How to overcome shyness: practical tips and exercises

Nervous tension, or as it is often called emotional stiffness, is one of the causes of human problems, which leads to nervous exhaustion.

Many people are unable to get rid of this disease. They simply don’t know how to relax their minds, bodies, and relieve fatigue. Often this kind of tightness leads to stressful situations and nervous breakdowns, which negatively affects the state of the body as a whole.

What is shyness?

To begin with, we suggest you understand what shyness is and how it manifests itself? Shyness is a mental state of a person in which he feels tense, constrained and fearful in an unfamiliar environment. Society gives a positive assessment to such a feeling, believing that such people are simply well-mannered. But in fact, shyness is a trait that interferes with a normal life and is often confused with modesty.

Psychologists distinguish two types of shyness : external and internal. The first is characterized by secrecy and avoidance of large companies. A person does this openly, unable to control his emotions. Internal shyness is invisible to others. Society may think that a person is quite open to communication, but in fact, fear and indecisiveness squeeze him inside.

Shyness can manifest itself in different ways, but basically it is: fear of public speaking, negotiations with strangers, a feeling of self-doubt in a new environment. When talking to a person, all your thoughts are focused on how not to screw up, not say too much, and not be judged. Essentially, it is the fear of other people's opinions . External signs of shyness include: blushing, wet palms, confused speech, etc.

How to stop being shy: a guide to action

Faith in success

The most difficult thing is to take the first step towards a more liberated self. It may even seem to you that this is unrealistic, that nothing will come of this whole venture. Drive away these thoughts! This is wrong. You will definitely succeed. Believing in yourself and your success is very important, so stock up on them to the fullest.

You are no worse than others

The next stage is the understanding that you are no worse than other people.
You are the same, and in some qualities you are superior to many. Remember all your strengths and skills. Some of them are not a sin to brag about or at least demonstrate to the world. For example, do you write poetry? Stop hiding them! Join the literary community and show your creations to other people. Although not everyone will like your poems, you will definitely find fans of your work.

Remember: to receive compliments and approval, you need to show people what you can be praised for. If you are closed, then you simply will not be noticed. And learn to love yourself for who you are. Nobody is perfect.

Failure is a learning experience

Criticism or failures in life are not always bad. Perceive your failures not as the end of the world, but as a certain experience that makes you wiser and stronger.

Remember the famous phrase “what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger”?

It may be hackneyed, but it is very true. This is true! Therefore, you can be a little sad, even cry, and the next day pull yourself together and move on to a better life.

Facing your fears

To overcome your indecisiveness, you need to work hard on yourself.
You are probably embarrassed to speak in public. Start by at least making a toast. This is a challenge for many people: to find certain words, assemble them into beautiful sentences and pronounce them publicly, albeit in a small company of close people. It’s better to prepare this short speech in advance, think through all your wishes and repeat several times. You will realize that everything is not so scary. Everyone will definitely like it. Try it! You can also contact strangers on the street more often with various questions. For example, asking how to get to such and such a street. This will also liberate you, you will be less afraid of communication.

Become a pleasant conversationalist

Do you think that in order to have a conversation, you need to have some kind of secret knowledge or have a special relationship with a person?
This is not always the case. Many sociable people talk with others about mere trifles. It wouldn’t hurt for you to adopt this quality, even if it seems stupid at first. Start by talking about the weather, no matter how trivial it may be. Next, you can discuss matters that connect you with your interlocutor. If this is a co-worker, you can talk about the problem of parking near the office building. If the neighbor talks about how the rent bills have increased. The main thing is to start, and the conversation can develop on its own, especially if your interlocutor is more sociable than you. Practice! And you will get involved.

Give compliments

People love to hear pleasant words addressed to them, even if said in passing. And especially women! Give them compliments. You don't have to be full of praise. Suffice it to say that today the young lady has a good hairstyle or a beautiful dress. You will see how she will immediately become more disposed towards you.

The right attitude

Train yourself to be positive every day. A positive state of mind, even from scratch, will help you overcome life's obstacles. Healthy optimism never hurt anyone!

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.

Basic Concepts

Shyness, modesty, self-consciousness are qualities that we are accustomed to consider as positive aspects of a person, but this is not entirely true. A well-mannered and a modest person are two different forms of behavior. A well-mannered person remains silent only when it is really inappropriate to speak, that is, the distinctive feature will be precisely logical or morally ethical reasons. While shyness itself acts as a limiter for us. Signs are: stiffness, tightness, sweating, feeling as if the tongue is stuck to the roof of the mouth.

Shyness in any form prevents you from being yourself. A person reveals himself fully only when he feels at ease.

