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Kicking Shyness

A new situation or a new social circle can be uncomfortable and disconcerting for many people. How to act, what to say, and how to express yourself around new people takes some time to figure out. At first, it is okay to be slow to warm up to new people and new situations. This gives you a chance to figure things out. However, being overly shy prevents you from being comfortable and expressing your true self. Here are ways to get over shy feelings and enjoy social situations.

Practice, practice, practice.
Start out with your closet friends or family members. Act confident with your body language, look people in the eye, and try out new jokes or stories around those you feel closest to. This will come normally to you as you naturally feel more secure around those you know best. Now take these behaviors and gradually apply them to friends outside of your closest friend groups.

Have something to say.
Think about lines you can say to start a conversation. An easy way to do this is to watch others and to think about times someone else has started an easy, fun conversation with you. You can do this anyway you want. An easy introduction to anyone is "Hi, my name is __. We have ___ in common". You can do this with compliments and questions as well. Just be honest and these lines will come naturally.

Build confidence.
An easy way to start out with conversational skills is online or via the telephone. If it helps, write out what you want to say beforehand, then make the call or send the message online. Just do it. Just by trying it out once, you will learn something. The important thing to remember here is that making an effort to grow socially is always the right decision. It doesn't matter if people don't react the way you expect, it does matter that you try.

Put yourself in a position to succeed.
Think about your own interests and likes and dislikes. Then find a group of people that share similar passions. There are dozens of clubs at school, at work, and in the community. For example, if you like science fiction books join the literary club or the sci-fi club. Remember, you will get out of these ventures what you put into them. If you attend every meeting, run for leadership positions, and take the time to get to know fellow members before and after meetings, you will be sure to get more out of it than if you don't go to half the meetings and don't really care about the club.

Stand up for yourself.
Shy people are not weak or cowardly. Sometimes, they simply do not know the best way to be assertive. Practice expressing your needs or wants and letting others know when they are bothering you. Often, just saying something will be enough to elicit a different behavior or in bringing about a welcoming change.

Above all else, be yourself. Do not be afraid to shine and be noticed. Be proud of who you are and let others know you have a lot to offer.

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