: do your thing and don’t worry about if people like you, but be opportunistic and positive. Think of it this way… yeah sure maybe there are people out there who would reject you or find you awkward.. but is it really your problem in the end? Really what you have to focus on is acting like yourself and without shame and guilt for being yourself. and try not to get depressed about rejection because there are a lot of people out there and there are also many chances to get to know people over time who you might or might not like at first.

  24. I am a VERY shy person and don’t like interacting with other people or going out and having fun.I am even scared of what people will think of me if I speak my mind. I don’t have much friends and I do not like feeling like an outcast every time I am near my friends. i also have stage fright and absolutely HATE presenting projects or reading aloud. My face gets red and my eyes feel watery. I’ve always been afraid to look into grownups eyes, I can barely get the guts to ask a teacher a question. I don’t usually meet new people or interact much because I feel like they won’t understand me or have anything in common with me. I fear they will judge me and reject me for how nerdy i seem to be. i don’t have a best friend I can tell everything to, i just stay indoors and read about imaginary places I’d rather be. I am self conscious and have a lot of negative thoughts, I judge people for their actions and don’t give them a chance. I often feel like I am an awkward person to be around and am boring, with a nerdy brain and dull clothes. I’m glad I’m not alone, that there are people out there like me and I want to be more outgoing and not push people away, to make friends. I think this can definitely help me, I need a lot of determination, gradually become more social step by step and let people know my personality instead of just hiding it.

  25. I have a lot of trouble talking to people I don’t know in person. My roommate’s taken me to bar and clubs to try and get me to socialize more, but I hate the noise, crowds and loud atmosphere that goes with them. I just sit by myself, wishing someone might come up and talk to me. I don’t have any local friends where I am except my roommate and it’s hard trying to make friends in a new city (I just moved 6 months ago). I have friends I’ve met on the internet who I’d gladly spend time with with, but the closest ones are about 5 hours away.

    I just don’t know what to do about this–even small talk feels impossible for me.

  26. My problem is that I always mess up in front of people and make a fool of myself. Then, I realize that I’m pushing myself too far out there, because I’m uncomfortable in the situation. I also can’t talk to the guy I like at all, and I wonder sometimes if he hates me. I realize this is not a good mind set and I need to learn to stop caring about such trivial things, but I’m worried that I may never have really good friends- boys or girls. I don’t really trust anyone, and ever since my brother passed away, I’ve been even more afraid to open up to people. I really need a confidence booster, and to be more brave. I know that not everyone will like me, but I wish that there were some that did (outside of my family, of course.) Oh that I were more smart in what I said to others. And could carry an intellectual conversation…

  27. I’m a sophomore in high school, I have a class that I don’t know ANYBODY in. At the beginning of the year I sat at a table of a few pretty cool people, I barely ever talk to them and I just sit around and listen. But lately they have been moving to other tables and I’m left alone. I don’t want to stay by myself but I’m afraid what thy will think if I just follow them around and what the people at that table will think.

  28. I don’t know why, but i want to really go out and interact with others, or just simply say hi when I see someone I know along the corridor in school. But I think I have this inferior complex of being so sl inferior to those girls who are much more popular than me. When im with them, I just shy away when they say hi to anybody. I’m feeling really stressed out about being me, so frustrating that i know myself too well, knowing my own weaknesses to well that I’m afraid of showing so I become quiet, introverted, shy. I’m very affected by people’s opinions of me when they look at me, cause they seem like they’re judging me. Do you have a solution?

  29. I recently moved to a new town to be with my boyfriend and got a full time job at a bank. My only friend is my boyfriend, but he has other friends so sometimes I’m left by myself. I have no friends and I sit around feeling sorry for myself wishing I was someone else. Everyone at my work is outgoing and they go out to lunch together and don’t invite me to go. It makes me feel like a loser. I just want to be social and outgoing and I try, but I always get stuck in that awkward situation where I don’t know what to say and just don’t say anything. I had horrible social anxiety in high school to the point that I couldn’t finish my senior year of high school and had to finish it at home.. Help?

