6
   

How to overcome shyness.

 
 
Reply Sat 6 Aug, 2016 12:54 am
I am a fairly shy person and have been trying to step out of my comfort zone I don't like being shy/scared around people I want to be more chatty and outgoing. I've been smiling and waving politely at strangers but other than that I'm still shy and can't even really ask sales people questions of where to find items or about the products themselves. If any one had any tips or ways to overcome shyness please share. Thanks Smile
 
jespah
 
  4  
Reply Sat 6 Aug, 2016 06:39 am
@Thetruthaboutcrushes,
You're off to a good start! Kudos!

But you need to talk more. Sales people are actually the best people to talk to. Seriously. You will likely never see them again, and they get paid to answer questions. Unless you go off topic or take too long (e. g. don't ask them their philosophy of life or take more than a few minutes of their time), then a short conversation is exactly what they are planning for.

"Excuse me, where do I find my size for these pants?"

"Pardon me, does the sale extend to these vases?"

"I've been looking in the cheese aisle and I can't find the Roquefort. Could you please point me in the right direction?"
0 Replies
 
PUNKEY
 
  1  
Reply Sat 6 Aug, 2016 07:27 am
You might want to think about where this shyness comes from.

It might be your personality/temperament, which would not be easy to change.

It also might be LEARNED - usually from doting/overbearing parents who give children the message that they must step back and the adult will make decisions, or that the child is not able to do a task. Then there's the parent who instills fear within the child - "Don't do that, you'll get hurt." Siblings can also create a situation where a child gets pushed aside by the "super" brother or sister, and the child learns to step back because they will never be as great, beautiful. smart, etc as the sibling.

How about some counseling to find out how you can feel comfortable in your daily life?

0 Replies
 
Linkat
 
  2  
Reply Sun 7 Aug, 2016 07:23 pm
Jespah gives some sound advice. I was what you call a shy person ... still consider myself more a quiet person. Some other advice....you need to practice this...just like anything the more you practice and prepare the easier it gets. So like Jespah says go ahead and use salespeople, they are an easy starting point. Plan what you would ask them and then just go ahesf.

Some things that make it eadier...what the heck do you care what they think...you are likely to never see them again...picture them on the toliet...or in their underwear...yeah it can work. It makes them seem more vulnerable and therefore less intimindating.

Then you slowly increase the situations. I was at the point where things like presentations and job interviews did not make me nervous. The preparation and knowing I was knowledgeable and that people aren't out to get you helped.
0 Replies
 
chai2
 
  1  
Reply Sun 7 Aug, 2016 08:53 pm
I was thinking about this the other day, meaning how some people are afraid to talk to others. I wonder what they think will happen?

It occured to me (drawing on decades of experience) that most people are, if not delighted, at least quite happy when someone, even a stranger talks to them.
Why? Well, a lot of the time it's because it gives them a chance to talk.

I don't know about the imaginging them sitting on the toilet route. I don't want to talk to someone going to the bathroom.

I go more with the "so what's the worst that will happen? They don't feel like talking. Meh." So, then you leave them alone. Seriously, that is the very worst that will happen.

I'd guess that 95% of the time when I say something to someone, they respond, and we have a mini conversation, at least.

Honestly? It doesn't even much matter what you say, as long as it's related to something going on around you.

Yesterday I went into a Pollo Tropical that just opened down the street from me. After ordering, they gave me a pager and I went to some empty tables to wait. On the way I passed a young (less than 30) man with his own pager, so I said "Have you eaten here yet"?

That is all it took to start at least a 5 minute convo.

He responded "No I haven't, but I heard it's good"

That established he was happy being talked to, and off we went. He got his food 2 minutes later, but hung around talking to me until mine was ready. I found out where he came from, where he worked. We agreed it was sofa king hot outside, and that we both liked plantains.

If he had just grunted, or acted like he was too good to talk to someone, I just would have let it slide and sat quietly, or talked to someone else.

People yearn to have someone talk to them. Give them that gift.

