How to Stop Being Shy

If you’re shy, learning how to stop being shy, whether it’s around girls, guys or people in general could be one of the most important things you’ll learn in your entire life.

Once you understand how to stop being shy, you can become more confident, connect with others better and have and enormous amount of fun in social settings. As a social confidence coach, I’ve been able to observe repeatedly how learning this can turn a person’s life around.

There is a lot of advice out there on how to stop being shy. Regrettably, most of it comes from people who don’t have a real comprehension of the psychology of shyness, and it’s too naive or vague to actually do anything for you.

I want to provide you the advice that truly works. So I’m gonna point out the four crucial actions that if you take, will truly allow you to stop being so shy.

1. Stop Being Shy by Starting To Be More Social

Shy people typically get this the other way around. Many social settings make them feel anxious, so they try to find ways to get rid of this social anxiety from home, so they can then be more social.

But the trick is that to a large degree, you get rid of the anxiety by being more social.

Even if social settings make you nervous, you get into them anyway instead of avoiding them. Even if being more talkative is challenging for you, you push yourself to talk more anyway.

You deliberately do the things you fear. And as you do so, you gain social experience and you gradually become more accustomed to engaging in social interactions. Thus, your shyness dwindles away.

If you find it too hard to push against the anxiety and be more outgoing, you simply have to find social opportunities where it’s easier to do so. Start with those and gradually move up. This is a key idea concerning how to stop being shy.

2. Catch Your Distorted Thinking

How to stop being shy 300x225 How to Stop Being ShyWorking with shy people, I’ve noticed that without exception, they have a way of seeing themselves and seeing social interactions that is largely inaccurate.

For instance, they may see themselves as uninteresting when this is clearly not the case, or they may think others are making fun on them in a social settings although there is little evidence to support this notion.

When talking about how to stop being shy, I always emphasize how important it is to identify this inaccurate thinking.

Doing so achieves two things. First, it gives you more motivation to go out, face your fears and be social, because you know your fears are not rational. Second, it enables you to correct the flaws in your thinking. Which leads me to my next point…

3. Put Your Thinking Straight

I often like to refer to shyness as a mental bug. You’re thinking is bugged: it generates distorted predictions and interpretations, which creates nervousness. And you need to debug your mind.

Once you know what’s inaccurate in your thinking, you can start to practice thinking in a new, more constructive way.

You can begin to see your qualities, not just your flaws, see the things you do right, not just the things you do wrong, and not make a big deal out of doing something silly in front of others once in a while.

This video I created explains in more detail how to correct your thinking effectively and make the fastest progress possible. Make sure to check it out.

As you practice this new type of thinking, it gradually replaces the old type and it builds your social confidence.

4. Keep Walking

The last but possibly the most valuable thing to realize is that once you know how to stop being shy, it’s not enough. It’s the implementation that yields results.

I’ve seen many people turn from shy to social: young and old, guys and girls. What they all have in common is that they found a method for overcoming shyness that works and they applied it consistently for at least a couple of months.

And through this continuous application over a period of time, they effectively reprogrammed their thinking, feelings and behavior. This is what enabled them to be more outgoing, make friends and fully enjoy social interactions.

Watch this presentation I designed to find out the exact steps these people applied to eradicate their shyness. If you want to achieve the same results, this is a must see presentation.

I can’t stress enough how important it is to keep walking; to apply the knowledge consistently.

One of the most common mistakes shy people make is that they give up too soon, often when the results just started to show and their confidence is close to taking off. And this is precisely what keeps them stuck.

Learn, apply, persist and be willing to invest in yourself. This is the recipe for the utmost success in overcoming your shyness. There is a big, beautiful world out there, with lots of cool people in it. And they’re all waiting for you.

Image courtesy of dreamylittledancer

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Comments

  1. well im not kinda shy im anxoius if i talk 2 a beuatiful girl and someone gets into my buyisness and stares at me saying wtf is this guy doing shes not going to like him but all in all im hella good lookin is jst when somone cock blocks it annoys me and makes me really anxoius and embarased what should i do to fix this??

