Do you have a hard time meeting new people? Do you tend to sit by yourself at events or just stay within your small circle of friends? Today we’re going to talk about overcoming shyness.
It is day 15 of the 100 Day Challenge. If you are participating, how are you doing? I am learning and growing and having a great time doing it.
So let’s talk about shyness. Why is it hard for some people to talk to others? What can we do to overcome the fear? Because that’s all it really is: fear. Fear of talking to someone we don’t know. Fear that they may not like us, or fear of rejection and fear of coming off looking silly or stupid by not knowing what to say or saying it wrong.
I’ve just returned from a spiritual retreat/ camping trip/ music festival. This past week I met some very interesting people: an oncology nurse who is fighting breast cancer for the third time, who also just had a tornado rip through her neighborhood; a gentleman camping with his 18 year old son, who just graduated high school; a young 20-something girl who didn’t know how to put up her tent and didn’t have all the parts to it and didn’t care; two young boys, one with down syndrome, who made it their game to say “hi, have a nice day” to everyone who walked by their tent. All of these people blessed my life in some way during my stay. And hopefully, I was able to bless them, too.
I haven’t always been like this. I used to be content to not be interested in others and sit on the sidelines but as I get older, I’m getting a little wiser and a lot more confident in myself.
It could be from past experiences that maybe you were rejected or even from your childhood, someone at one time may have made fun of you for something you said but it’s time to let all that go. The more you practice introductions and greetings and think about things to say to others without feeling the awkwardness, the easier it gets.
I’m learning life is about relationships with God and others. That’s it, but it’s huge! We are here to spread the love of Jesus with everyone. Don’t limit yourself to just a few friends and family. You miss the blessing.
- The first thing to do is get over the fear. Have no fear or anxiety. Introduce yourself to someone you don’t know. A simple “hi my name is” will do. When saying hello, be sure to say the person’s name back to them, out loud. “Hi _____. It’s nice to meet you.” It’s so easy to forget who you are talking to when you are focused on what you are saying.
- Practice meeting others daily. It takes practice to master anything. You aren’t going to get it right every time and that’s ok. There are billions of people in the world to practice on.
- Hang out with someone you know who is great at meeting others. Watch what they do and listen to what they say. Take notes if you have to. Write it down on paper and then practice your greetings in front of a mirror. Watch your facial expressions. Smile.
- Tell people a little bit about yourself but not your whole life story. Conversations are give and take. Be sure to ask questions about the interests of the other person.
Tell Your Story
God gives each of us a voice for a reason. We are here to use it. We all have stories we were meant to share. Don’t be afraid to share yours. If the Devil can keep us from meeting and talking with others through fear, we aren’t able to share the stories of love that God has given us. So kick fear to the curb. Speak up. Speak out and practice getting to know other people around you.
From my favorite Christian band, Switchfoot and their Live It Well song: “Life is short, I wanna live it well; One life, one story to tell.” You have a voice. You have a story to tell. Introduce yourself and tell it well.
You can follow along on my 100 Day Challenge on my Facebook page, Character & Virtue. Don’t just follow along though, join in or start a challenge of your own.