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20 Ways to Overcome Shyness

Photo by Jordan Fraker. See more of his work here.

Can you remember the last time you stepped into a room full of strangers and felt that self-conscious and awkward feeling rush over you? Or that heart thumping moment when you wanted to ask someone on a date, but were too shy to do so? Or wanting to approach someone for business, but was too hesitant to actually do it? That anxiety in the pit of your stomach in social situations? Does it always feel like something is holding you back?


Regardless of whether you are introverted or extraverted, we can all relate to that feeling of shyness at some point in our lives. Socially, we tend to have the misconception that only introverts experience shyness, but that is not true. Shyness has more to do with being uncomfortable with one’s self, especially around other people.

This article is the result of collaboration between Amanda Linehan, an introvert, and Tina Su, an extravert. Together, we wanted to shed some light on the topic of shyness in a collective perspective from both extremes. We will also share the ways that we used to turn shyness into personal empowerment.

 

The Three Components of Shyness

According to Dr. Bernardo J. Carducci of the Shyness Research Institute, shyness has three components:

  • Excessive Self-Consciousness – you are overly aware of yourself, particularly in social situations.
  • Excessive Negative Self-Evaluation – you tend to see yourself negatively.
  • Excessive Negative Self-Preoccupation – you tend to pay too much attention to all the things you are doing wrong when you are around other people.

Can you relate? When you are experiencing shyness, can you fit your state of mind into one or more of the above categories? We sure can.

 

Why Do We Experience Shyness?

We all experience shyness differently and on varying degrees. However, root cause can be boiled down to one of the following reasons:

1. Weak Self Image

This is especially true to our experiences in high school. We would believe in the fallacy that our unique qualities were not interesting, cool or worthy of anyone’s admiration.We would try to fit in with everyone else, resulting in us not feeling like ourselves.

  • Amanda: Looking back I’m not even sure I knew what my unique abilities were, I just knew that everybody else seemed to be a cooler, more interesting person than I was, so I tried to imitate them…poorly.:)
  • Tina: I thought of myself as cool, because I was loud, and worked very hard at keeping that image. It was of course, a false image that I worked hard to keep. It was exhausting and I was exceedingly self conscious. Even though people didn’t view me as shy, but I felt shy most of the time with a lot of built up anxiety. Turns out, the ‘cool’ kids themselves have weak self images and wanted to fit in with everyone else.

2. Pre-occupation with Self

When we’re around other people, we become extremely sensitive to what we’re doing, as if we’ve been put on center stage. This creates anxiety and makes us question our every move. Our focus centers around ourselves and particularly on “what I was doing wrong”. This can cause a downward spiral.

  • Amanda: Coupled with a weak self image,I didn’t thinkIwas doing anything right! And this would start a cycle that I couldn’t get out of. What I understand now is that is that most people are not looking at me with the detail thatI was looking at myself.
  • Tina: I too was very sensitive to my every move around other people. My senses were heightened to the way I talked, walked, laughed, etc. My focus was on how to not screw up in front of other people, and this made me very nervous. What I understand now is that everyone is so caught up with their own insecurities that they hardly notice yours.

3. Labeling

When we label ourselves as a shy person, we psychologically feel inclined to live up to those expectations. We may say to ourselves, “I am a shy person, than it must be true that I am shy. This is how I am, and this is the way things are.” When we label something, that thing has the perception of being fixed and therefore we must live up to the expectations of the labeling.

  • Amanda: I was known by others as a shy person, or a quiet person, and this perception held me captive at times. People expected me to be a certain way and so I was. And knowing that other people regarded me as shy, in addition to my not wanting to be shy, resulted in great anxiety when I was with people. I really wanted to show myself to others when I was around them, but it was easy to simply go along with what others expected from me.
  • Tina: Deep down, I felt the anxieties from shyness often, yet, when I’m around people, I had to live up to the expectations that I wasn’t shy. My experiences with shyness would manifest in unusual ways, like when I’m ordering food, when I call someone on the phone, or speak to strangers. I would never let that side of myself show, but I do experience it. In those moments, I can hear myself say, ‘I am shy.’

How to Overcome Shyness

We’ve both experienced different variations of shyness, and through practice and increased awareness we have both overcome this. The following are tips that have helped us overcome this uncomfortable feeling.

shyness3.jpg
Photo by Lauren

1. Understand Your Shyness

Seek to understand your unique brand of shyness and how that manifests in your life. Understand what situation triggers this feeling? And what are you concerned with at that point?

