How to stop being shy and gain self-confidence: a guide to inner liberation

Hello friends! Lyudmila Redkina is with you. I'll tell you one story. Once I had to speak in front of a large audience, but I was not embarrassed at all and performed brilliantly. But already at the next meeting they replaced me... My mouth is dry, my speech is confused, it took me a huge amount of effort on myself to finally bring the speech to the end. This experience showed me that embarrassment can arise when you least expect it. And some people have been shy their entire adult lives. And in this article we will talk about how to stop being shy and become a confident person.

Get out of your comfort zone

The comfort zone is a swamp in which all a person’s talents and dreams can drown. If you do not leave it from time to time, you will face apathy and degradation in all areas of life. For closed, too modest people, the comfort zone ends where interaction with other people begins. That is, it itself is very narrow and cramped. If you sit in it all the time, you can go crazy.

If you are afraid to communicate, then this is what you need to do as often as possible. If you are embarrassed to speak in public, you will have to start doing it despite your discomfort. Yes, it's incredibly difficult. But the result is worth it.


Skills need to be honed, and habits that interfere with life need to be systematically eradicated. All this applies to both sociability and shyness. Here are some ideas that you can use as a kind of workout.

  • Reprogram yourself. Imagine that your shyness is a program in your brain that is launched in response to certain situations, and you, as a computer user, have the power to influence this process. Try to go backwards and do the opposite of what you are used to. Do you want to hide in a corner at a party? Get into the thick of things. Have you caught yourself thinking that you are taking a defensive position in a conversation? Try asking your interlocutor a few questions.
  • Talk to strangers. Try talking to one stranger (preferably a random passer-by) at least once a day. You'll likely never see him again, so feel free to sharpen your communication skills on him.
  • In general, communicate more. Try to take every opportunity to connect with people. Tell jokes, agree to speak, say hello to people you often meet but never greet.
  • Warm up before an important conversation. Want to talk to a specific person at a party, but are afraid to approach him? Practice on people present who cause less embarrassment. If we are talking about getting to know each other, try to tell them everything that you plan to say in front of the desired person. After such a rehearsal, it will be easier to speak.
  • And always be prepared for public speaking. But don't limit yourself to just repeating the speech. Visualize your future success with your audience. This will give you confidence.

Communicate more

It would be great to first stop being shy, and then go out into the world of people renewed and confident. But, unfortunately, this is impossible. Shyness is not a curse that can be removed by going to a fortune teller. This is an undeveloped social communication skill that can only be developed through process.

Therefore, communication cannot be avoided. Moreover, you must make sure that there is enough of it in your life. At least twice as much as now. But its significance needs to be reduced.

Shy people tend to attach too much importance to ordinary conversations. They can rehearse phone calls, scrutinize past conversations, and come up with scenarios for future dialogues.

Become a bit of a non-carer and relax. Stop thinking about what impression you make on your interlocutor. This will help you overcome social anxiety. Remember, people have too many other things to do to evaluate your communication skills.

Several important nuances of achieving success

Psychologists highlight several key aspects of how to stop being shy in company and at the same time win the favor of strangers.
The list of such conditions invariably includes:

  • acceptance of constraint (excitement, isolation) as a given fact;
  • positive thinking, smile, neat appearance;
  • lack of comparison of oneself with other people;
  • training in slow, intelligible speech.

It is necessary to clearly understand that it is quite normal to feel shy, nervous or withdrawn in certain situations. Don't try to hide your emotions, because it always looks unnatural and repulsive. At the same time, the initial impression of a person is influenced by his appearance, facial expression, and voice intonation, so try to always look brand new, exude positivity, and don’t forget to smile.

There is no need to constantly draw parallels with more successful people in the company, otherwise this can lead to negativity, detachment, and the desire to quickly go to a quiet, secluded place. A huge problem for many people is slurred, rapid speech, which not all participants in the conversation can understand. Learn to express your own thoughts clearly, clearly, slowly, which will allow you to attract the attention of others, avoiding caustic ridicule.