  30. I feel the same way. Knowing that there are some other people out there that feel exactly like me makes living with this DAMN FEELING a bit easier, but unfortunately it doesn’t help to get rid of it.
    As I remember I have always been struggling with extreme shyness for almost all of my life (I am 26 now). When I was younger, that wasn’t a big problem, because I didn’t feel the need to interact with people. As I grew up and went to university, it started to be a really big obstacle in front of me. The need to do a lot of presentations, making impress on professors and employers really bothered me 🙁
    I knew that there was nobody that I could talk to about my problem. So, I started the war against the enemy (shyness) alone, almost 5 years ago, STEP BY STEP. I knew that I would not have an easy battle, but I needed to be the winner …
    Hopefully I have improved a lot since then, but I still have a lot of works to do. I REALLY look forward a day that I can speak in front of lots of people explaining these experience, and how I won the battle, PROUDLY 😀

  31. this is so true. I really wanna stop this but i just cant i dont have the guts. i neVER talk around people its so true about how shy people just don’t want people to hate them ive been hated by so many people that i didnt know existed, i just pretend like i dont care,but i do. ive been a shy person all my life but it gets so much worse as i get older. sometimes i dont even look at people or make eye contact because im so shy. I think its because out going people who are really not shy to say anything get on my nerves. like showoffs if i ever did or said something outgoing i would feel totally stupid and it feels like whatever is annoying to you, if you do it everyone will hate you, but they’re allowed to do it themselves it just feels like im not normal and everyone else is. like everyone else has no problems and always knows what to say but now i see this text or whatever about it and other peoples comments who feel the same way i dont feel as abnormal anymore 🙂

  32. It’s hard for me. I’ve been a shy person my whole life. Now the past 2 years I developed anxiety and depression. Sometimes I can’t talk properly to people I don’t know. I just fumble my words a lot and I just end up feeling awkward and my face turns red. The worst part about that is I can feel my face turning red and I start panicking. Throughout the years, all these awkward and embarrassing situations I experienced has made me into a introvert that wants to avoid all social situations. I still go to college and I work as a waiter, but just going outside and actually being around people makes me feel so uncomfortable. Staying home is soooooo much easier, but at the end of the day I just end up feeling more sorry for my self. I feel depressed because I have to live with this. I just wish going outside was fun and easy going, but it is the complete opposite. The only reason I am writing this is to show other people like me that they are not alone. Good luck with your lives.

  33. Fernando says:

    I try to be confident and think that when I go out with my friend I will have stuff to talk about but once I am there I have not one thing to talk about I stiffer and sound like a conete idiot. It’s so hard or me to come up with things to say & plus I stutter maybe because I get nervous? It sucks really. I practice & practice in order to get my point across but for some reason it just does by work -_-

  34. I am a VERY shy person ! I take so long to get comfortable with people. I only have one friend who I have known for 14 years and I am myself around her and she thinks that I am wild and carefree. But as soon as I get around anybody else that i don’t know well I get scared and don’t know what to say! I have a few friends but they all have other friends whothey hang
    Out with! So i usually just stay home by myself :/ what’s worse is that my brother is the most OUTGOING person ever! He makes friends so easily and everyone compares me
    To him!! Which makes me feel even worse. I try to make friends and go out of my comfort zone to talk to people but I can’t think of anything to say and people just walk away from me! I don’t know what to do. I can’t even talk to people on the phone! Even some of my aunties and uncles! I can’t even talk to them because I’m scared of why they will think of menand because I can’t think of anything to say. I am always the girl at the party who just observes everyone else and doesn’t say a thing! But I’ve always wanted to be one of the cool girls. I’ve always been an awkward person!

  35. I dont even no who I am. Am i the boring one. The loner. The b****. I find it hard to talk to people.i’m not a good conversationalist. I cant talk to guys. I need the other person to take the.first step. I apparently look sad when i’m sitting by myself. I’m only sad cause i suffer from depression and i lost my dad only last yr, dec 2011. I’m 13. I’ve just started highscool and i want to change my personality. I want to be the sociable one. I could be easily, but its just that evryone is used to me being the way i am now, what if they tdon like the change. What if they hate the new me more than the old. I’m lost and confused. Dont know what to do. But i’m still smilin… Although a fake smile can hide a lot of pain. I’m alrite once u get to know me.