2. Turning Self Consciousness into Self Awareness

Recognize that the world is not looking at you. Besides, most people are too busy looking at themselves. Instead of watching yourself as if you are other people, bring your awareness inwards. Armed with your understanding of what makes you shy, seek within yourself and become the observing presence of your thoughts. Self awareness is the first step towards any change or life improvement.

3. Find Your Strengths

We all have unique qualities and different ways of expressing ourselves. It’s important to know and fully accept the things we do well, even if they differ from the norm. If everyone was the same, the world would be a pretty boring place.

  • Find something you are good at and focus on doing it. An identifiable strength will boost your natural self esteem and your ego, helping you better identify with yourself. It is a short term fix, but will give you the confidence you need to break your self-imposed barrier of fear.
  • See how your unique strength gives you an advantage. For example, Amanda is a naturally quiet person who prefers to spend time alone. She learned that she listens better than others and notices things that others miss in conversations. She also discovered that her alone time has given her a better understanding of herself.

4. Learn to Like Yourself

Practice appreciating yourself and liking the unique expression that is you. Write a love letter to yourself, do things you enjoy, give gratitude for your body and its effortless functions, spend quality time getting to know yourself, go on a self-date.

5. Not Conforming

Trying to fit in like everyone else is exhausting and not very much fun. Understand that it is okay to be different. In fact, underlying popular kid’s public displays of coolness, they too are experiencing insecurities, self-consciousness, and awkwardness. Accept that you may not be perceived as the most popular social butterfly, and you may not want to be either. At the end of the day, being popular will not make you happy. Accepting your unique qualities can set you free.

6. Focus on Other People

Rather than focusing on your awkwardness in social situations, focus on other people and what they have to say. Become interested in learning about others, and probe them to talk about themselves. You can try pondering the question while interacting: What is it about this person that I like?

7. Releasing Anxiety through Breath


Anxiety and fear can feel overwhelming if you are practicing to become more assertive in order to overcome this fear.

  • One simple technique to calm this anxiety into manageable bites is taking deep breaths with your eyes closed, while concentrating on just your breaths. Inhale and exhale slowly while clearing out all thoughts.
  • Another technique is from yoga: counting as you inhale and then as you exhale. Slowly leveling out your inhale and exhale duration. Example, 4 count for in and 4 for out. Once your breaths are leveled, add an extra count during your exhale. This means slowing down your exhale by just a tad as compared to your inhale. Continue for a few minutes until you are comfortable, than add another count to your exhale. You can easily do this in the bathroom, or in a spare room of when you need it.

8. Releasing Anxiety through Movement

One way of viewing anxiety is that it is blocked energy that needs to be released. We can release this energy through physical movement.

  • Exercises like jogging or walking will help to re-channel some of the blocked energies, but also helps by pulling you out of the situation and shifts your state of mind. This refreshed state of mind will help by adding perspectives to things.
  • Another effective technique is a simple muscle meditation/exercise. Sit down or lie down. Bring awareness to every part of your body, starting from your toes and moving up your body to the top of your head. At every part of your body, tighten the muscles at the center of awareness for 3-5 seconds, and then relax. Repeat this until you get to the top of your head. Remember to breathe.

 

9. Visualization

Visualizing yourself in the situation as a confident and happy person helps to shape your perception of yourself when you are actually in the situation. Close your eyes, sit back somewhere relaxing, listen to some relaxing music, imagine yourself in a scene or situation and see yourself the way you would like to be. In this scene, how do you feel? What do you hear? Do you smell anything? Are you moving? What do you see? Get all your senses involved to make it real.

10. Affirmation

Words can carry incredible energy. What we repeatedly tell ourselves, gets heard by our unconscious mind, and it acts accordingly. If we repeatedly tell ourselves that we are incapable, and too shy to do anything, we will become increasingly aware of evidence to back up this ‘fact’, and our actions will always match what we tell ourselves. Similarly, if we repeatedly tell ourselves that we are capable, confident, and wonderful human beings, our unconscious mind will likely surface the awareness that gives evidence to this new ‘fact’. While, we can’t lie to ourselves, positive visualization and affirmation are helpful in placing us along the road of positive thought patterns.

11. Do Not Leave an Uncomfortable Situation

When we leave shy situations, what we are really doing is reinforcing our shyness. Instead, face the situation square in the face. Turn the fearful situation into a place of introspection and personal growth. Become the observer and dig into yourself, answer the questions: why do I feel this way? What caused me to feel this way? Can there be an alternative explanation to what is happening?