This, BTW is coming from an introvert.
Roberta
 
  1  
Reply Sun 7 Aug, 2016 09:23 pm
@Thetruthaboutcrushes,
Thetruthaboutcrushes wrote:

I've been smiling and waving politely at strangers


This makes me a little uncomfortable. Where do you live?
chai2
 
  1  
Reply Sun 7 Aug, 2016 09:51 pm
@Roberta,
Smiling and giving a "hi" type wave makes you uncomfortable? Why? I mean I wouldn't do that to a bunch of construction workers on lunch break, but I generally smile when seeing a stranger and say hi if I'm passing them.
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Sun 7 Aug, 2016 10:22 pm
@Thetruthaboutcrushes,
I used to be shy during my teenage years.
After high school graduation, I didn't know what I wanted to do, and worked for a couple of years working and living from paycheck to paycheck.
Since I had nothing better to do, I volunteered into USAF for four years, and for the first time in my life led a team that worked with conventional and nuclear weapons. That's what gave me the confidence to go to college. I'm not sure what really changed me, but I ended up working in management for most of my working career, and led workshops and seminars for management staff at the companies I worked for.

I forgot to add: I also did consulting work for small business owners to develop inventory control and bookkeeping systems. That was very lucrative, and that's when I bought income property and saved money for our retirement. Also bought a one-fifth share in a three bedroom condo at Incline Village near Lake Tahoe that we used to use year round; skiing in the winter, and enjoying the lake during the summer months. When our kids got older, they no longer wanted to go up, so I sold my share.
0 Replies
 
Thetruthaboutcrushes
 
  1  
Reply Mon 8 Aug, 2016 01:31 am
Thank you all so much for you help!
0 Replies
 
Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Mon 8 Aug, 2016 03:19 pm
@chai2,
You don't understand because you do not have that fear -- it can be like having a fear of heights, or similar. Or it could be a lack of confidence or even an anxiety.

Quote:
I don't know about the imaginging them sitting on the toilet route. I don't want to talk to someone going to the bathroom.


Of course you don't want to talk to someone going to the bathroom - the imagine is to make the person you are talking to less threatening -- so you think of them in a vulnerable position. It makes it less anxious for you.
Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Mon 8 Aug, 2016 03:25 pm
@chai2,
I find there is also a difference to being an introvert and being fearful of talking to others or being shy. An introvert isn't necessarily afraid of talking to others or fearful of it and it does not at all mean they are shy.

An introvert is a person who is energized by being alone and whose energy is drained by being around other people. They prefer thinking, exploring their thoughts and feelings and avoid social situations because being around people drains their energy rather than because they are shy. Introverts often have good social skills - they need time alone to "recharge."

cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Mon 8 Aug, 2016 03:36 pm
@Linkat,
It seems many great actors are shy.
0 Replies
 
Roberta
 
  2  
Reply Mon 8 Aug, 2016 05:41 pm
@chai2,
chai2 wrote:

Smiling and giving a "hi" type wave makes you uncomfortable? Why? I mean I wouldn't do that to a bunch of construction workers on lunch break, but I generally smile when seeing a stranger and say hi if I'm passing them.


I think it's a regional thing. When I was on vacation in Maine, total strangers would say hello to me. My reaction? Who knows me here?

It's also a practical matter. When I'm on the street, I am surrounded by dozens if not hundreds of strangers. Saying hello to everybody would be impossible.

Third, you might be saying hello to someone who could misinterpret. This could cause you trouble.

cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Mon 8 Aug, 2016 05:58 pm
@Roberta,
It doesn't happen to me to often, but when any stranger says hi, I acknowledge it with a wave of my hand or say hi back. There's been times when somebody will say hi, and they're talking to somebody they know behind me.
chai2
 
  1  
Reply Mon 8 Aug, 2016 06:35 pm
@Linkat,
Linkat wrote:

You don't understand because you do not have that fear -- it can be like having a fear of heights, or similar. Or it could be a lack of confidence or even an anxiety.

Quote:
I don't know about the imaginging them sitting on the toilet route. I don't want to talk to someone going to the bathroom.


Of course you don't want to talk to someone going to the bathroom - the imagine is to make the person you are talking to less threatening -- so you think of them in a vulnerable position. It makes it less anxious for you.