  36. It’s comforting to find that I’m not the only one that has these problems. I am a junior in college and I feel like these four years of my life should be exciting, adventurous, and about meeting new people. But it’s extremely difficult for these things to happen when I have difficulty being social. I have a pretty good group (about 4) of solid friends here at school (although I sometimes feel like the outcast) and some really good friends from my hometown. I’m also pretty close to my parents. But when I’m in a new situation I often find myself nervous to talk and be myself because I’m worried that I’m not funny enough,interesting enough, etc…..I’m also slightly overweight. I used to be in pretty good shape up until freshman year…the freshman 15 definitely hit me. But it’s something I’m working on – I’ve recently starting working out consistently and eating healthy foods. So anyway, I just wish I could become that person that everyone likes. The one people laugh with and talk to about random things. But instead I feel more like a loner most of the time…I feel like people don’t approach me because I’m not bubbly enough or pretty enough. Although I try to be nice and open to every new person I meet. It’s also hard being at school because one of my roommates is pretty much perfect in my eyes…she’s skinny with bright blue eyes and blonde hair. She’s funny, witty, smart, and everyone loves her. As much as I love her as a friend she makes me feel down because I don’t feel like I’m as good as her. Someone help…what am I doing wrong. I want to change and I’ve tried changing my attitude, but I always seem to end up in the same place. I WANT to be happy and I WANT to like who I am but I’m struggling. I’ve contemplated suicide before but I’ve never come close to following through with it because I know it would crush my parents. And it makes me sad that I’ve even ever thought about suicide…

    • Hi Erin,

      The best advice I can give you is to find a good therapist / psychiatrist. We only have partial insight into our behaviors that’s why a third party can help so much.

      The good news is that you can overcome how you feel. In my experience these issues don’t go away completely, but there are ways to deal with them that lead to healthy, happy relationships. You can learn to control them rather than them controlling you. Once you’re conscious of your patterns and issues you can move forward and find your happiness that you are capable of feeling. You are not alone. Please don’t take your life because you can grow past this. I promise.

      P.S. also doing a lot of research helps

  37. I have the exact opposite problem. I barg up to random people striking up a blunt conversation that becomes very opinionated and I end up scaring them away.

  38. I’m quite shy but i’m also quite awkward, i’m in yr 11 and i can’t make proper conversations with people but if someone’s talking about something i like then i’ll say a few sentences and that is it, and then i feel really awkward like i shouldn’t even be talking and i can only get close to one person at a time. I basically spend every weekend at home, because i don’t have the guts to ask someone to hang out with me as i think i’ll get rejected because i have done in the past. I used to be close friends with one of my other friends at school but i haven’t called on her in 2 months because she said she had to look after her 9 yr old brother, every time i called while her parents were at work. The last time i hanged out with her was the august holidays. But i was invited to my one of my other friends party early this month and i had to get out of my comfort zone, i felt like i shouldn’t of been there and that i was making a fool out of my self but by the time the party was over i felt satisfied that i just had fun with mates, But the next day this boy said he seen me at there and gave me a queer look so that made me worry that i’d probably looked stupid. I sometimes try and get out of my comfort zone at school, but as there is only 600 people at my school, there isn’t much people to interact with in my year. I have had issues where nearly the whole of my class and random people bully me around the school and out of school (sometimes)-i’m good at standing up for myself but even then i find myself talking quite fast just to get it over and done with. I used to be happy with just my best friend, but she moved away because she got bullied as well. I’m trying to get therapy but i don’t know if that’ll make me be more sociable and more open to people. I do hope that people with shyness problems on here overcome it.

