“You’re so quiet.” “You never talk.” “I forgot you were here.”
Does this sound familiar? My shyness and quiet nature was a huge part of my personality growing up. I would be the quiet child in the corner of a birthday party until I felt comfortable to join in, or I never put my hand up in school as I didn’t want to talk in front of everyone. I didn’t feel anything was wrong with that until comments were increasingly made to make me feel like my shyness was ‘wrong’.
Unfortunately for me the majority of comments came from adults which helped cement in my young mind that I wasn’t normal. In school reports my teachers would write that I was a very caring and intelligent girl but extremely quiet. A family friend would always crack jokes about forgetting I was there, which were most likely made in jest but to me it hurt.
Being shy seems to have a negative stigma attached to it which ultimately makes the person suffering with shyness feel like they need to hide within themselves even more. I have been accused of being a snob because of my quietness which is the opposite of what I am about! However at the grand age of 26 I can tell you honestly that being shy has had no negative implications to my life whatsoever and that you shouldn’t feel ashamed or doubt yourself because of it. It is a part of who you are and you need to embrace this.
I feel I can write a blog post about this to help others as I am at a stage where answering the phone or talking to strangers/in front of others doesn’t produce a bolt of fear like it used to. So below are 5 tips for owning your shyness.
Accept Your Shyness
This is who you are and you do not need to change. You deserve as much recognition and respect as anyone else out there so start thinking of your shyness as a great attribute. The sooner you accept who you are, the easier it is to rationalise with yourself that it is fine to be that way.
Stop Comparing Yourself
This can be very hard especially with social media and reality TV depicting outgoing, confident individuals most of the time. Do not wish yourself to be any other way.
Focus On Your Other Qualities
Following on from the point above, think about what makes you a great person to be friends with. Are you the person a friend will come to for advice – quiet people are usually the best listeners! Or do you have a skill that most people would love to have? Shyness doesn’t define who you are, shyness is just another personality trait amongst others.
When you are out with a group of people you may not find words as easily as everyone else, so make sure your body language doesn’t put a wall up. Looking engaged and making eye contact will let others know you are a part of the group. You don;t need to speak up if you feel uncomfortable, but by reacting to the speaker they know you are engaging with them.
Put Yourself Out There
It is scary but you must get yourself out there and live your life to the fullest. Being shy can feel like a burden sometimes but you shouldn’t let it stop you doing what you want. The world is your oyster, own your shyness!
Han is a British blogger living in the south east of England. Aiming to spread positivity and mindfulness, Han writes about what she is passionate about including fitness, lifestyle, mental health and travel.