Here are some very important areas to work on in regards to shyness and social anxiety:
*Self-Acceptance is a keeper for anyone suffering from shyness. Persons who accept themselves and are not self-critical will find overcoming shyness easier.
*When it comes to overcoming social anxiety nothing compares with the direct exposure of social situations where you make conversation with others. This leads to the extinguishing of social anxiety.
*Developing some conversational skills and practicing them with others makes initiating conversations with others easier.
*Challenging and changing distorted thoughts and self-defeating thinking can help with shyness.
*Emo Reviewing about shy moments and memories in your past can be helpful in desensitizing social anxiety.
*Integrate emotions about looking dumb, weird, or inferior when initiating conversation.
*Integrate emotions about being rejected or ignored for losing control in front of others.
*Integrate emotions about getting tongue-tied, getting confused, dry mouthed, or forgetting--any tense and anxious symptoms that make you feel ill-at-ease:
Flushing and blushing
Heartbeat sped up
Upset stomach, nausea
Knot in stomach or throat
Chills, cold feelings
Feeling like everyone is watching you
Having trouble gulping or swallowing
Jumble my words
Fears Attracting negative attention
Fears embarrassing myself and friends
Fears getting stared at
Fears getting bullied or put down
Worried about body odor
Being laughed at
Accidently blurt out private thoughts
Not being taken seriously
Seem like a wimp or a doormat
Have people laughing right in my face
Be thought of as a neurotic or crazy
Not know what to say
Get judged for how I look
Be walked over
Be asked to leave
Being verbally attacked or put down
*Avoid these social strategies when going places and meeting others:
Avoid sticking around trusted friends as this increases wallflower syndrome.
Avoid hitting alcohol or substances to ease into social life.
Avoid rehearsing lines beforehand. You don't have to be perfect. Let yourself experience rejection or acceptance by others.
Avoid hiding out in bathrooms and kitchens at parties.
Avoid sticking with just one person you feel safe around at a party.
Go after people you fear.
Maybe warm up on someone else, and then go over to the one you've wanted to meet but avoided.
*Avoid Mind-reading what others think about you.
*Uncovering Personality Clusters and challenging and changing them makes overcoming shyness easier. Be alert for Personality Clusters like: Inferiority/Shame, Undesirable, and for Shyness.
Shyness: Many factors can influence someone being shy. You can have two shy persons who may have unrelated beliefs influencing their feelings and behavior. In the coming cluster, just work on those beliefs that may fit your style of shyness.
Folks with social phobia and shyness commonly hold these beliefs:
I must be comfortable before I speak.
I need to appear articulate and well-prepared or I'll appear like a dope.
What I say should be perfect.
I don't know how to start a conversation.
Should I or shouldn't I begin a conversation?
I need to make a fantastic first impression.
I'm shy and the other person will see it and think badly of me.
They could reject me and I can't stand rejection.
I get tongue-tied and can't think straight. They'll think I'm an idiot.
It would be awful if I lost control or looked stupid before others.
The spotlight's on me and I should perform perfectly.
I KNOW what others are thinking.
I'm being judged.
Speaking with others makes me act like someone I'm not. I feel out of control.
I must impress to be liked or accepted.
I never have anything interesting to say.
People notice how anxious I am and judge me badly.
I must be polished and perfect.
If I make a fool of myself, I will be rejected and ridiculed.
People will make fun of me.
There's nothing I can do about my shyness--it's genetic.
I always feel distress in front of others.
I hate getting cottonmouth, shakes, and not being able to think.
I focus on myself when I'm with others.
I must feel in control and when I don't--it's horrible.
If I speak up I could appear stupid, silly, or weird.
Getting rejected is awful.
I know I'm not as good as others.
Others are so much better than I.
I sound stupid when I open my mouth.
If my mouth goes dry or I shake, I would look like an idiot.
I can never think straight when I talk to important others.
My heartbeat, sweaty palms, cottonmouth, and racing thoughts distract me.
I sweat and shake when I need to talk.
Appearing stupid is worse than death.
I should be perfect and never make errors when I speak. Anything less than perfect is humiliating.
I am vulnerable and weak and they are strong and powerful.
If make an error I would be inadequate, a failure, or dumb.
It's overwhelming when I go to talk to others. I can't take it.
Authority figures will judge me harshly.
The people I really want in my life will reject me.
I could be humiliated.
I can't express myself.
I can't assert myself or I will be rejected.
It would be horrible if someone noticed me blushing, trembling, or sweating.
*Low Frustration Tolerance is a common challenge for folks with shyness. It often impedes them from exposing themselves to social situations. See our Tips on Low Frustration Tolerance.