  39. Thanks for the insight people. I’ve had the same problems as many of you. (still do actually) . I feel it’s time I changed that. It’s like I have two different personalities. The online one, and then my other one. Often people that meet me in person can’t believe am the same person. Because I am more social online. Approachable, loud. But extremely socially awkward in person. I have a small circle of friends. Friends I’ve known most of my life. All my high school friends faded away. And even when I meet them, it’s like we are strangers. I do need help. But am going to take the advice I’ve read here. And take one step at a time. Wish me luck.. 🙂

  40. detra edwards says:

    I think the key to overcoming shyness, is getting to really know someone. Let them know everything about you. Someone you can trust and literally tell them everything there is to know about you. The embarrassing things, the shameful things, the happy things, everything. I think our minds makes us think that we are going to be found out and not be who we are saying we are. Of course this probably isn’t true but the brain doesn’t know the difference.

  41. GlitfLyer says:

    Reading all your comments make me feel so much better. Knowing that I’m not the only one in this universe who feels this way. I kinda wish we were at the same place same time so we can actually build relationships. Because right now at school or whatever social events I always feel left out and that no else feels the way I feel.

    • I know exactly what you mean. I feel like nobody is as socially awkward as I am when I go to parties and hangout with friends. I feel like I’m always trying to act like someone who I am not. I wanna be someone that people like and admire. I have troubles talking to girls I like, I feel like I’m just acting like a person I am hoping they will like, but it never works out. I think negative and think that no girls will like me for who I actually am, I think my real self is weird and awkward. I somehow manage to make a lot of really close guy friends but I have the hardest trouble getting a girlfriend. I have only been in 1 relationship and it was an awful one. I’m gonna start trying to talk to random girls who I know ill never see again, and just work from there. I will open up and act like myself and say what I would say, not what the “cool guy” in my mind would say. I try too hard to come off as a cool guy around girls. I hang out with really popular guys and I feel I have to try to keep up with them but I can never do it. Because I’m actually so much different than they are. They are all really outgoing and social and I’m just a below average guy that they, for some reason like to hangout with. I think its because I’m a really uplifting person. I see many people act like assholes with their close friends. I understand that, I do the same but I feel you should compliment and make your bros feel good about themselves as well. So they probs like me cuz I am really nice to them. I have never been able to get rid of this socially awkwardness. I feel so inferior. Just last night when I was out with my friends, girls were approaching them and trying to talk to them and I just was so surprised, like I dont know how they do it. I feel like a loser a lot of the time and I think I got start not caring what other people think and being myself. I shouldn’t care if they think I’m weird. I am who I am, I cant change that, and I had to find that out the long way.

  42. I can relate to so many of these comments. My friends are outgoing and everyone loves them, and my friends love me and my personality, but when it comes to new people or crowds of people I zone right out. No words leave my mouth. I don’t care what people think of me, I just don’t wanna say the wrong thing, I am the quietest person when you first meet me, I mean i’m still quiet around my best friend and i’ve known her for about 5 years now. I don’t have many friends because of that either! Everyone loves an outgoing person and unfortunately that’s just not me, unless I’m high off something or drunk. Honestly that’s why I do it… because i’m such an outgoing person when I’m not sober and everyone loves talking to me. EVERYONE, oh my god I love it. But I definitely feel like its hurting my parents, they drive me nuts. I feel my social is more important than them, oh i’m positive. I mean that’s how people survive in real life. Talking to people and interacting! Soo.. i’m stuck in this situation where I either have to be sober and outgoing which is gonna be hard to do, or hurt my family and get high… the easy way out.

  43. So I have alot of issues making conversation with new people. I think I have social anxiety, because when their are group discussions in class and I have to speak my heart starts racing and I get really hot. I really do want to overcome this, because like you said in the article I literally torment and beat up myself for not being sociable and being able to communicate with others. I feel like the cause of all this is because I have low -self-esteem. I’m always comparing myself to others and always asking myself “why can’t I communicate as fluently like her? why do I have to be this way?”. But I seriously want to and NEED to overcome this anxiety and shyness soon.

  44. Jasmine cunningham says:

    i am shy because my boyfriend don’t even talk to me he talks to my friends

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