Social Anxiety—How to Overcome Shyness

Have the Life and Love You Want

Throughout my childhood, I had severe social anxiety. The kind of social anxiety where if another student looked at me, my face would flush. I was so self-conscious that I couldn’t even raise my hand in class to ask to go to the bathroom. I had no idea how to overcome shyness.

By the time I got to high school, I discovered liquid courage—alcohol—and things got a bit better, if a lot hazier mentally. But booze and barbiturates were not the solution.

Over time, I became better at managing my shyness, but it was always there in the background and would come out whenever I was in a social situation. If I think about it now, I can feel my chest constrict and my throat tighten.

But I got over that social anxiety, and I learned how to overcome shyness!

And if a girl who peed her pants in class in Grade 7 can do it—you can do it.

Social Anxiety or, Maybe …The Benefits of Shyness

To overcome shyness and social anxiety, shy people must realize, accept and embrace the positives that have come from living a life of social solitude.

The fact is—shyness ain’t all bad!

3 Benefits of Shyness

  1. Sensitivity and Compassion. People are drawn to us because we’ve learned how to read people and take in all the wee details around us that relate to relationships. We also tend to say “yes” a lot because we’re people-pleasers. Just make sure the “yeses” are balanced out with the “nos.”
  2. Humility. Not humiliation, but modesty. Others respect our inability to brag. No one likes a braggart. We must remember, however, that to accept a compliment is a gift to the giver!
  3. Tact. We use discretion when addressing areas of potential humiliation for others. We’d never tell Sarah that red doesn’t suit her, but instead tell her that blue brings out her eyes more.

Mastering shyness has benefits, like heightened sensitivity to others’ feelings or acutely developed intuition. The point is that the shyness that’s driven you to social anxiety isn’t all bad.

Nonetheless, extreme shyness can create the kind of social anxiety that is crippling and can send you home in tears some days, so it’s time to get a rein on it and take control of developing your social skills.

Basic Steps to Overcome Shyness and Social Anxiety

  1. Stop beating yourself up for being shy—it’s not helping!
  2. Write a list of all positive traits you have as a result of being shy for so dang long. (Borrow my list, add to it!)
  3. Go in the bathroom and tell yourself, “I am [positive trait]!” Do this every damn day.
  4. Catch yourself whenever you mentally put yourself down. Yes, you do it a lot. A LOT.
  5. Stop that! #reboot

Advanced Steps to Overcome Shyness and Social Anxiety

  1. Make eye contact, smile at or say “hi” to strangers on the street—whatever is one level out of your comfort zone.
  2. Talk to people at work who you don’t normally talk to.
  3. Say “Yes” the next time you’re asked to join a small-peers’-group social activity—again, one step beyond the comfort zone, not forty.
  4. Join a men’s group … (check out ManTalks!)
  5. Start a men’s group or meet-up group. It could be called Hiking For Almost Formerly Shy Guys. Trust me, your confidence will skyrocket.

You got this!

I’m a girl who went from peeing her pants in class to applying to do a TED Talk.

If I can become a super confident social butterfly, so can you. I promise.

xo AJ

Bonus Super Hero Steps (How I Did It)

If you haven’t already, download the FREE Cheatsheet: INSTANT CONFIDENCE
Bigger commitment: Invest in my WakeUP2Luv Get A Girlfriend Program

Nothing changes if you don’t.

About the Author Anna Jorgensen

Vancouver Matchmaker and Dating, Love and Relationship Expert
Founder: Wingmam

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