12. Accept Rejection

Accept the possibility that we can be rejected and learning to not take it personally. Remember, you are not alone and we all experience rejections. It is part of life and part of the learning process. The key lies in how you handle rejections when they come. It helps to be mentally prepared before they happen:

  • Never take it personally. It was not your fault. It just wasn’t meant to be. The scenario was not the best fit for you.
  • Find the lesson – what did you learn? There is a lesson ingrained in every situation. And through these life lessons lies the potential for you to become a better person, a stronger person. Nothing is lost if you can find the lesson. See these as the blessings in disguise.
  • Move on. Recognize that when you fall into self-pity, you are not moving forward. Nothing will be changed from your self-pity. When you start to recognize this, it becomes clear that only energy is wasted while we feed to our problem-seeking ego. Pick yourself up, dust off the dirt and move on to the next thing. Try again, try again, try again. It will pay off!

13. Relinquish Perfectionism

When we compare ourselves, we tend to compare ourselves with the most popular person in the room or we compare ourselves with celebrities we see on TV. We set excessive expectations by comparing ourselves unreasonably to people unlike ourselves and wonder “why can’t I be that?” We carry with us a vision of another’s perfection and expect ourselves to fit that exact mold. And when we don’t fit, we beat ourselves up for it, wondering why we are such failures. You see, the problem lies in our emphasis on fitting into a vision we have created in our minds, which is not us. Let go of this perfect image, create visions of yourself out of the Being from who you are, naturally; and let that expression flow, naturally.

shyness2.jpg
Photo via g2slp

14. Stop Labeling Yourself

Stop labeling yourself as a shy person. You are you, you are unique, and you are beautiful. Can’t we just leave it at that?

15. Practice Social Skills

Like any other skill, social skills can be cultivated through practice and experience. The more you put yourself out there, the easier it becomes next time. If you have a hard time knowing what to say, you can practice what to say ahead of time.

16. Practice Being in Uncomfortable Situations

Sometimes, it is not the social skills we lack, but rather the lack of self confidence that we may succeed, and a heightened fear that we will fail. Placing yourself in these uncomfortable situations will help to desensitize your fear towards the situation. The more you force yourself to face it, and to experience it completely, you will realize that it is not that bad after all. It may be hard for your ego to accept at first, but quickly you will find that you can just laugh and enjoy it.

17. The Three Questions

During social settings where you may experience nervousness, periodically ask yourself the following three questions. Doing so will distract yourself from more self-destructive thoughts. Make it your mantra:

  1. Am I breathing?
  2. Am I relaxed?
  3. Am I moving with grace?

18. What is Comfortable for You?

Going to bars and clubs isn’t for everyone, and that’s okay. Understand what feels comfortable for you, and find people, communities and activities which bring out the best in you. You can be just as equally social in settings that you connect with on a personal level, than the popular social settings. You don’t have to be doing what “everyone” else is doing. Besides, everyone else isn’t necessarily happy, despite your perception as such.

19. Focus on the Moment

Becoming mindful of what you’re doing, regardless of what you’re doing, will take focus away from the self. When you are having a conversation, forget about how you look, focus on the words, fall into the words, become absorbed in the words. The tones. The expression. Appreciate it and give gratitude for it.

20. Seek and Record Your Successes

As you overcome this condition we’ve been labeling as shyness, you will have many wins and realizations about yourself. You will gain insights into the truth behind social scenarios. You will start to view yourself differently and come to recognize that you can become comfortable and confident. When these wins and realizations happen, make sure to keep a notebook and write them down. Keeping a journal of your successes will not only boost self confidence, but also shift your focus towards something that can benefit you.

What are some of your moments of shyness? What did you do to overcome them? If you haven’t overcome them, why do you think that is the case & what can you do about it next time? See you in the comments! :)




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About the author

Tina Su is a mom, a wife, a lover of Apple products and a CHO (Chief Happiness Officer) for our motivational community: Think Simple Now. She is obsessed with encouraging and empowering people to lead conscious and happy lives. Subscribe to new inspiring stories each week. You can also subscribe to Tina on Facebook.

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359 thoughts on 20 Ways to Overcome Shyness

  1. Daniel Lux

    This is AMAZING! like actually amazing… I’ve read several help books on anxiety, and this post beats all the books I’ve read so far! Thank you for such a very helpful post that can relate to anyone who is battling anxiety :) We are stronger than we think.

