I have no objections to admitting that I was a very shy child. Early on, I struggled to make friends and talk to strangers (even though I used to pretend that I only avoided those conversations because my mom told me never to talk to strangers). Looking back, I now think of it as genuine introversion with a splash of social anxiety.
Even though I feel like I can talk to many types of people now, sometimes I feel like shyness still keeps me back from fully expressing myself. Sometimes my thoughts appear externally choppy, even though they’re internally fluid.
Shyness doesn’t mean you won’t be successful. But, in my opinion, shaking the shyness sure does make it easier.
This isn’t to say that introversion is necessarily a drawback. I think it’s actually an asset sometimes–for example, during the semester, I usually spend long hours studying at the library. If I felt like I needed a lot of human interaction during that time, I might have more trouble with productivity.
However, sometimes shyness can be the factor that hinders you from connecting with people who can really enrich and benefit your life.
So here’s my trick to conquering shyness: forget you have it. I admit that that statement sounds borderline condescending if left alone–but let me explain. The way I experience shyness, it’s like an emotional cage. You try to break from the cage, but your fears and anxieties keep you locked in an invisible prison. If you pretend that you aren’t shy, you can eventually diminish that timidness because you see that there’s actually nothing to fear. I like to think of it as half acting, half faking it until you make it. It’ll feel awkward at first–like you’re playing a part–but with time, your genuine disposition might amalgamate to accommodate a more socially secure self.
This doesn’t always work, and it takes a little bit of getting used to. However, if this is something you struggle with and wish to change, it’s definitely worth the effort! 🙂