  2. Decide ahead of time that “when somone cock blocks it + annoys ” you, you’re gonna be ready for it and make it work in your favor. Like if someone tries to cock block , you can make.a joke of.it to her to diminish your frustration :) in the process you’ll get her to laugh…

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  3. i just have a huge problem with talking most of the time cause they tend to never act interested to what i have to say and when they do,i seem to can never say exactly whats on my mind,so i say only 10% of what i want to say,which leaves me talking about things short. But i also get nervous when i go to see people,and i know a lot are there,like church for instance,i could never shake that nervousness off for nothing,still can’t,it’s like I’m afraid or something,idk,but i just can’t shake being shy and nervous for nothing. Yet ill have days to where I’m not at all ,almost a completely different person..life’s just really odd :(

    • smh i know right..you just explained exactly what im like 110 percent

    • Yeah, it’s hard to make fluent conversation and keep people interested when you feel nervous. The abxiety will mes up your thinking and your vibe. If I were you, I’d work on mastering my emotions above all. It’s gonna take some practice, but you can do it. These days, I share most of my advice on how to do this in my free newsletter, so get on board at http://www.socialconfidencesecrets.com

    • Im very shy…mainly because when i do talk, people are so used to me not talking to them that they make a huge deal put of it. They say “omg she talked, guys come over here and listen! She said something!” Like im a freak. And im just over here like well yea im not mute! I also can relate to the over thinking leads to nervous thing definantly!

  4. Well I’m only shy at like school & other public places , but I’m never shy at home . But I think it’s just a matter of me caring for what people think of me which I really shouldn’t care about , right ?

    • Right. And you probably already know that the people at home will like you no matter what. But at school or in public, there is a risk that people will reject you. And that’s what you have to accept.

      • im like almost out of my shell at school, im talking more now, and i stop blushing, but for sum reason shyness seems 2 craw back on me im like wtf is going on. but the thing thats really wierd is that @ home im not shy for sum apperent reason idk, can sum1 help me its like im hanging on by a thred of getting out of my shell 4ever……

  5. I get really shy. Around anyone , I start to blush and my legs shake, and I don’t look people in the eye, it’s mainly with a group of people , I just feel like I’m not interesting enough.. I try to overcome it but it’s so difficult

    • I now the feeling of not being interesting enough Paty. I used to have it. But really, it’s mostly a limiting belief. And you can overcome it. Have you joined my social confidence newsletter yet? I write articles for it about changing your self-image regularly.

  6. Ok if your shy because you think what ur saying isint interesting just try to say somthing that fits in the conversation chances are 9 out of 10 of the time you’ll come off interesting and fun also a little self confidence doesent hurt however do not get too cocky nither girls or boys like that so keep it simple and if you like the person be nice funny and what ever you do DO NOT critisize them.

  7. i find myself shy when it comes to meetings, i find that i am ussualy the one standing on the edge of the group watching all the guys and girls talk and exchange hugs, i use to be the one in the group but i dont know what made me fall out. i always feel like they are ignoring me and i beleive they are i am never invited to anything but when i ask im told that i am allowed. unless i ask or talk to them i do not exist. please help me :(

  8. I’m not exactly a very confident person when it comes to talking to people who I don’t know very well. Recently I was got a job and ever since I started working, I haven’t been able to interact with my co-workers much up until a week ago. Although I made this progress I still feel shy and like whatever I say is uninteresting. After reading this I can see why I am shy.

  9. I am a very shy because I hate when attention is on me. I can be outgoing just I dint want people to notice me making a whole 180 and question me for it. How would I get over that?

    • What’s wrong with people noticing you making a 180? It’s not ideal, but is it that big of a deal? I think this fear of people judging you is what you need to overcome. And you do that be learning to think about it in a more positive, realistic way.

  10. I just recently moved away from my home town after 14 years to a new school. I’ve been here for about 5 months and I still get scared and nervous when I’m around people I don’t know. When I walk down the halls in the morning I feel like I can’t breathe because I feel like people are looking at me. When I know and answer to a question in class I feel like I can’t speak even though I want to and when I do get called on my chest gets really tight and my hands get sweaty. As much ad I want to make more friends I feel like I would have a panic attack if I did and I have no clue how to change.