Oh I understood all that.

I understand being afraid to talk to someone, been there done that.

I grew up in a place and time where from the age of 11 or so men of any age felt it was their God given right to leer and make nasty comments, making me want to just drop into a hole and die.
Our home was at my families business, and the first lesson in life was "Lock ALL Locks!" I remember at 8 or 9 going up the stairs to our 2nd floor apartment and encountering a seemingly sweet old woman coming down who acted confused like she'd somehow just gotten lost. I called my parents, who called the police. She had a bunch of our belongings under her coat. Someone had obviously forgotten to lock the door. So yeah, I know looks are deceiving.
Lot of other unsavory stuff too.

Anxiety? I have medication controlled diagnosed anxiety disorder and borderline OCD.

Also, I know exactly what an introvert is. I'm happy to be one. Wouldn't ever want to be an extrovert.

I also get the "I don't want to look foolish" thing.

Somewhere along the line in my 20's it just occured to me that even if I did look foolish, so what? Everyone looks foolish a lot of the time, and I don't see anyone dropping dead from it.

Eventually I realized life is too short and is non refundable. I preferred feeling joie de vivre over worrying about looking silly. In fact, if anyone starts laughing at me, it's because I started it.

As a kid, I spent way too much time with my head down, starting at a pinpoint, thinking that made me invisible. I didn't wake up one day being who I am today. It's a process, a growing.

You start small. I think smiling at a stranger is a great place to start.

Re the toilet thing, yeah I've heard that plenty of times about imagining that if you're nervous speaking in front of others.

I don't want to picture people that way, because I don't want them to appear vulnerable to me.
Why would I feel better about talking to someone because they are vulnerable?

To me, it's awful thinking of people, animals being vulnerable. That means they are sitting there hoping they won't be attacked/humiliated somehow.

No thanks, not for me. That's tearing other people down.

That's also just too much work. I just take people as they come, knowing from doing it a million times, that if you say hello to someone, more than 9 times out of 10 they will say hi right back.

If someone is shy, each time you say a simple "hi" to someone, or "nice day" it puts another layer of confidence on your doing that. It doesn't take big things to build confidence. Just a little "hi".



roger
 
  1  
Reply Mon 8 Aug, 2016 06:50 pm
@cicerone imposter,
cicerone imposter wrote:

It doesn't happen to me to often, but when any stranger says hi, I acknowledge it with a wave of my hand or say hi back. There's been times when somebody will say hi, and they're talking to somebody they know behind me.


I generally acknowledge a stranger with a short nod of the head. If they don't respond, or don't respond favorably, I let them think it's a nervous tic.
0 Replies
 
chai2
 
  1  
Reply Mon 8 Aug, 2016 06:58 pm
@Roberta,
Roberta wrote:



I think it's a regional thing. When I was on vacation in Maine, total strangers would say hello to me. My reaction? Who knows me here?

It's also a practical matter. When I'm on the street, I am surrounded by dozens if not hundreds of strangers. Saying hello to everybody would be impossible.

Third, you might be saying hello to someone who could misinterpret. This could cause you trouble.




Ok, to qualify what I said, I didn't mean I literally speak to every single person I see. Of course that's impossible.

That "Who knows me here?" brought back memories, and frankly, took me aback as it sounds so...no offense intended, but self important.

Like "no one is allowed to talk to me unless they know me".

Of course they don't know you. How does anyone get to know anybody with talking to them?

Misinterpret a nod when passing by? Trouble?

Are you talking about Trouble as in they will now follow you, drag you into an alley then rape and murder you?

Or trouble as they give you a dirty look, say "harrumph" or some other thing that's totally their issue?

I don't pick out someone who looks like they're on meth. I feel pretty safe saying hi to someone who isn't wielding a knife or carrying on a lengthy, loud conversation with God.

Quite frankly, I also avoid starting conversations with people who have little kids with them, because I find little kids generally uninteresting, and people with little kids want to talk about them.

I avoid talking to people sitting and reading a Bible or has any kind of religious crap on their car, as I find the whole God thing Really Specifically Uninteresting. They will probably start talking, not about God per se, but will make me feel like I couldn't give an honest opinion on any number of subjects without them needing to start in with their jacked up beliefs.

