The Best Way to Cure Shyness!

The Best Way to Cure Shyness
Photo via timparkinson on flickr – edited

During my hr/recruiting experience I have had the pleasure of coaching college students on career and life skills including how to cure shyness.  It was one of the most rewarding experiences of my life.  I enjoyed being able to share my experience with people who may not have known “the game” like I did. 

One of the coolest things is hearing from students years later and they tell me about something I said to them that made a difference.  It’s one of the most rewarding parts of that job.  A few weeks ago, I heard from one of those students.  Ashley was a Pharmacy Technology student in my program.  I met her and she was one of the smartest and prettiest of the group.  She was also incredibly shy.  Being someone who is very outgoing, I think I probably scared her just a little bit. 

It’s incredibly difficult to interview well when you are as shy as Ashley was.  I wanted to help her get over this hump.  Since she was going into a career of constantly working with people and the public…it was so important for her to cure her shyness.  So…I thought long and hard about it and came up with a solution…

Meet at Least 5 New People Everyday

Ashley was in my office one day and I told her to get up, we were going to walk around.  I walked her around the whole campus and made her introduce herself to the Dean, the President, managers of departments, the librarian and any

Ashley and her husband on graduation day.

Ashley!

one else I could find.  I know this was uncomfortable for her and she was obviously out of her element.  I didn’t push too hard but I gave her a personal goal to meet or speak to 5 new people every day.

She could introduce herself to someone at the grocery store, compliment a student on their makeup, greet a new member at church or hold the door for someone and say hello.  She didn’t have to hold full conversations…just speak first.  She was concerned about what people would think of some random person speaking and I assured her that not only did what they think not matter…but that it wasn’t for them.  It was for her.  In her message to be a few weeks ago she said this:

“I don’t know if you remember me but at college you gave me a personal goal to speak to five strangers a day because I was a little shy well I did that and now at work have no problem talking to customers when they come to my window. It REALLY helped me and it may be a help to somebody else. It DEFINITELY built my confidence when talking to people, I even do it outside of work!”

Ashley is doing great and I am so proud of her.  She’s working as a Pharmacy Technician and has no problems meeting people or talking to customers.  So I wanted to share it with others.  Here are a few tips to help you cure shyness:

  1. Never pass someone you don’t speak to.  I always say “hello” or “how’s it going” to everyone I pass in the halls at work and even in the grocery store.
  2. Start small.  Again, these aren’t big conversations…just sentences.  If you see someone looking at a shirt you love, tell them.  You might just help them make a decision on whether or not it was cute.
  3. If they don’t engage, don’t worry.  Not everyone is interested in getting themselves out there.  Remember, you are doing this for you.
  4. Be genuine.
  5. You might make some new friends…I do all the time.  It’s kind of like Twitter in person.  Short blurbs of information…feel free to join in anytime.

Are you shy or outgoing?  Do you have trouble speaking to people out and about?  Any tricks you use to help you?

Good luck!

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Just a 30 something southern girl living life as a “Fat Girl”. Learning to love and laugh more than ever and share the adventures that is her crazy existence! Blogging about dating, weight loss and acceptance, funny stories, quirky family, Greenville, SC and some fashion. Come hang out!

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2 comments on The Best Way to Cure Shyness!

  1. Megan Walker says:

    Such great advice! I’m an extrovert, but I developed shyness in middle school when I was so insecure about my appearance. I didn’t want to call any attention to myself. Participating in theatre helped cure me of that. I learned a lot of public-speaking tools I use to this day. I have no problem giving presentations now.

    I also love to engage strangers out in the world. You never know the interesting people you’re going to meet!

    • Courtney says:

      Hey Megan – I am also an extrovert but in the past few years I get more and more home bodied. I am trying to stop that. I bet theater did help. It’s something I wish I would have done growing up but I always focused on soccer and playing the viola so I just didn’t have time. I think I would have enjoyed it a lot.

      I never meet a stranger…lol I just strike up conversations with people I don’t know very well. 😉