One of the most uncomfortable feelings is being in a social situation and feeling shy. There might be a feeling of not having enough self confidence, not knowing what to say, not having the ability to be yourself, and just feeling like an outcast. Because of this you might stay quiet most of the time, stay to yourself, or worry that others don’t like you. However, there are ways to overcome these feelings so that you can enjoy social situations and time with friends.
Feeling shy is the result of many different causes. One simply might be that some teens are more introverted than extroverted, meaning they enjoy time alone and feel fulfilled by their alone time. While other teens are more extroverted, feeling more fulfilled when they are spending time with others. Being an introvert, however, does not mean that you can’t be social. In fact, you can. It will simply take some work in feeling more comfortable in the presence of others. The following are some tips to consider for overcoming shyness:
Check out your beliefs about yourself. If you believe that you are weird or unlikeable or worthy of judgment, then it’s going to be hard to be around others. In other words, if you don’t like yourself and if you have beliefs about yourself that are unkind, then it’s going to be hard for you to accept the idea that others can like you too.
Recognize that you’re not the center of attention. It’s very common for teens to believe that they are the center of attention, no matter who they are with. If a teen feels this way while also having any of the beliefs and thoughts mentioned above, they might imagine that others are thinking poorly about them. However, the truth is that most people are thinking about their own lives, concerns, and ideas. Even in a room of crowded people, most people are thinking about themselves.
Be forgiving with yourself. Some teens who are socially uncomfortable might end up doing or saying something that is socially inappropriate. It’s as though they have a self fulfilling prophecy, bringing into reality the embarrassment they already feel inside. However, everyone makes a mistake socially, whether they are the most popular person in class or the least. And regardless of who you are, most people are forgiving and compassionate when someone slips up. Knowing that others are forgiving, you might find the ability to be forgiving with yourself.
Face social situations slowly with a plan to feel more and more comfortable. One of the most common reasons why teens feel uncomfortable is because of their negative self thoughts and beliefs. However, if a teen can slowly catch themselves with these thoughts and change them, that’s the beginning. Then, take social situations one step at a time. If you know you’re uncomfortable then going to a late night party with your whole class might not be a good idea. But going to the movies with one or two friends could be a good start. Take it easy and challenge yourself in becoming more and more at ease socially.
Overcoming shyness is going to take some time. You might even talk with a friend, school counselor, or a parent about it. Once you make it a focus in your life and gradually challenge yourself, you’ll soon be making more and more friends with ease.