There are many people who battle with the constant anxiety of meeting new people. Whether you're in high school, college, or are out in the workforce, being shy doesn't simply go away as you get older. You can still have anxiety when meeting new people or engaging in social interactions. Being shy may not be the same as social anxiety where you can have an all-consuming amount of anxiety from interacting with others.
However, it can still affect your ability to meet new people or engage in social interactions. Here are eight ways that you can overcome being shy.
1. Surround yourself with new people
Being shy can sometimes cause you to avoid meeting new people or stay with the same group of people that you are comfortable with. This is fine; however, if you want to overcome being shy, you should first try to get yourself to meet new people. Go out of your comfort zone and try to talk to people you don't know! If you are a student and have an assignment, try talking to the students in your class you don't know.
Or at work, try to introduce yourself to coworkers that you haven't talked to. Talking to new people will help you eliminate any fears that you have related to meeting new people!
2. Make goals for yourself
Creating goals for yourself is the perfect way to overcome being shy! Try to ask yourself what aspect of being shy you would like to overcome, whether it's related to meeting new people or attending social events, and create a strategy for accomplishing your goal.
3. Engage in more social events
The best way I've always been able to overcome being shy was through trying to attend social events or gatherings. Instead of making excuses to why you can't go to a social event, go to one instead! If you're scared of not knowing anyone, try going with someone you know such as a family member or friend. Going with someone will help take away the fear of not knowing anyone, and it will eliminate some of the anxiety of getting to know new people!
4. Do things outside your comfort zone
Part of being shy is being too comfortable with doing things inside your comfort zone. Instead, attempt to do one small thing at a time that is outside your comfort zone. It's best to begin with something small such as starting a conversation with someone you're unfamiliar with. Taking baby steps can help you build up to doing bigger things outside your comfort zone such as attending events that you've never attended before or hosting a party. Getting yourself to do more things outside your comfort zone will help you open up more and overcome being shy.
5. Get involved in a club or sport
The best way to overcome any shyness is joining a club or sport. One way I was able to overcome my shyness was through joining theater in my high school. I had begun to engage in acting in plays and musicals. It was one of the best decisions I made since I was able to meet new people and begin to learn how to let my guard down around others. You don't need to join theater particularly to overcome shyness. You can join any type of club, sport, or organization since any of them will involve getting you to meet people that you don't know.
6. Don't be too harsh with yourself
Another part of being shy is that you often criticize yourself too harshly. You may feel angry with yourself for not opening up more or being able to make new friends. Instead, focus on the positives of what you were able to accomplish. If you were able to introduce yourself to someone new, even if you couldn't carry on a conversation with them, give yourself praise for being able to introduce yourself. You should always try to keep a positive attitude toward yourself and work toward self-love rather than hatred.
7. Stop caring about what other people think
This is a big part of the fear that surrounds a lot of people who are shy. What can often lead to being shy is being insecure, which can prevent you from engaging with other people that you may not know. Instead, focus on what you think of others rather than what they think of you. Avoid caring about how other people may judge you. The people who will care the most about you will be people who will likely not judge you. Therefore, there's no reason to worry about what others will think of you since you won't be hanging out with the people who are judgemental anyway.
8. Get rid of "I can't"
Take a moment to write down the worst thing that could happen if you try to go to a social event or say hi to someone you don't know. Chances are, you'll probably have a hard time thinking of a few things to add to the list. Try using positive talk where you replace "I can't" with "I can" so that you will give yourself more confidence in being able to overcome your shyness. You'll find that if you begin to change your attitude about overcoming your shyness, you'll be able to accomplish more things.
Instead of letting your anxiety of meeting new people or interact with others control your life, try taking these steps to overcome being shy! Being shy can often keep you from allowing yourself to letting your guard down, making new friends, or engaging socially with others. I remember being shy myself, and at one point I let it control my life through not allowing myself to make new friends, go to social events, or engage socially with others, which caused me to feel very unhappy. Finding ways to overcome shyness can help give you more confidence and lead you to feel more satisfied in your life.