Dear Jenny: Shyness and Self-Consciousness
  • November 16, 2015

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Dear Jenny,

I am super shy and very self consious of myself. Being shy makes me lose out on a lot of good oppurtunities in life and making new friends. Do you have any advice on how to boost my confidence? Thanks.

It’s often hard to feel 100% confidant in your own skin, especially for adolescents. Everyone has times in their life when they feel shy or self-conscious. There is no magical cure for shyness as it affects us all in different ways, but I can certainly give you some tips on how to try to move past it!

      • Do something out of your comfort zone! I know it sounds scary, but it doesn’t have to be. If there’s a club or team you’ve thought about joining, but always felt too intimidated to join, ask a good friend to join with you. Not only will it be a way to strengthen your friendship, but you will meet other likeminded individuals too!
      • Practice! It might sound a little silly, but if there’s something you’re really shy or nervous about (like making an important phone call or approaching a classmate) practice what you will say beforehand. You can write it down or say it in front of a mirror. Having a plan of attack will give you more confidence. And don’t worry if you go off script a little; it’s bound to happen!
      • Don’t stress! I know it’s easier said than done, but if you tend to get stressed or anxious about social situations, try to do something that relaxes you first, like a taking a bath, reading a chapter of a great book or going for a stroll outside. Give your brain some time to unwind and think about the situation clearly. Often, just playing the situation out in your head in a clear and relaxed way will allow you to see that it is not as bad as you initially thought.
      • Focus on you! Shyness and self-consciousness go hand-in-hand. Think about the things you like about yourself and about the things that others like about you (if you’re up to it, you can ask your family and close friends for help with this). Self-consciousness often develops because we focus too much on negativity. When you start to focus on positive aspects of yourself, the negative ones seem smaller. I find writing it all down helps. If you write down a few positive thoughts about yourself each day, a positive attitude will come easier to you. You can also think of a little mantra to say (or write) to yourself each day, such as “Each day I am getting better in every way,” “I love myself unconditionally,” or “I accept and embrace my flaws because I know that nobody is perfect.” Just as it takes time to develop relationships with others, it may take you time to develop a positive and loving relationship with yourself.

RememberJenny_intelectual: shyness and self-consciousness cannot be cured overnight. It takes hard work and lots of time to overcome them. Also, never feel as though you are going through it alone. Shyness and self-consciousness are very normal parts of growing up; everyone goes through these issues to some degree or other. Talk to your friends or family if you feel especially overwhelmed and you’ll soon learn just how normal it is!

I hope that these tips will help you break out of your shell because you’re so worth it! :3


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