  2. Isabella

    I am in 7th grade. I never used to be this shy, I actually got this way when I came into 7th grade. I became upset with myself. I live in an apartment, not a big house like everybody else. I only have a few friends. I also find it easier to keep my mouth shut instead of saying something stupid that I will regret. Now, if I’m loud people are really surprised. They believe I am extremely shy. If I try to come out of my shell awkwardness overtakes me and people can sense it. I am constantly called shy, quiet, and “emotionless”. I’ve tried everything but nothing works. I don’t want to be popular, but I can’t stay like this either. Guys are afraid to ask me out, too. Everybody says, “The way you walk and keep your head high intimidates people.” So basically guys think I’m going to reject them. I thought I was shy! I am so confused. Also, in class I don’t know many people, many of them already have their own cliques and if I even tried talking to them they would shut me out. So, I just stay quiet. Now the teacher always says I’m the best student and everybody laughs at me! Yesterday, one girl called me a slut. I’ve never done anything to deserve that, I don’t even know her. So am I shy? I think I am, I ALWAYS think about “Am i walking right?” or “Am i sucking it in so I dont get called fat?” or “Is my hair messed up?” or “Is my mae up perfect?” or “Are these clothes okay?” and most commonly: “Am I smiling? I can’t do that, my teeth are ugly. I’ve been made fun of this before.” All these thoughts swirling through my head, I get so flustered and go into self-pity with no idea how I can get out, or if I can.
    Please help.

  3. Abby

    I liked reading this article. I like the “three questions”, and am going to try them, because often times when I begin speaking in front of people, I become so nervous and terrified that I could hardly tell you what I’m doing or saying.

    However, I agree with “still shy”. I too am in uncomfortable situations on a regular basis at work, and I very often have to speak in front of 15 or more people, which I really dislike doing. The nervousness and anxiety has not lessened over time. In fact, from the age of about 8 I have been making concerted efforts to be more outgoing and avoid others labeling me as shy, but I have not been very successful.

    It’s unfortunate, because I feel that my shyness and overall social awkwardness is affecting my career. I don’t need to be a social butterfly, but I’m sure that I won’t have the same opportunities in my career that my more extroverted and outgoing coworkers will.

  4. Good things come to those who take action and start creating good things.
    American folk legend Will Rogers nailed it when he said, “Go out on a limb. That’s where all the fruit is.”

    Although it might be scary to climb out from the safety of the trunk, you’ll rarely pluck the sweet fruit by waiting there.

  5. Awkward Turtle

    HI Tina,
    I just like to say that I loved your article! You pointed out major key factors on the subject that I wouldn’t have thought of. But it is so true. Shy people are complete worry warts. We are so involved in our thoughts that we never recognize anything else. Coming from personal experience I still have trouble with this today. When you mentioned #3 Labeling… it got to me because what Amanda had said reflected exactly how I have felt for the longest time. Me and Amanda are so much alike, it’s unreal. But your article is really helpful and I would definitely take your advice! So thank you for everything!

  6. ns

    i feel shy a lot- that’s why i have become addicted to anti-anxiety meds. i feel i need to take them in social situations and feel this is pathetic but i so desperately need them. my psych cut me off of them due to a misunderstanding w/the pharmacy and now i have a limited supply of them. i think my parents were both shy and i have inherited it. my uncle was quite brilliant, a lawyer that was shy and drank to overcome it. he committed suicide in his 50’s due to his drinking. i should try to stay away from chemical dependency seeing as how it runs in my family. but i’m still shy and feel so much better on a ‘controlled substance’. shoot

  7. “Besides, most people are too busy looking at themselves.” Probably the most important line in this entire article. I clearly remember feeling like everyone was watching what I did the whole time but the truth is people are generally too self involved to notice others and the ones that do rarely care.

  8. In fact I remember reading some actual statistics on shyness recently and it was something like 50% of the US consider themselves shy to some extent which means at least half the people out there are too busy worrying about what you think of THEM to worry about what you’re doing.

  9. Omar

    Wow!!
    I just feel liberated! Im not alone. I guess Im so hooked in my own shell.
    As I read this article, waves of realization hit me, as I have accidentally acted upon many solutions that are mentioned here.

    By the way, I can relate to both accounts of Amanda and Tina, maybe leaning more on Amanda. So I guess I’m an introvert, forced to express myself in some demanding situations.

