Does shyness stop you being assertive? It can certainly lead to passive behaviour, particularly in social situations.
Shyness often comes about when we are turning our attention inwards. We think too much about what others may think about us. Often we ‘mind read’ people, and assume that people will be thinking negative things about us.
So, what can you do about shyness?
Turn your attention outwards – away from yourself. There are a number of ways you can do this:
* really listen to what the other person is saying (instead of worrying what they think of you). Aim to make the conversation enjoyable for them.
* if you don’t know what to say, look around the room and comment on something you see. Perhaps a beautiful mirror or an attractive view. Alternatively, ask the person a question about themselves (most non-shy people love talking about themselves). Or give them a sincere compliment (most people like that).
* be aware of what is happening in the world or the local community. This will give you something to talk about.
And do some mental rehearsal before you go to the event where you would normally be shy. Imagine yourself being there, see yourself looking relaxed and at ease, chatting easily to people. As you do this, relax your body because this will give your brain the message that this image is valid. You’ll be priming your brain to act differently when you are at the event.
Shyness can be overcome. Start today to take active steps to change things for the better.