  11. I can relate to most of your comments. My reason for being shy is not only because I feel like what I have to say in social settings isn’t interested, but also because it may sound stupid. This is really frustrating for me. I have no friends because of my awkward shyness. The people at my new job doesn’t care to be around me or get to know me. At this point of my life I’ve come to realize that no one would really care if I disappeared one day. I’ve become a nonfactor in life. I really need help on improving my personality.

  12. well i have the same exact problem; very shy, especially when it comes to meeting new people i feel my anxiety kicking in when i get around people outside my family but the thing is i been MUTE since i was a child i never said anything not one single word as i got older i was still like that but a little more talkative i think that iam startibg to see a improvement in my socail life its defiantely getting better i guess bcuz now im finding out more about myself j want to change these things about me because me being shy it just takes over me most of the time n i hate that.. im like that with my boyfriend he never complains cuz i do little talking but only when he asks me a question or saying something to me i will have a very short conversation idk how to even start a conversation & im thinking maybe it is me just constantly thinkin about how i sound well my boyfriend he knows me but i do sometimes feel like by me being that shy is going to eventually make me lose him cuz i dnt talk enough im shy n sometimes i cany help it cuz it gets the best of me i thought i had a speach problem but now that i know its just me its just my shyness getting the best of me n i keep letting it i want to talk i want to be more open i want my thinking to be right instead of me thinking im going crazy when thats really not the case i just need to do it n stop thinking about it.. my boyfriend is soo good with me hes very patient with me.. i crave for this everyday n i pray god is getting me thru this everyday! i need to be ably ta talk to get a job i got to be able to open my mouth to move forward or ima be stuck n this same shy spot that i let get the best of me i guess everyday is a working process pleasee god get me thru this…

  13. Oldgreen100 says:

    Im always afraid that the thing i say are too silly or abstract. Maybe the person I’m talking too will judge me. There are so many people out there who are hard to talk to. Crowds are awful, I was chosen today to help demonstrate something in anatomy and the girl I was working with asked me if I was okay because I was shaking so much. And yeah, I hate social situations, they screw up so often.

  14. kariluvsyhu says:

    i’m not really that shy, only if there are like, a lot of people around that i don’t really know. i’m kinda getting better with this tho. if i feel like talking to yhu or getting to know yhu, i’ll go up to yhu and say, ‘hey, whats up?’ or something like that. now that i’m talking more, i have a lot more friends :) <3 good article BTW.

  15. Billie Mae says:

    I want to be able to sing and dance in front of a crowd and i’m much of a social person so i will try doing as advised.But i have no friends and anyone other than my mum listens to me when i talk.I’m home educated,I’m a very quiet girl who is like wanting to sing and dance and maybe act.I need some serious help.So please someone help me.

  16. It’s so weird because my shyness is selective. Sometimes I’m extremely outgoing I would make jokes and then other times my heart races when asked to speak in public or speaking to someone who is overly extroverted. I am very self conscious about the person/people I am speaking to and whether or not if they are judging me. I despise whenever people ask me, “Why are you so quiet.” and it makes me feel even worse about myself. I also think extremely a lot before I speak and it affects my conversation from being natural. I also had an extroverted boyfriend and I felt so uncomfortable to speak for no reason. He always had interesting stories to tell and my response would always be very short to any topic of conversation that we had and it made me feel as if I sucked as a girlfriend and that I was boring. I do remember dating in high school a guy who was extremely extroverted and oddly enough we got along great and we are good friends because we share the same issues but are totally comfortable around each other. I do want to change not only to be interesting in social conversations but I aspire to be a pharmacist and I don’t want my SA to affect my career. I’m in graduate school so I’m forced to present oral presentations in class which helps with my shyness I just wish this feeling of SA would go away!!