    Thank You for such an illuminating article.

    By the way this is the first time I’ve written a comment on anywhere other than Facebook.

  10. sam

    those tips up in there a good and i’d like to try them.

  11. Rohit

    great article !!
    feeling confident after reading it ..:).
    hope i overcome this show stopper asap.

  12. Observer

    Ways to overcome shyness for a brief period can be helpful. But, I don’t think there is a need to change this basic nature of shyness. Being happy with whoever you are and not wasting too much time and energy changing yourself would be a good idea.

    Take a look: http://heylookaround.blogspot.in/2012/07/shy-boy.html

  13. Angie

    I am just about to begin my last year of high school, and I am currently tied for Valedictorian with my best friend; either way, if it ends in a tie or I win or lose, I will be making a speech at graduation.
    I have always been a very shy person. My voice gets shaky, I cannot look anyone in the eye, and I tend not to swallow when I speak so after a couple sentences I’m gulping in a sense because I’ve run out of air. I have always been extremely nervous about the speech I will have to make (especially considering my older sister was valedictorian as well and made a great speech).
    I KNOW that I need to not focus on living up to my sister and I need to believe in myself, and I hope that I can reach that point before the end of the year.
    I’ve already improved slightly at talking to people and at being self sufficient (I used to make my mom pump my gas or order my meal at a restaraunt) as well as making presentationsin front of the class. One of my hopes, also, is to actually tie with my best friend, because then I will be overcoming my fear with a very close friend/support by my side.

    I anyone has any advice, please feel free to help me out. It would be much appreciated :D

  14. brijesh

    your each word is like a perfect answer or sollution for my big big biiiiggg problem…

    thank you so much ……

  15. owenbaby

    im so shy the shiest girl in my class but i dont let ppl boss me around i stand up for myself but when im around strangers i feel afrain like there gonna laugh at me or something when im shy i act stupid or mentally ill i hate this alotand that story idnt help.

  16. Dan

    I am shy. I have always been shy and I’ve always tried to cover it up. Self improvement techniques rob you from exploring your true potentials and instead make you waste time on improving the un-improvable. I no longer wish to improve. Instead I’d like to accept my weaknesses. The definition of confidence to me is accepting your weaknesses with pride.

  17. Danube

    Thank you so much for the article!!! Shyness is such a big problem for me, too…It makes my life so hard…but thanks to people like you, Amanda and Tina, I got a hope that there’s always next time…I must struggle and I will!

  18. llewin

    hi,tina, i am a very shy person, you can say a introvert,this is due to my childhood upbringing, my parents never encouraged me to do things or participate in any activities but they only wanted me to study,well i studied very good but over the years i became introvert and nervous around people,i look good and i all the time think of my self, that something may be wrong with me and people will laugh at me, negative thinking has disturb my conciousness.
    but reading your article really made me think,let see if it helps me , before i have tried many things but it dint work but i hope this will work.
    thank you very much for the article.

  19. A shy-guy *coughs wessy*

    I feel exactly how the person who posted the commented #17 feels. In fact, I believe I am even more inconsistent than this person. I have been trying hard to overcome this, some days I feel extroverted, full of life, talking to everybody with no problems, then some days I just can’t pick-up the phone.

    As the comment #17 says, sometimes it is really hard to focus on the conversation or worry less about ourselves thinking the person is as much self-conscious as we are, however, I sweat too much, my face goes red so fast and my voice gets an extreme weird tone with a insane stutter! My hands get shaky and sweaty. Filling out a form in public is a torture, it gets all wet as if it has been exposed to rain all day long.

    You see, things like this are not subtle, and I’m aware that people notice it, lots of people used to comment about how shaky my hands were and they felt pitiful about it (which made me feel even worse about myself). It is such a hassle, if my shyness never showed up those traits, I am almost sure I could have broken the barrier years and years ago.

    I’m afraid to go out because I don’t want others to see me sweating like a pig, shaking as if I was a drug addict who haven’t had any recently and etc etc.

    I’m afraid people will make fun of me on my back “ohh remember that guy, he is so weird, he acts so weird”.

    Since my shyness is demonstrated by my silly body who thinks it’s a great idea to corporeally show them about how uneasy I am feeling in that situation, I find it extremely hard to overcome shyness.

    I’m trying to overcome it, though. Reading this was a great assurance that I’m not alone and I know if I try hard I will overcome it. It doesn’t matter if it takes months or years, as long as one day in my life I can fully take a deep breath and sleep in peace knowing my life is at least normal.

