How To Stop Shyness in 60 Seconds

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How to Go from Shy to Confident

Two Parts:

Are you timid but you wish you could speak out more? Do you often feel overlooked in groups and want to make your voice heard? Is your participation grade in class suffering because of your shyness? It's definitely not your fault that you were born a bit shyer than the average person, but it's something that you can overcome with effort. With a fresh mindset and a little bit of acting, you too can be confident and assertive when interacting with others.


Changing Your Mindset

  1. Become self-aware.Maybe you feel shy all the time. Or you might get nervous and quiet in large social situations. Start to analyze what makes you cautious or fearful. Knowing what causes your shyness will help you to get over it faster. Also, realize that shyness is not a personality - it's just an obstacle that stands in your way.
    • Don't just focus on what you need to improve. Think about your strengths too. Maybe you are withdrawn, but you're also really good at observing people and understanding them.
    • You may also want to identify any specific areas that contribute to your shyness. For example, do you feel shy at informal or formal events? Does the age or status of the person you are speaking to influence your shyness?
  2. Work on your strengths.Once you realize what you're good at, work on those skills even more. This can boost your self-esteem and make you more confident.
    • For example, if you know that you're good at observing and understanding people, pay attention and hone this skill. Really start trying to empathize with people. This may make it easier to strike up a conversation with someone new.
  3. Don't expect perfection.Remember that nobody is perfect. Don't let frustration impact your self-esteem. If left alone, this frustration can create insecurity and depression. Instead of focusing on areas you need to improve, acknowledge and appreciate what you are good at.
    • Keep in mind that failure and self-consciousness are part of the learning process, so you are more likely to feel worse before you feel better.
  4. Improve your self-image.It's easy to label yourself as shy and simply retreat from social interactions. Don't associate being shy with being an outcast, weird, or unusual. Instead, accept that you're unique. You don't have to fit in or be just like everyone else. Learn to be comfortable in your own skin.
  5. Use social media.If you're naturally shy, work on your online presence. Use social media to get to know someone better. This isn't necessarily a replacement for social interaction. Instead, social media can help you feel more comfortable with the people you're interested in getting to know better.
    • Try to find similar interests by sharing information about yourself. You may be surprised to find that people have similar interests or dislikes as you.
    • Steer clear of social media forums that focus on shyness because they tend to be a place where people ruminate on their shyness rather than seeking ways to overcome shyness.
  6. Do something you enjoy right before a social interaction.If you're anxious about going to a party or meeting, do something that you really enjoy right before the event. Read a good book, listen to music, drink a coffee, whatever you like to do. This can make you more curious and outgoing.
    • Doing some form of aerobic exercise before a social event may also help to calm your nerves by burning of excess adrenaline.
  7. Have a positive outlook.If you find yourself focusing on the negative, begin seeing the positives. This will also make you less critical of yourself and more accepting of others.
    • For example, if you start to feel shy or nervous around someone new, look at it as a positive sign that you should meet someone new.