Analyze situations in which you feel embarrassed

Get ready to become an analyst for a while and search for cause-and-effect relationships. Think about the situations in which you most often feel embarrassed. Why is this happening at these moments? Highlight the factors that influence the degree of your discomfort.

For example, your weak point is communicating with strangers. However, if you mentally say encouraging words before doing this, it may be easier for you to overcome your internal barrier.

Another example is that you are a girl and feel embarrassed when you are in the company of your boyfriend. But if your favorite music is playing at the same time, you relax and become more confident.

Look for the clues your subconscious gives you and learn to use them. Sometimes seemingly insignificant little things can work wonders.

Where does it come from?

It's all about self-criticism. Shy people are unusually dependent on others, they have low self-esteem, there is uncertainty and even dissatisfaction in life. A shy person is ready to limit himself to standard work, in which he will not be seen by others.

He will be ready to remove all friends from his life, just to experience less social stress. He is completely lost in simple everyday situations, such as making phone calls or communicating with sales consultants.

Each time the situation only gets worse, because every action that you fail to implement in communication is a small blow to your self-esteem, a step towards even greater isolation. You can no longer understand how to get rid of shyness and tightness. The inner Samoyed that lives in a shy person completely destroys your self-confidence. In such a state, overcoming oneself is practically a feat.

If you want to get out of shyness, there are many steps you need to take. When you begin to overcome yourself, decide how to deal with shyness, or even just think through your actions, it becomes easier for you. Time after time, without steps back, you will move towards a free existence in which you can discard excessive modesty. Indeed, in our case it is really unnecessary, simply because it interferes with life!

Be neat

Wrinkled clothes, a hole in tights, socks that are not the freshest - these and similar things make us nervous in the process of communication. If you want to become more confident, eliminate all signs of untidiness. There should be nothing in your image that could make you look like a slob.

This applies not only to appearance, but also to smell. Make sure you always smell nice. Just don't overdo it with perfume, otherwise you'll get the opposite effect.

Say “no” less often

Much has been said about the importance of the word “no.” But shy people, on the contrary, should avoid it. Their refusal (expressed in both word and action) is often dictated by fear of the unknown and an unreasonable fear of shame. If you want to stop being shy, learn to say “yes” to the opportunities that life presents.

Relieve Yourself of Responsibility

Stop taking responsibility for the thoughts, feelings, and states of other people. Let them think whatever they want about you. Let them be sad, tired, bored in your presence. There is no need to look for the reason in yourself and label yourself as a boring person to communicate with. Perhaps these conditions have nothing to do with you.

Hyper-responsibility makes you nervous and anxious, and because of this, ease and spontaneity in communication disappear. Don't create problems for yourself out of thin air, and you won't have to waste energy solving them.

Learn to manage anxiety

Some physiological reactions associated with shyness are very difficult to overcome. Some people start to stutter, others start to blush violently or forget the simplest words. It is almost impossible to stop this with one effort of will. The ability to quickly relax, for example, through deep breathing, will help you cope with the problem.

Here are some more articles that will take your anxiety management skills to the next level:

  • How to overcome stress and calm down.
  • VIDEO: 3 ways to calm down when everything is annoying.
  • How to Beat Anxiety When You Can't “Just Calm Down.”

Follow the example of confident people

When we are trying to change our behavior patterns and move away from familiar patterns, we sometimes need a guide. Observe confident people who are not burdened by excessive shyness. How do they behave? How do they talk? What are they thinking about? At first, you can even copy them until you develop new habits.

You can take one of your friends, public people, or movie characters as a model. Every time shyness tries to interfere with your plans, think about how your “idol” would act.

Especially for guys, we have an article “How to stop being shy about girls.” Be sure to read it.

What is the difference between modesty and shyness?

People often confuse modesty and shyness, but in fact these are different concepts that should be distinguished. Modesty is the ability to keep oneself within the bounds of decency, depending on the situation, and the reluctance to attract unnecessary attention to oneself of one’s own free will. It is also a lifestyle in which people are not characterized by excessive refinements and luxury.

