Shyness might often feel like it’s something that we were born with, is a learned trait. Research has found that it’s characterised by three features: self-consciousness, excessive negative self-evaluation, and excessive negative self-preoccupation. It requires a sense of self that as babies, we don’t develop until we’re 18 months old.
From then, it’s all about the lessons we learn. Even as singles over 60, the feeling of shyness can sometimes paralyse and keep us from making positive decisions in our lives.
Overcoming shyness is possible, your destiny is not predetermined by biology. Confident composure can grow from effective actions. Learning how to take the attention and focus off yourself and onto the surroundings and of course other people can help you feel relaxed and confident.
A great way to overcome self-consciousness is to arrive at your destination early; you will more than likely be one of the first guest to arrive. This gives you the upper hand, it will allow you to help with last minute preparations, (I’m sure your host will be grateful), you could help by taking coats, which will give you the opportunity to meet and greet. And then start the conversation. Just a simple hello, how are you, etc. Have you ever noticed how difficult it is to get into conversation when a group is in full swing?
Often other people feel shy too. There are always people on the outskirts of the group, identify those hanging back, approach them and introduce yourself. Try hard to remember the other person’s name. Use their name when responding to an introduction. Most people feel flattered and at ease when their names are used in conversation.
Keep yourself informed and up to date with current events. It needn’t be heavy topics such as world peace or global warming. News events can be humorous, people are interested in celebrities, it’s difficult not to read about or hear about the famous these days, sharing a story can make you feel in some ways connected.
Try to go to functions that you are interested in and that suit your temperament. Feel comfortable in your-self. If you wear a certain type of fashion, casual clothes for example, stay true to the style and maybe dress it up a bit with a few accessories.
Recognise that the world is not focussing on you. Most people are too busy focussing on themselves. Practice appreciating yourself and your own uniqueness. Do all of the things that you enjoy, social skills can be cultivated through practice and experience. The more you do, the easier it will become.