Stefan Zweig

Reasons for shyness

Self-doubt and shyness are concepts that are almost identical. Yes, the main reason for shyness is a person’s lack of confidence, low self-esteem, and excessive self-criticism. All this is ingrained in us in childhood, so the main reasons for shyness should be looked for there.

Reasons for shyness:

  • Parental education . Children of overly strict parents may be shy around their family. At the same time, in the company of friends, at work, in a team, a person will feel absolutely comfortable. Or, on the contrary, due to grafted complexes, a person will feel out of place with everyone except his family.
  • Heredity . If both parents have a similar trait, the child adopts this style and inherits shyness.
  • Criticism . Did you often hear criticism directed at you in childhood and adolescence? Was it unreasonable and came from people important to you: parents, relatives, teachers? Then don't be surprised if you feel shy and insecure in most situations.
  • Low emotional intelligence can also cause a person to be shy. It is difficult for him to express his thoughts verbally, so he shows it emotionally.
  • Lack of communication with peers in childhood makes itself felt in the future. If a person simply does not know how to communicate with people, he will feel fear and constraint.

Understanding the cause of shyness is the first step to overcoming it. Everyone can experience self-doubt in one situation or another, but if this feeling does not leave you for a long time and interferes with your life, it is worth starting to fight it.

Why are people shy?

Shyness is a character trait that arises in people as a result of improper upbringing. Indifference on the part of parents or excessive care deforms the child’s psyche. Shyness can also develop in children whose parents, when raising them, constantly focused on their tendency to be shy in the company of other people. In the earliest years of development, behavioral patterns are formed, which can only be eliminated through persistent training. But life without shyness is worth it.

Tightness can only be overcome through communication. But the more shy a person is, the more difficult it is for him to do this. It becomes a vicious circle, which is difficult for those who have undergone improper socialization to get rid of.

Important! In extreme cases, shyness develops into full-fledged social phobia - the fear of social interactions. With social phobia, only long-term work with a psychotherapist helps; in advanced cases, you can get rid of shyness only in a few years.

Sometimes constraint in behavior arises from the desire to please all people at once. Shyness is instilled unconsciously. During the process of upbringing, a child may be taught that modesty is a good thing. What makes it difficult to get rid of shyness is the lack of awareness of what is its source. Shyness in this case is not even perceived negatively. Excessive politeness develops into shyness.

Manifestations of constraint often arise when communicating with the opposite sex. This comes from insufficient communication experience, as well as from incorrect socialization. Ideally, children at school age learn to interact with the other sex and build romantic relationships; they do not experience shyness in the future. But not everyone succeeds.

Girls especially often feel shy when communicating with a guy they like. The feeling of awkwardness when communicating is accompanied by stupid behavior that pushes away the person you like. The more negative experiences, the more shy a person experiences in the future, and the more difficult it is to get rid of it.

Embarrassment is almost always accompanied by low self-esteem. To overcome the first, you must get rid of the second. Incorrect self-perception develops in the process of parental upbringing. If a child is excessively scolded and reprimanded for every little thing, he develops a guilt complex that makes it difficult to get rid of shyness. In adulthood, he becomes excessively self-absorbed, thinking about every action to see whether other people will like it. There is no other way to get rid of being an understated person, but to become a non-shy person.

How to get rid of shyness and self-doubt

Do you want to overcome shyness and become confident? Then today will tell you about exercises and methods that will help you overcome shyness.

Exercises against shyness

Exercise No. 1 . The first exercise can give you not only self-confidence, but also a good mood. It consists of the fact that you need to smile at 20 strangers during the day. You don't need to look away. Look straight into the faces of strangers and give them a smile. This will help you get rid of complexes and lift your spirits.

Exercise No. 2 . Another exercise that will help eliminate shyness is talking to strangers. Approach several people on the street and ask what time it is, how to get to the store, or ask any other question. Try to approach people of different age categories and different statuses.

Exercise No. 3. Allow yourself to be funny. For example, wear different colored socks or turn your clothes inside out before meeting friends. By their reaction you will understand that nothing terrible happened and everyone can make mistakes. Experiment!

Exercise No. 4 . Create uncomfortable conditions for yourself. Buy an item in a store and then bring it to return it. By law, you have every right to do this within 14 days. This situation will force you to step out of your comfort zone. At first you will feel as if you are committing a crime, but each time it will become easier to do it.

Ways to overcome shyness

What other methods are there for shyness and how to overcome it? Not only exercise can help you with this, but also changing your habits. If you can’t cope on your own, then you can turn to a psychologist.