So, yeah, I'm pretty discriminating who I do talk to, and I've got a pretty good radar on when not to.
chai2
 
  1  
Reply Mon 8 Aug, 2016 07:00 pm
@cicerone imposter,
cicerone imposter wrote:

It doesn't happen to me to often, but when any stranger says hi, I acknowledge it with a wave of my hand or say hi back. There's been times when somebody will say hi, and they're talking to somebody they know behind me.


Are you ever the first to say hi?

Why wait for the other person to do it?

When I thought they were talking to me, but it was really the person behind me, I laugh at myself.
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Mon 8 Aug, 2016 09:23 pm
@chai2,
Why should I need to wave? When I travel, I strike up a conversation with strangers often. Having traveled to 83 countries, I have friends in many countries - even Russia. Some of the countries where I have friends: Russia, Africa, Germany, England, Mexico, Canada, Malaysia, Singapore, Cuba, and all over the US. NY, Chicago, Austin, Houston, San Diego, Oahu, Los Angeles, and Hawaii (big island).
I know Lindsay Hamilton, a professional singer in London. She's done Weber solo shows in addition to directing musicals. I met her on a cruise many years ago. I wrote to her recently, and she still remembers me. I know Bob Brodsky. He's a rocket scientist who now lives in Southern California. I know Walter and Ulla in Lippstadt, Germany. I know Francisco (fbaezr) in Mexico City. I know joefromchicago. I used to know Cav who did a special meal for my wife and I in Toronto. I know edgarblythe who lives near Houston. I know
George O'Brien who lives near San Francisco. I met and knew Andy, and called him a friend. I know Frank Apisa. I know I'm missing many, but my memory has gotten really bad this past year.
Roberta
 
  3  
Reply Mon 8 Aug, 2016 09:38 pm
@chai2,
chai2 wrote:

Roberta wrote:



I think it's a regional thing. When I was on vacation in Maine, total strangers would say hello to me. My reaction? Who knows me here?

It's also a practical matter. When I'm on the street, I am surrounded by dozens if not hundreds of strangers. Saying hello to everybody would be impossible.

Third, you might be saying hello to someone who could misinterpret. This could cause you trouble.




Ok, to qualify what I said, I didn't mean I literally speak to every single person I see. Of course that's impossible.

That "Who knows me here?" brought back memories, and frankly, took me aback as it sounds so...no offense intended, but self important.

Like "no one is allowed to talk to me unless they know me".

Of course they don't know you. How does anyone get to know anybody with talking to them?

Misinterpret a nod when passing by? Trouble?

Are you talking about Trouble as in they will now follow you, drag you into an alley then rape and murder you?

Or trouble as they give you a dirty look, say "harrumph" or some other thing that's totally their issue?

I don't pick out someone who looks like they're on meth. I feel pretty safe saying hi to someone who isn't wielding a knife or carrying on a lengthy, loud conversation with God.

Quite frankly, I also avoid starting conversations with people who have little kids with them, because I find little kids generally uninteresting, and people with little kids want to talk about them.

I avoid talking to people sitting and reading a Bible or has any kind of religious crap on their car, as I find the whole God thing Really Specifically Uninteresting. They will probably start talking, not about God per se, but will make me feel like I couldn't give an honest opinion on any number of subjects without them needing to start in with their jacked up beliefs.

So, yeah, I'm pretty discriminating who I do talk to, and I've got a pretty good radar on when not to.


Self-important? My first comment was that not talking to or saying hello to strangers is a regional characteristic. If I had gone my whole life without strangers saying hello, it seems natural to me that someone speaking to me would know me.

When I say trouble, I mean Trouble. Yes, a minor smile can lead to attempted rape. It happened to me. And I smiled at someone who seemed nice while I was waiting for a train. He wouldn't leave me alone. I finally had to threaten to throw him on the tracks to get rid of him.

On the other hand, someone who offers me a hand or an arm to help me off the bus is worth more than a smile. People with dogs are a good way to meet people. These folks are only too happy to talk about their dogs.
 

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