Acting More Confident

  1. Have a game plan.Start small. You can make an effort to make eye contact during conversations. You can also do something that you've never done before (eg. changing your hairstyle). This will make you feel and become bolder over a period of time, although it may seem strange and frightening at first.
    • If you're having trouble coming up with a conversation starter, think of compliments you could give or questions you could ask. These will quickly get the other person talking.
  2. Join a class or group.Enroll in a class to learn a new skill or join a group with similar interests. These are great opportunities to have regular interactions with strangers that could become friends.
    • Expect it to be awkward at first, but stick with it. Practice talking with people in the group every week. It will get easier and easier.
    • One great organization for overcoming shyness and gaining confidence as a public speaker is toastmasters.
  3. Practice relaxation techniques.Learn breathing techniques or exercise to release anxiety. Close your eyes and take deep breaths to clear your mind. Try to learn tips that will help you in social settings.
    • For example, you could learn visualization techniques. Close your eyes and imagine being happy and confident in an imaged scenario. This can actually make you more confident, or at least relieve some of your fear.
  4. Spend more time around people.Don't wait for the perfect situation to present itself. If you want to go from shy to confident, you first need to put yourself out there in order to meet people. Put yourself in social situations and practice speaking.
    • Accept feeling awkward. Remember that becoming confident will take practice. Don't give up after one attempt at being bold. Repeated attempts will make it easier and easier to interact.
  5. Do something for others.Instead of focusing completely on your shyness and anxieties, distract yourself by considering other people.Take some time to help someone you know who needs it. You don't have to do something epic.
    • Just spending time with a relative that's lonely or sharing dinner with a friend who needs help can empower you and make others feel better.
    • You can also show an interest in other people and ask them open ended questions to help take the pressure off of you during conversations. People usually love to talk about themselves, so this is a good conversation strategy and it will make them feel good about themselves.
  6. Adopt power poses.Make eye contact, hold your head high, and pull your shoulders back. Standing or sitting in a power pose for 2 minutes can actually reduce your anxiety by 25%.
    • For example, sit in a chair and place your hands behind your head, lacing your fingers. Or stand with your legs slightly apart and place your hands on your waist. These are a couple of power poses.
  7. Practice slow talk.Talking slowly can also help to calm you down when you are feeling nervous. Practice on your own by reading something out loud slowly and then extend this into your conversations with other people and any public speaking that you have to do. If you catch yourself speaking rapidly, then stop and take a deep breath before you continue.
  8. Be yourself.Be who you really are and express yourself. Don't feel like you have to be the most outgoing, spontaneous person in the room. You can express yourself, even if it's in a way that is quiet and subdued. Stop worrying about what others think. Your self-esteem is the most important way to boost confidence.
    • Don't force yourself to be comfortable and confident in every situation. You may find that you can overcome cautiousness in certain social settings and not others. For example, you may favor small-group interaction, but really hate interacting at large clubs or parties.
  9. Seek help from a therapist if shyness is interfering with your life.Shyness is a common problem for many people, but in some cases it may begin to interfere with your daily life. If this happens, then you may need to seek the help of a therapist.
    • For example, if you avoid social events due to shyness, cannot effectively perform at school or work, or if you feel extremely anxious as a result of your shyness, then you may want to see a therapist for help.

Community Q&A

  • Question
    Why would a person be shy?

    Licensed Professional Counselor
    Trudi Griffin is a Licensed Professional Counselor in Wisoncsin. She received her M.S. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Marquette University in 2011.
    Licensed Professional Counselor
    Expert Answer
    There are many causes of shyness including negative relationship experiences, social anxiety, or low self-esteem.
  • Question
    How can I not to be shy when talking to a girl?

    Licensed Professional Counselor
    Trudi Griffin is a Licensed Professional Counselor in Wisoncsin. She received her M.S. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Marquette University in 2011.
    Licensed Professional Counselor
    Expert Answer
    Adjust your state of mind. Approach a girl as if she is a friend and someone you already know instead of someone to be nervous around.
  • Question
    How can I become more talkative?

    Licensed Professional Counselor
    Trudi Griffin is a Licensed Professional Counselor in Wisoncsin. She received her M.S. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Marquette University in 2011.
    Licensed Professional Counselor
    Expert Answer
    Come up with topics in advance of needing to talk to someone. Then, practice chatting with others.
  • Question
    How do you overcome shyness?

    Licensed Professional Counselor
    Trudi Griffin is a Licensed Professional Counselor in Wisoncsin. She received her M.S. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Marquette University in 2011.
    Licensed Professional Counselor
    Expert Answer
    One step at a time. Set small goals to change behaviors that reinforce shyness. For example, set a goal to make small talk with the clerk at the bookstore. Once you achieve that goal, make another one.
  • Question
    How can I avoid stress when I am humiliated by other people?

