10 tips and tricks for introverts and shy people
People who struggle in social situations either accept that this is the way they are or hope that one day they will grow out of it. But as I have come to learn, all it takes is learning the right techniques and a bit of practice. Just as those who struggle with math can learn and improve, you too can improve your social skills with a little bit of effort!
#1 Don’t replay past failures.Most people who have social anxieties know exactly how they come across to people, where their conversational abilities fall short, and they recognize when an interaction has failed. And, if they are anything like me, they replay these failures in their minds several times after the event. There was an opportunity to make a good impression, but you failed.
Replaying and analyzing failures is anything but helpful. Don’t imprint these moments in your mind because they will haunt every other interaction you have with that person. This can only doom you to further failure.
Accept that you may have given that person the wrong impression of you, but forgive yourself. Despite what so many people tell you, first impressions aren’t always everything. The damage is not done. View a less successful conversation or interaction as a challenge and a learning curve, rather than a failure. Challenge yourself to prove that person and yourself wrong, and display your true self if another opportunity arises.
#2 Present your best self.There are many ways in which we can use our appearances and our physical selves to send messages. We can use clothing, make up and hairstyles to make ourselves feel more confident, as well as to put across our interests and beliefs. Body language and eye contact can be used to show our feelings and to aid in communication. But these are tools that introverts often forget to utilise. [Read: 10 tips to look really good while trying to get someone’s attention]
Present the best version of yourself by picking an outfit that makes you feel great about yourself, and remind yourself to check your body language regularly. You might feel safer with your eyes pinned to the ground, slouched shoulders and your arms crossed, but you are inadvertently closing yourself off to people.
If you are struggling for inspiration, observe how confident people present themselves. Look at how they sit, their use of eye contact, and how they place their hands. One tip you always hear to combat shyness is to feign confidence. It can be tricky at first, but once you take the dive, you really do begin to feel more confident as a result.
Don’t feel like you need to impress people by being something that you’re not. The aim is to allow people to get to know the real you. Never try to change who you are, simply present the best version of yourself.
#3 Choose to like people.When meeting new people, it is often natural to pick out traits about that person that intimidates you, especially when that person is more confident than yourself.
Choose to like every person you meet unless they give you a real reason not to, and immediately make them less intimidating to you by viewing them in a positive light. Get into the habit of mentally listing three to five things you like about people you meet. If you associate that person with positivity, you are less likely to feel anxious when you interact with them.
It is important to remember, however, that you won’t always get on with everyone. Accept that fact, and know that your happiness does not depend on someone liking you. There are plenty of other people who will!
#4 Preserve the feelings of others.One thing that shy people tend to forget is that whilst wrapping yourself up in your fears of embarrassment and rejection, you are inadvertently rejecting people who attempt to interact with you. If you are failing to reciprocate their efforts to make conversation with you, you are damaging the other person’s feelings and self-esteem.
Remember, that by giving conversations and interactions your best shot, you are saving others from the rejection and embarrassment that you fear yourself.
#5 Express kindness, gratitude and politeness.This seems like an obvious tip for anyone, no matter what their level of confidence may be. But, expressing kindness, gratitude and politeness wherever possible is a great way to develop your confidence and show others that you care.
It can be difficult for people with social anxieties, as with any display of feeling and emotion, especially when the person on the receiving end is new or unfamiliar to you. You may feel vulnerable and scared at the time, but you will feel great afterwards!
At least one act of kindness a day will do wonders for your self-esteem, and will allow others to warm up to you and see your true nature.
10 tips and tricks for introverts and shy people