After I lost my hearing in my late teens I found it hard to meet new people. I kinda kept to myself because of the fear of being laughed at or making people frustrated when I misunderstood them.
Luckily I also had a hobby that required me to be around people. I loved this hobby enough that my desire to do it gave me the drive to tackle the shyness my loss of hearing presented.
So I figured I'd share some of the ways I went from being scared to be around people to performing in front of hundreds and meeting new people everyday. I hope this helps someone.
Shyness is usually focused on specific situations. A person can have a confident and bubbly personality around their friends. But when faced with a different experience we can become less confident.
Some guys are shy around pretty girls. Some people are camera shy. Or shy when with a large group of strangers. This is important to understand in overcoming shyness.
Believe it or not. Self confidence can be faked to some degree. But the faking is a temporary phase in a battle against shyness. I call it "Fake it till you make it".
Here's a practice session I still do when ever I can. Go someplace where there's lots of people. It could be a mall, a park, a grocery store. Anyplace you'll see people.
You're goal here will be to make mini connections with random people. By mini connections I mean nod hello to someone. If they nod back that's a mini connection. Smile at them and they smile back.
What does this accomplish? It helps our brain to make new positive connections. You're teaching yourself that getting someone's attention isn't as hard as it seems. A simple smile or head nod will do
It's important not to concentrate on anyone that doesn't connect back. This is not a contest. It's a practice session. You can do this anywhere. Even at a stop light with other drivers.
As you get more confident with these mini connections. Take the next step and actually say something to the people you connect with. Tell that person that smiled back that you like their car.
Ask that person that nodded back at you in the park if you can pet their dog. It only takes one sentence to start a conversation. You're teaching yourself that most people aren't hard to talk to.
No matter what you think of your looks. The most important thing is how you present yourself. Care about your hair and clothes. That goes a long way.
But more important than looks is how you present yourself. No one wants to talk to someone with their head down as if they're trying to not be seen. Look friendly and in a good mood. Even if youre not
Trust me. Unless a real tragedy has taken place. An everyday bad mood can really be remedied by simply faking to be in a good mood. Before long you won't be faking it anymore.
If you're shy about going up to talk to someone that you want to meet. Or perhaps your a sales person and have to approach someone but you're feeling anxiety about approaching them. Do it right away!
Don't give yourself time to talk yourself out of it. The longer you wait the stronger the anxiety will become. They don't know how the conversation will turn out anymore than you do. A Level field.
The most powerful form of communication is eye contact. If you're feeling shy among a group of people. Simply looking at the speaker is communication with them. I can't stress how important this is.
The overall to all this is that the simple act of pretending you're not shy will lead to true self confidence. Before you know it shyness will be something you can easily overcome.
I hope this helps someone.