Shyness is the fear of unnecessary attention in one’s direction. Such fear arises unconsciously and a person cannot control it. This is the difference between modesty and shyness . A modest person does not attract unnecessary attention to himself due to his own decision, and a shy person does not attract unnecessary attention due to fear. A modest person knows his worth, is confident in himself and can demonstrate this at the right time. A shy person is unsure of himself and is afraid to share his achievements because he thinks that there will always be someone better.

Stand up for your interests

Never let people take advantage of your shyness. If someone is too arrogant and tries to violate your interests, put him in his place. No matter what moral effort it costs you. Otherwise, the feeling of annoyance and disappointment will torment you for a long time.

This applies to everyday, familiar situations. When someone tries to jump in line, when they make unreasonable claims against you, when they try to take your place.

If you manage to stop the insolent person, you will receive 100 points to your confidence. Next time it will be much easier for you to emerge victorious from a conflict situation.

Bottom line

Shyness can be overcome - add some effort to your desire and soon you will see a positive result!
Be active, decisive and open to people. You can overcome shyness, self-consciousness, and lack of self-confidence only through painstaking work on yourself, positive thinking, and getting rid of fears or complexes. Fight your weaknesses, prejudices, negativity - and you will definitely become a successful, attractive person!

Elizarova Lilia · Jan 12, 2021

Exercise “Scale”

I borrowed this exercise from NLP. It helps to successfully cope with negative conditions such as fear, anxiety, and embarrassment. You can read more about it in the book “New NLP Code” by Timur Gagin and Vladimir Ukolov.

  1. Imagine a scale with marked numerical divisions from 0 to 100. It can look like a ruler, a tailor's meter, a barometer - whatever you like.
  2. Imagine that you find yourself in a situation that causes you moderate embarrassment and constraint. Feel your condition well and record its vivid manifestations in your memory: sweaty palms, a lump in your throat, a rapid heartbeat.
  3. You need to associate your feelings with an imaginary scale. Their severity should correspond approximately to the middle of the scale. Now mentally move up the scale, trying to cause more expressions of embarrassment.
  4. Having reached the extreme point, begin to reduce the intensity of emotions until complete calm and relaxation at point 0. Complete several such cycles until a strong connection is established in your subconscious.

Now, in any situation, you can imagine this scale and use it to remove manifestations of shyness. The more often you use this method, the better it will work.

Consequences of being shy

It is difficult for a shy person to communicate and achieve something. He can't defend his point of view

  1. It is difficult for such a person to show his talents; he most often goes unnoticed.
  2. During embarrassment, the skin turns pale and the cheeks may turn red. The person looks ridiculous and funny.
  3. Such people almost always have tense muscles and are not free in their actions.
  4. This character trait makes it difficult to communicate normally with others. A person is not able to express his point of view or ask for anything.
  5. Because of shyness, you often have to give up your aspirations and ambitions.

Exercise “Place of Power”

Find a comfortable position and relax. Throw away all extraneous thoughts, focus on the sensations of your body. Imagine that you find yourself in some very pleasant place where you feel calm and comfortable. For some it may be a village house, for others it may be a secluded pier on the ocean. Find something of your own.

Feel how this place fills you with strength and confidence. Nothing can unsettle you here and make you feel fear, anxiety, stiffness, embarrassment. Remember this feeling. The next time you step out of your comfort zone and feel embarrassed, imagine yourself in that place for a minute. Negative emotions will recede or become less pronounced.

Then how can I stop being ashamed of myself, how should I think about myself?

In order to change your negative attitude towards yourself and stop being ashamed, it is important, instead of insulting yourself and judging yourself, to tell yourself something different. You can create words yourself or with a psychologist that are individually suitable for you.

In order for your personality to manifest itself in the world most fully, you do not have to brush aside yourself, your feelings and desires. It is important to treat yourself with care. Your personality is a precious fragile creature that requires care and support, like a small child. At the same time, you always have an accompanying person who makes sure that you treat yourself well. This is your conscience.

In previous articles we talked about how to distinguish the voice of conscience from the voice of the inner critic. If you treat yourself badly, your conscience will tell you so.

