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.
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!
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.
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.
Bonus Super Hero Steps (How I Did It)
Nothing changes if you don’t.
Vancouver Matchmaker and Dating, Love and Relationship Expert Founder: Wingmam