    It truly was a good read. If only I could stop sweating, shaking or have a weird shy voice I would feel normal at least once. I know I’m good-looking and that people are always interested in talking to me, but it doesn’t help if I make them turn around right away because they don’t want to spend some time with a shy person who can’t speak properly.

    To my relatives, friends and people very close to me I am normal (at least that), I never had any problem of shyness if the group of people I am in is bigger than the number of strangers. I had a girlfriend before but I was ok in that time. I was not feeling socially shy or anything, I was 17 years old in that time. Things didn’t work out so we had to break out. After that, everything was still normal until I had a certain incident which I believe caused me to become shy: I got extremely skinny, like seriously, SUPER SKINNY! And I would be self-conscious about it. Heck, you could count the number of ribs I had if I took my shirts off, so for at least 1 or 2 years I was trying to recover the shape of my body and I have come through many discomforting situations which exposed my skinniness, and how people would comment about it straight in my face.

    2 years after that now (as in today), I recovered my shape, I’m not skinny anymore, I say I’m pretty normal looking (your average Brazilian guy ;)), so even though I know I’m not the spotlight of any place anymore, I can’t help but feel shy and discomfort. It’s some sort of paranoia, it come sand goes at a random rate (as I said above, I’m inconsistent). Anyway, I’ll try to follow these tips and try to become a better person. It has been hindering my social and love life lately, but I promised to myself I will change, I’m aiming high in life, I’m well educated as well, I would be such a waste of a human life if I can’t sort things out and work my way out of this situation. ;(

    Sorry for the very long wall-of-text, I just had to take it off my chest.

    P.S: MNMHBBK, SFEIPIWCBILYAYKIWALY. (this code is to a special person). I wonder if it will be translated accordingly.

  20. A shy-guy *coughs wessy*

    o3o ohhh shy guy wessy, i know how you feel. care to share your facebook? ;)

  21. A shy-guy *coughs wessy*

    That is what I always get when people find out. :/

  22. A shy-guy *coughs wessy*

    Haha, my brother is stupid! Checking my bookmarks.

  23. Moni

    Hi Amanda and Tina,

    Thanks for the awesome article, had me in tears cos just what I needed to hear/read today. Thanks for the effort that went into putting it together – such a blessing!

    I particularly got a lot out of the 12. “Accepting Rejection”. I am currently dealing with a situation where I had gotten to the second point, had realised not to take it personally, and was looking for the silver lining it it, but was still wallowing in self pity. So, thanks to you both, I’m now going to dust myself off and find another way!!! Yay

    Thanks also to O. Foufoutos, your posting on Jul24 .08 is great. Awesome ideas and tips which I’m going to try out.

    My own recommendation to others, as an introvert, is Toastmasters, as others have said here. I’ve been going to Toastmasters for two years now, and my life has changed significantly. Quite aside from a new bunch of friends at my club, is the ability to actually enjoy social situations now. I’ll never be the centre of attention, and always on the quiet side, but I can join in now, and enjoy life more.

    Also, since joining Toastmasters, I have become a trainer/facilitator in my career field, so I stand in front of groups, delivering classes for two days of the week. Who would have thought? I’m still a bit shy at times, but I know I also have a lot to offer with my knowledge and insights, and I always get excellent feedback from my participants. Most importantly, I’ve learnt to have fun doing this work.

    Joining Toastmasters was something I put off for YEARS, but one of the best things I’ve ever done.

    So, thanks again for the excellent article, I’m now off to dust of my self pity, and go out there and succeed in the things I’m passionate about!

    God bless!

  24. Nader

    Tina,
    I loved this article! I’m 14 and I’m terribly shy and it’s extremely painful because I often feel rejected or I feel like a waste of space or even invisible to some people. When I’m alone with one or just a few friends, I’m not shy at all and actually talk a lot! But when there’s many boys I feel too shy to say anything. Especially that I don’t know much about their topics so in too scared of being humiliated if I say anything awkward. Although I participate a lot in class. Many people know me as “that shy kid” but I want to show them that I’m not just a shy kid, I want to show my presence, my worth to people because I don’t even know what are my strengths now. Please help me!

  25. dave

    Been a toastmaster forever, but I would still, NEVER, ever approach a woman.If she finds me attractive, she will come to me. Why would ANY guy bargain himself away like that. Seems like fewer and fewer men are approaching women these days, and that might be the reason.

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