Do you really want to know how to get rid of shyness? Are you prepared to forget everything you thought you knew about being less shy and replace it with the truth? Then read on.
The one biggest mistake I see shy people making is being controlled by their emotions. Nearly all shy people make this basic mistake.
- If you avoid people who make you feel shy, then you are being controlled by your emotions.
- If you avoid public speaking because it makes you feel anxious, you are being controlled by your emotions.
- If you don't do something just because it makes you feel nervous or afraid, then you are being controlled by your emotions.
I hate to repeat myself, but this is an absolutely essential point. In order to get over your shyness, you have to become less controlled by your emotions. This doesn't mean to suppress your emotions, it simply means to act in spite of them. Mark Twain was the one who said "Courage is not the absence of fear. It is acting in spite of it."
That is the ability you need to build if you want to overcome your shyness. You have to have the ability to act in spite of feeling a certain emotion. This means that if you feel afraid to do something, you do it anyway. Act in spite of fear.
- If you raise your hand in class even though it makes you nervous, you are acting in spite of fear.
- If you talk to people even though they make you feel shy, then you're no longer being controlled by your emotions.
- If you talk to groups and make public presentations, then you are the one in charge now, not your fear.
Once you start acting in spite of fear, you will become more relaxed and easygoing in situations which used to make you nervous and shy. When you stop avoiding your fears, you allow your mind to desensitize to them. In psychology, this is also called habituation.
This approach is very common for therapists to use on someone with social anxiety. In cognitive-behavioral therapy, the "behavioral" part is acting in spite of fear. Of course, many shy people can't or are not able to simply "face their fears."
This is why changes to your thinking are also a necessary part of getting over shyness. That's the cognitive part of cognitive-behavioral therapy.