  17. AnimalLover says:

    Well I am the shyest girl in my whole class possibly the school! I am in year 7 and I have a boyfriend and I am so so shy around him and I hardley talk to him and nearly all the girls in my class say ” Why are so quite? ” I don’t say anything because it makes me upset!! How can I get rid of my shyness it is stoping me from getting friends!! :(

  18. Leann Grace says:

    I am a bit shy,too.The thing is at home I’m very outgoing , but in school I’m more reserved and in places where I know that I’ll probably never see those people again I’m pretty open to other people and can even talk to them…my friends see me as a confident person, but I am not most of the time I pretend to be. Often I have those paranoid thoughts that people are talking about me/looking at me, although it’s obvious that they aren’t. Moreover, due to experience I have issues trusting people and opening up to them.That’s why I when get to know people I tell them superficial stories that happened and never stories where I could feel vulnerable, because I fear that it could be used against me. Moreover there are situations where I want to compliment or console s.o. , but then I keep my mouth shut and do nothing and other situations I just feel akward although the people are so nice to me.In Addition, around guys I’m pretty shy

    • natasha says:

      dear Leann grace,
      I also faced same scenario like yours .it took me nearly 5 to 6 months to overcome shyness..best way to to get rid of your shyness engage yourself in some debate competition and so on which would boost your confidence and also help you to overcome shyness and try to greet persons whom you ..try givin compliment .boldly interact with others and appear as if your masters of all and think others as fools ..this is the best way to put your self in correct place..have a good day :)

  19. I really like this article, thank you. I have a very bad few weeks everyone is picking on me. Once people at work or wherever find out you have shyness and anxiety they try to pick on you, not everyone but the group dominates any environment. Nobody cares if you have food to eat or a place to sleep. This is the really had part to overcome severe anxiety and shyness… Nobody outside the blog gives a shit and most of them actually see you as unprotected class of disability so they just take free reign to pick on you and hurt you. I am very depressed today.. Please ignore me.. I want to change so badly.

  20. I recently started university and im shy and anxious all the time. In the beginning i made quite a few friends but they slowly met other friends and somehow ive ended up all aone, thats what makes me feel like theres something wrong with me and im not interesting enough and its just made my social interactions worse because im scared that other people might also reject me.

    • I hate getting that feeling like everyone is more interesting than me. It’s like whenever I’m thrown into a situation where I’m part of a group of people where none of us know eachother I can often times get people to gravitate towards me and try to be friends by acting friendly and smiling which usually gives people the impression that I may be friendworthy. But after that it gets hard cuz I’m terrible at keeping conversation going and being talkative and they soon get more friendly with the more outgoing people and I’m kinda pushed aside.

  21. I’m still really shy around people that I don’t know well. I get quiet and when I do talk I mumble and mess up what I’m saying, simply because I have no idea what to talk about with them. My mind just goes completely blank, and the more I think about what to say the less I come up with.

    • I am just like that i can smile at someone if they’re trying to be nice to me but i can never think of anything to say and my mind goes blank just like yours

  22. Thank you for the advice it really helped me its true being shy is hard to stop but we have to keep trying and never give up in yourself! if you belive you can do it then its going to happen!

  23. Im facing it right now. I can’t really handle my shyness. Just today my boss talk to me and told suggestion about me. He says that im too shy and i should really make friends with my officemates but im too coward to make the first move. Im less than a month old in the company ive been working now. I dont have any problem with my job but to relate and socialize to people was difficult for me. Im really a shy person but im really trying to adjust to. Maybe im just adjusting with the environment now. But i really love to make friends.

  24. Yosuoyo says:

    I’m very shy at school. I’m always mute. (I HYATE TO ADMIT THAT) At home I’m not shy at all. I’m always happy and very loud. Like my neighbors told me to shut up lol. But at school it’s different. I feel like they’re all just staring at me and how weird I look and the way I am. I guess i don’t have confidence at school. Whenever I talk they’re like “OMFG, she talked!!!” I HATE it absolutely. Whenver I’m just trying to fit in, they just ruin it. I’m always talking in my head. Nobody is listening and nobodys judging me inside my head. I liked it that way but now it’s just starting to bug me. “OMG, look at her! OMG she talked!” Screw that. Im just trying to fit in. Now that I say more and more, it’s never gonna help me at all. I don’t like the words, “quiet and shy”. I hate it., I’m like the only one who has a problem with this. I don’t know but I’ll try to get more confidence to myself at school. “school”.. Yeah like I’m ever gonna fit in. People these days are so annoying. I HATE EVERYBODY. Honestly! AND don’t judge me!!! (AND I DONT HAVE ANGER ISSUES) Sorry but just sharing.