Exercise. Let's start from the beginning

These can be very touching childhood memories - we try to restore how a person remembers himself, what his temperament was like in childhood, what he knows about himself.

According to the stories of loved ones, a person remembers how he was born.

Was he sensitive, or lively, or did he seem to others thoughtful, calm, detached, or maybe, on the contrary, playful, bright and very affectionate?

We unearth the internal source of knowledge about ourselves from the very first basics, not yet clouded by a critical voice. We begin to look at ourselves in a new way and reveal our inner qualities.

You can bring your childhood photographs to a psychologist or review them yourself. Sometimes the photographs show that up to a certain stage they showed a cheerful, generally contented child, and then the eyes of this child began to look sad, as if indicating that something was happening at that time that was suppressing his personality.

If you take a closer look at your life path, you may be able to sense where exactly you started to lose your true self.

Exercise. Learning to appreciate our abilities

When answering the question of how to stop being ashamed, information about your own abilities is very important. Every person does something well, but not everyone succeeds in appreciating their strengths. The difficulty is that if a person is good at something, he thinks that since it is easy for him, it is easy for everyone, and therefore it is worth nothing.

For example, a person has been drawing well since birth, but has not studied anywhere.

They say to him: “How well you draw!”

And he answers: “What’s so and so about this?” Nothing special!

Or, for example, a woman cooks well.

She says: “Oh, these are little things!” Everyone's cooking!

This comes easily to her, and she does not have the feeling that this ability of hers has weight.

You can work with a psychologist to increase the value of your abilities in order to move from the usual depreciation to an adequate assessment and accurate weighing.

The following questions can help you understand your value:

- Do you know many people who draw really well or who cook well?

— How many specific people can you name?

And it turns out that everything can be calculated, and that everything is not so simple. It may turn out that no one in the family knew how to cook so well. Then a person gradually begins to appreciate what he does well.

Books to help you overcome shyness

Shyness is a fairly common problem in modern society. Many books have been written about her. Here are just a few of them.

  1. “Goodbye shyness. A practical guide to overcoming shyness and developing self-confidence” by Leil Lowndes;
  2. “I always know what to say. How to develop self-confidence and become a master communicator” Jean-Marie Boisvert, Madeleine Bozry;
  3. "Self confidence. Simple practices for gaining inner strength and firmness” Yvonne Rubin;
  4. “How to overcome shyness” Philip Zimbardo.


Clothes, hairstyle, nails - everything should be at an acceptable level. Of course, if the looseness is strong, you can walk around in rags and enjoy the attention of people, but we are still far from that.

You yourself know the feeling when you put on your favorite clothes and walk down the street with your head held high. This feeling should be used in unfamiliar society. Whether it will get better is not a fact, but at least a large part of the worries will disappear , because you will be sure that “judging by your clothes” you will be received well.


Try going to classes for a week - you will become a different person . When the muscles begin to work, the whole body begins to work: digestion and intelligence improve, fatigue decreases, and strength appears out of nowhere. The blood simply circulates through every cell of the body and charges it with vigor.

Okay, we are not interested in physiological processes. It is much more important that with the general improvement of the condition, self-confidence also improves. You become more alive and open to the world, which is what we need.


They say that we are a reflection of the five people closest to us . And it’s true: you’ve probably noticed that you and your friends (I’m generally silent about parents) do some things the same way. These can be special phrases, gestures, movements - little things that are not noticeable, but at the same time very important. So, in order to become liberated, you need to surround yourself with as many liberated people as possible. Little by little you will copy their behavior without even noticing it. [adsense1] It’s better if the communication takes place live, but you can get by with a digital analogue. Lectures, speeches, educational videos - the Internet is full of it all. Let's look at a short list and move on to the next point. So, here's what you can surround yourself with:

  • TED lectures
  • Shows like “Evening Urgant”
  • Seminars and trainings
  • Video presentations of new gadgets
  • Creative activity if you are a schoolboy or student
  • For young people - foreign and Russian pranksters
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