This is one of, if not the most important question you can ask when trying to be more social – how to overcome shyness?
Shyness is what stands in our way when trying to be more social and talk to people. It is the barrier between us and other people, cruelly keeping us from being the social, talkative and interesting persons we long to be.
Ok, that may sound a bit dramatic, but knowing how to overcome shyness can be the key to becoming more social.
A great tip on how to overcome shyness
I used to shy away from talking to people. I would avoid eye contact and even pretend not to see others so I didn’t have to go over and talk. I hated doing it, as I always felt like a prick doing it, but I couldn’t help it. I’m still not 100% cured, but I’m definitely a lot better than I used to be. I sometimes even actively go up to people I know and start a conversation.
Use gamification to overcome shyness
I’ve always been fascinated by the concept of gamification, where you turn any situation into a game. I’ve lost count of the amount of hours I’ve spent (or wasted) playing computer games. It’s now worse than ever. I have my smartphone loaded up with games I play whenever I get a chance. On the bus, before I go to sleep, when I watch TV, even when I go to the toilet! Why? Simple, because it’s fun!
The best way I found on how to overcome shyness was to turn every social situation, every conversation, every interaction into a game. The rules of the game? To make sure I speak as much as the other person. When I talk to someone, I have two progress bars in my mind, similar to a health bar at the top of the screen in Street Fighter. The progress bars will fill up as each person talks. You have to make sure your progress bar is as full or higher than the other person by the time the conversation is finished. If it is not, you’ve lost.
To begin with it is surprisingly difficult. But focussing on these fictional progress bars forced me to talk and come up with other things to say “on the fly” in an attempt to avoid defeat. It’s important to reward yourself for your victories, especially early on until you get into the way of it.
Turn what you love and enjoy doing into a way to tackle other problems in your life.
I figured out how to overcome shyness, have you?