  25. I’ve always been the quiet one, and since I’ve basically been hanging around the same people for most of my life that’s like my reputation. Sometimes I feel like I could break out and be a little more outgoing but then I hate the thought of having a ton of attention be put on me for trying to break out of my shell. I mean as of now people know I can talk even though I don’t do it often and it’s usually just if a question is directed at me. But just the thought of all that unwanted attention freaks me out. Like one time I attempted singing solo in front of a some people (teens my age) and I practically had a panic attack! My eyes were starting to tear up, I was shaking, and I swear I felt I was gonna pass out. It felt like torture to finish singing and unlike the shy kids in the movie I did not feel relieved or accomplished mostly just embarrassed. People did clap but still . . . I kinda just try to block that moment from my memory now.

  26. introvert says:

    i was shy at first, but ive gotten over that, good ryt?, but the thing is even though am now good at talking, when im asked to make a presentation i so friek out, start shaking and…… its so not good, need help :) BTW nice article

  27. I’ve always felt shyness was a lack of confidence but as I get older it seems to be subsiding some. I still have alot of anxiety when alot of people are around. One on one I’m doing much better.

  28. I’m kinda shy. It’s hard for me to meet new people or to communicate with my acquaintances. I can play guitar and sing very good, but I do it only for the closest friend. I’m so shy that can’t sing in front of others. (((

  29. Margerita says:

    You have to accept yourself to stop be shy, apparently you have complexes, and you are afraid that others will not accept you as you are.If you have friends that means you just have to be more confident and accept yourself.

  30. When I was younger, I was shy around girls I found attractive but not people in general. Now, as an adult, it is kind of the other way around. I am shy, quiet, and/or socially awkward around strangers, neighbors, and even other family members (except for immediate family members).

    I know that I have to overcome my shyness eventually. Otherwise, I am going to have a hard time at my upcoming job(s), relationship(s), and so on.

    I think that the key to overcome shyness is not worrying and caring what other people and even yourself think.

  31. I am all of these comments and more I hate being shy I only find it easy to talk to my mum or sister but I still get a little shy talking to them sometimes I also find it easier to talk to people I am not facing for e.g talking to people other the internet but I still struggle with that sometimes PLEASE HELP!!!

  32. I like seriously hate being shy. I’m shy to some of my family! I hate it n I work with little kids at my church n I’m shy with little kids too. In 4th grade I got voted for the most quietest, like no joke. And like of course I talk to people that are my friends and stuff like if someone starts talking to me of course I’m gonna talk back but I just hate how I’m shy to my family & the kids I work with. Like for vacation bible school I’m suppose to interact and communicate with little kids but Idk how to do it. Please help

  33. Thanks for answering my question about how to keep a conservation going but I also want to know how to get friends more easily because I am like the quietest person in my class and I been using your techniques you sent me in email so far helpful it is summer time here and I plan to use your techniques when school starts again

  34. I like it. I like the fact that whenever someone is shy and nervous, when faced with imminent social interaction, someone tells people like me to “be more social”.

    It’s not as easy as flicking a switch. I went to a party a week ago and felt awful every single minute of the 9 hours I spent there just because a colleague reassured me I would enjoy it and meet new people (when I told him I wasn’t so sure of that, he told me to cut the crap).

    Don’t get me wrong, I would gladly get rid of my shyness and social awkwardness if I could, but is not so easy as people think it is (especially when the one that suggests that has +100 real life friends).

    • Becoming more social is a process, not an action. It’s not like you can just be more social overnight, because you decided that. You’re right. That’s why I said in the post that you have to find social opportunities that are gradual. And it’s important to work on the cognitive side of shyness as well. You should check out this video for a better understanding of this: http://www.socialconfidencesecrets.com

  35. Even most times when iWalk alone, iFeel like am going to melt especially when iBecome very much aware of my environment!