  • Start with awareness . Do meditations, say affirmations that will help you get rid of complexes and tension.
  • Change your appearance . Often the cause of self-doubt and shyness is complexes associated with appearance. If this is the case, then why don’t you work on your appearance: join the gym, change your haircut, or take more drastic measures. Improve what you think is imperfect.
  • Environment . Perhaps you should change the circle of people with whom you constantly interact. After all, it often happens that people are squeezed in a particular society, and the reason for this may be criticism from friends.
  • Develop yourself . Today there are many opportunities to develop, learn new things and make yourself better. You can listen to lectures, watch educational video tutorials and even take courses that will relieve you of shyness.
  • Work for the camera . Another great way to get rid of shyness is to work on camera. You can record videos every evening or several times a week in which you talk about your affairs, life, and work. Review the video, notice mistakes and correct them.
  • Communicate more. Where would we be without this? Any fears must be overcome by going through them. We advise you to communicate more with new people not online, but by phone or in person.
  • Just kidding . Humor saves you in any awkward situation, so even if you did or said something wrong, make a joke. This will ease the tension and make you feel relaxed.

Using these methods, you will gradually gain confidence and get rid of your own complexes. This will play a key role in your life: you will be able to communicate with people without barriers, you will find new opportunities in work, study, and you will be able to achieve what you dream of.

The problem of social phobia

We are no longer talking about fleeting attacks of tightness . Our goal is to help those who suffer from severe forms of stiffness. You will learn how to get rid of the internal shackles that prevent you from breathing deeply. Most often, constriction is associated with society. Shy people find it difficult to be in society; outside the home they experience constant discomfort.

Dry and inexorable statistics say that every tenth person is susceptible to social phobia . Such people have to live with a permanent feeling of inferiority associated with the opinions of others.

This often leads to chronic stress. If you are experiencing this, read how to win the fight against stress.

Their self-esteem is tied to other people's perceptions of them. Of course, in their understanding. When in society, those suffering from tightness become nervous, blush, and swallow saliva. They often have difficulty breathing and their speech is slurred. Their imagination paints a picture in which society’s interest in the current situation is directed exclusively at them. Such interest, coupled with confidence in the inability to please people, causes an attack of panic - the greater the more active the interaction of the social phobe with society .

A walk in a crowded place or a trip on public transport is already accompanied by excitement and tightness. The need for public speaking, expressed in any form, even if it is congratulations at a wedding celebration or notifying a driver about a stop, requires enormous efforts from social phobes to smooth out external manifestations of constraint.

This problem is rarely talked about. A person who does not suffer from tightness has no idea what it feels like. Should you shout to the driver to stop or, while standing in line, publicly communicate with the cashier? No big deal. But not for social phobes who suffer from tightness.

Books to help you get rid of shyness

At the end of this article, we would like to recommend books that will help you get rid of self-doubt and shyness. In combination with the above methods, they guarantee you the desired result.

  1. “How to Overcome Shyness” by Philip Zimbardo
  2. “How to talk to anyone. Communicate confidently in any situation" Mark Rhodes
  3. “How to Win Friends and Influence People” by Dale Carnegie
  4. “How to talk to assholes. What to do with inadequate and unbearable people in your life" Mark Goulston
  5. “I always know what to say. How to develop self-confidence and become a master communicator" Jean-Marie Boisvert, Madeleine Bozry
  6. “Goodbye shyness. A Practical Guide to Overcoming Shyness and Building Confidence" by Leil Lowndes
  7. "Self confidence. Simple practices for gaining inner strength and grit" Yvonne Rubin
  8. “I can hear right through you. Effective Negotiation Techniques" Mark Goulston

We hope these tips will help you control yourself in any situation and forget about the fears that prevent you from communicating with people. Good luck!


There are two types of shyness, the first is when a person is shy in society, the second is when he experiences this feeling in front of himself. In the first case, we experience sensations that dictate to us a certain model of behavior, which in turn affects both our opinion about ourselves and the opinions of others about us. Simply put, with our behavior, which is based on our discomfort, we mislead ourselves and other people.

Why are we misleading? Because we can speak, and offer, and move. But our false attitudes give rise to false actions and, accordingly, similar opinions.

In the second case, a person who suppresses shyness in himself and tries to pass himself off as a confident person spends a lot of energy, which negatively affects his emotional background.

In two cases, shyness does not lead to anything good. We miss opportunities by giving in to our fears and concerns, or we worry too much in an effort to show that we feel confident. Unfortunately, we have a very limited amount of time allotted to us and sometimes shy pauses are very expensive.

By the way, I have a new shyness test on my blog. If you're wondering how shy you are, you can take it. Based on its results, you will be given recommendations.

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