    Licensed Professional Counselor
    Paul Chernyak is a Licensed Professional Counselor in Chicago. He graduated from the American School of Professional Psychology in 2011.
    Licensed Professional Counselor
    Expert Answer
    The stress is probably coming from not being true to yourself. You need to clearly let others know that you will not tolerate specific kinds of behavior that you find humiliating.
  • Question
    How can I eliminate fear from my mind?

    Licensed Professional Counselor
    Paul Chernyak is a Licensed Professional Counselor in Chicago. He graduated from the American School of Professional Psychology in 2011.
    Licensed Professional Counselor
    Expert Answer
    You have to learn to confront and accept fear first. You need to get used to feeling the discomfort that fear brings head on and challenge those things that bring you fear on a regular basis.
  • Question
    I have an inferiority complex and I am shy because of my upbringing. How can I overcome this?

    Licensed Professional Counselor
    Paul Chernyak is a Licensed Professional Counselor in Chicago. He graduated from the American School of Professional Psychology in 2011.
    Licensed Professional Counselor
    Expert Answer
    You should try some self-help books related to Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. Inferiority is common among people who are painfully shy. It would also be helpful to address these issues with a therapist if possible.
  • Question
    I'm shy because I'm always afraid of saying something stupid that doesn't make sense. How do I overcome that?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    "It's always the fear of looking stupid that stops you from being awesome." Just be yourself. If you do get tongue-tied or what you're saying doesn't quite make sense, then laugh it off. The person you're talking to will probably laugh with you.
  • Question
    Why do people get shy?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    Shyness is often developed through negative social experiences where people make you feel awkward or inadequate - whether it's parents being overly critical, or peers making fun of you, or feeling different from or excluded by others. After enough such experiences, a person can develop a general fear of and sense of inadequacy in social interaction. This usually develops in the impressionable years of childhood and can be hard to shake off later in life. Some people, especially sensitive people (who are more likely to take things to heart and to worry), are more susceptible to developing shyness. Introversion is also commonly confused for shyness, and sometimes introverts can develop shyness after being accused of it enough (or being made to feel that there is something wrong with them).
  • Question
    How do I make eye contact with strangers or people I'm usually shy around?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    Just go for it and look them in the eye while they're talking. Nod when you agree and be an active listener. Shy people aren't big talkers, but they are usually huge listeners, which works to their advantage. It's easier for people to connect with you when they know you really care.
Unanswered Questions
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  • How can I boost my self esteem?
  • How can I be less timid during interviews?
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of How to Go from Shy to Confident was reviewed by on September 19, 2019.

Views: 372,736
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83% of people told us that this article helped them.

Demetre Griggs

Jun 11, 2019

"I haven't yet broken my shell of shyness, but I know that this article will help me, since it is so intricate. I'mconfident that I can go from a shy introvert to a more social introvert. Usually I talk to barely anyone because I just don't participate enough in social interactions. (Or at least I feel inadequate about my social performance in general.) So soon, I hope to be better at all aspects of social interaction."
Rated this article:

Evie R.

Jul 16, 2019

"I am a very shy person, but I've always really wanted to be an actress. I see plays and musicals a lot, and italways seemed so fun to me. I was really scared to go into acting class, though. I was worried that people wouldn't think I was creative enough, that my voice sounded weird or that I mumbled too much. I then read this article and a few others and tried a lot of the things they said. Needless to say, they helped. I was still a bit worried when I first walked into the class."
Rated this article:

E. F.

Jul 16, 2019

"This article helped me because I have been shy at school my whole life. Although I understand the work and get goodgrades, I thought I should challenge myself to participate in work and make new friends. I wanted to get advice from some websites and thought it would a good idea to search on wikiHow. I love how you can basically search any question and have it answered! Hopefully this article helps me this year when I go into 7th grade. Thanks again, wikiHow!"
Rated this article:

Aly Tyler

Dec 18, 2019

"I'm really shy, as in REALLY SHY. So shy, that if someone were to come over and take my phone, I would not have thecourage to ask for it back. The tip about posture helped me the most. After fixing my posture, I looked more confident and felt it too."