  36. I try to be social but the people around me don’t notice. Once I yelled “Am I just invisible or what?”and nobody noticed. Seriously. I then talked to some people and I acted myself and not someone I am not. They called me a retard. I don’t know what to do!!! D:

  37. I am not actually a shy girl
    I am too normal and brave with lots of confidents while talking to ppl wether they r men or women no matter but the pb is I always get shy when I saw the boy I like so much and I feel like he likes me too the way he is starring it kills me lol
    And the boy is my cousin too we always face each other at family parties or our homes but how should I control my self for not getting shy before him ?
    Plz help thx.

  38. When at home I’m not shy when I talk to someone I just met one on one I’m not shy with my friends I’m not shy. But when I get most of the attention of people I start to feel nervous or when I present somthing in front of people I don’t talk much too like a class

  39. Like I’ve Been Dating This Girl For A Long Time Now But It’s Affecting Our Relationships. She Says I’m A Great Bf Over The Internet But In Person I’m Not The Same. I Just Shy Away From Things.

  40. Sometimes you just have to stop thinking and just go for what you want. The best way to get over shyness is to stop thinking about what you are afraid of and start thinking of what you are excited about.

    • Good idea overall, but unfortunately not thinking about something can be very hard in practice. The mind tends to go back to those negative thoughts over and over gain, and it’s an uphill battle. This is why confronting those negative thoughts typically works much better than distracting yourself from them.

  41. I just can’t seem to speak. Once in awhile someone will be talking to my sister and they seem to keep including me so I add a comment, the person, my sister, everyone will act like I didn’t even speak. Or there’s the times when my sister will repeat me or speak for me. I’ve actually got the point I just don’t care and they ask me a question I stand there looking at them until my sister answers for me. On my own I mumble out something and the people look at me like I’m some strange oddity in a museum. Pretty much I see myself as in the way. My family says nothing’s wrong with me, so why can’t I speak? Why does my mind go blank when someone tries to be conversational with me? If I make a mistake I’m berated by my sister mostly, like I had a friend I went to stay with. The friendship turned sour. I’m still paying for it. I had a bf and it just got too hard fighting with my family. It was hard talking to him anyway, but I just quit talking at all. Finally he dumped me bc I’m weird. I’m still paying for that too. So I can’t screw up. It’s not just me who beats myself up. I have an attachment to my rear end who watches and gloats over my failures, and warns and reminds me I could be killed by anyone on the street at any given moment. I can’t get a job, can’t have friends, relationships are an absolute NO, and I wind up wasting my life locked in my house.

  42. Anon gal says:

    im so glad im not the only one! I feel like it just takes me a long time to become fully comfortable around someone. I have always been a really shy person. Like besides my normal circle of friends, I don’t really talk to anyone I feel like. Im just super bad at meeting new people that I want to have a good relationship with. I don’t care what you say there is nothing more frustrating than trying to have a conversation with someone but you just have nothing to say. Like you can’t keep the convo going. How does one get over this?!?!

  43. It’s nice to see I’m not the only person who struggles with shyness. Mine really isn’t that bad, it used to be but over the past few years it’s gotten so much better. Right now I’m having trouble communicating with my coworkers and most recently with my bf. There’s a few people I talk to at work but I’ve been there for a little over a month and I’m starting to be known as “the quiet one” and I HATE that :(. People don’t realize how a few words can hurt your self esteem so much. I always notice how there’s cliques at work and it seems like everyone else already has their group of friends and I’m just standing there all alone . It really sucks. I want to talk more but it takes me awhile to get used to people. Like my best friends, it took me a lot of years for me to get over my shyness with them and now I can’t shut up around them lol. Also, my bf told me recently he wishes I would open up to him more, and I want to do that but sometimes I feel like i have nothing interesting to say which I know, is stupid bc he really does care about me and he always thinks I’m interesting so idk why I’m not more talkative around him. Ugh I just wish there’s was an easy and simple way to get over my shyness :(

  44. YA..i too feel very shy when i talk to a stranger or unknown persons.. May be sometimes they r my family members but i dnt knw them..feeling very shy and my i get very nervous and tensed.. in two days i have an interview .but i dont know how i am going to face it without shy and nervousness… i am quite confident within my self but sometimes i feel scared of it ..because its my first interview. i dont know what i will do

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