Day-to-day challenges
 
Shyness
 
What is it?
•    Shyness is a state of embarrassment and insecurity that arises in social situations when you fear judgement from others and you’re afraid of rejection.

•    Shyness can vary from one situation and location to another and can depend on the people present. Some people are more shy in large groups, others in one-on-one situations or when they’re talking about more personal matters.

•    Shyness is normal. For example, most people feel intimidated when making a speech in front of a large group.

•    Degrees of shyness vary from person to person. Some people are more shy and tend to avoid situations in which they might be judged or rejected. Unfortunately, this reaction merely increases their shyness because it prevents them from experiencing successful situations which could boost their self-confidence.

 
How to manage shyness
•    Assert yourself. When you start to feel shy in a situation or with certain people, allow yourself to identify your discomfort instead of fleeing or becoming paralyzed by it.

•    Give yourself a chance. You may feel uncomfortable at times because you’re required to take part in a new activity or have to deal with new people. Before withdrawing, give yourself the chance to try!

•    Learn to get to know yourself properly. Identify the situations that make you feel shy. Establish how hard these situations are and place them in order of difficulty.

•    Ease yourself into things gradually. Start by exposing yourself to the easiest situations first, and then, when you feel ready, start dealing with the more difficult situations on your list. You’ll gradually increase your self-confidence and reduce your fear of being judged.

•    Use your tools. You can find strategies to reduce your shyness as much as possible. For example, get support from a friend, know your subject matter inside out in the case of an oral presentation, remind yourself of your achievements, etc. What are your strategies?

•    Talk about it. Share your feeling with people you trust. You’ll feel less alone because you’ll realize a lot of people are shy and you can trade tips on how to deal with shyness.

•    Don’t isolate yourself. If your shyness causes you to isolate yourself and avoid a lot of situations or people and you’re no longer able to function on a day-to-day basis, talk to an adult, a resource person at your school, or to Tel-jeunes. Don’t remain alone with your shyness!
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