Jason Smith

Sep 12, 2019

"I used to be very shy around others, but as I spoke more, I have been able to overcome it. I now feel comfortablein public and I have been able to relate with others very well. The advice I got has really benefited me a lot. Thank you so much."


Oct 2, 2019

"I now live in Spain and because I didn't know how to speak very well I was very shy; everyone has their own buddiesto hang out with and I'm left alone. The new girl wanted to be my friend straight away, but she uses me when there's no one. "

Shara Car

Jan 28, 2019

"I find confidence a real issue, and when my friend said I was shy, it really made me want to change. I have watchedso many videos and read so many articles, but this has really made me realize why I'm shy, so I can work on that separately."

Nega Draws

Jan 31

"I used to be really popular and outgoing, but one day I just became a nobody, and I still find it hard to show mytrue personality. After reading this article, I've become inspired to break out of my shell, thanks!"
Rated this article:

Patricia Gutierrez

Apr 9, 2019

"What helped the most in this article was the part where you have to be yourself and not care what other peoplemight think of you. Don't be in the dark, express yourself no matter what happens."

Nina Javier

Sep 3, 2019

"Very good! This has a wide range of ideas how to overcome your feeling of awkwardness and tips how to boost yourconfidence! Well done wikiHow! Keep up the the great work!"

Gia A.

Aug 9, 2019

"I'm a really shy person and usually don't talk to anyone, so I've been trying to be more confident and lessinsecure. This article really helped me. Thanks, wikiHow! "
Rated this article:


Apr 16, 2019

"Thank you very much. I am having a bit of a problem between me and my friends, and just want to feel like I'm in abetter and stronger relationship with them. "

Alison Ana

Jul 17, 2019

"Thanks for this advice, it's really helpful for me because I'm too shy to express who I really am. It's helped me alot to come out of my comfort zone."

Anna Bandort

Jul 20, 2019

"This helped me because I'm am super duper shy and I just asked a wrong question in class and nobody laughed becauseI said it confidently!!! "
Rated this article:

Sparkle 27

Jul 14, 2019

"Thank you! I was planning on beginning middle school as shy, quiet and closed like in elementary school but I'mstarting like a star today."
Rated this article:

Gord Slaunwhite

May 1, 2019

"Thank you for making this available for those in need. Information on being shy was exactly how I was feeling."

Quinn Garcia

Sep 26, 2019

"I always wanted to be an actress but I didn't know if I could do it because I'm a really shy person."

Eman Amir

Aug 16, 2019

"I was so nervous and finding out a way to be confident, and wikiHow helped me in that. Thank you."
Rated this article:

Sherwin Fernandes

Apr 19, 2019

"You helped a lot. Thank you so much. Whenever I have any concerns I always come to you."

Lizzie Thomas

Jun 10, 2019

"I am very shy unless someone knows me really well; this is helping me overcome that."

Opal Harrington

Jan 17

"Your article is very good! I experienced the same thing and need more work."
Rated this article:

Asiah Idris

Feb 26, 2019

"I got tips to gain confidence. Mostly, I need to fight negative thinking."

Shiv Shankar

Mar 3, 2019

"I am feeling confident after reading this. I will try out these tricks."


Jun 22, 2019

"I was a very shy girl, but this article helped me to overcome shyness."
Rated this article:

Tanvi Pandit

Oct 11, 2019

"This site is very useful and motivating for me. Thanks a lot. "

Henry Wisner

Aug 9, 2019

"Thank you, this really helped. Now I know how to not be shy."

David Beckoning

Aug 22, 2019

"This is a great website, lots of tips like this to learn.

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Date: 06.12.2018, 16:30 / Views: 34432