The best way to handle shyness: make eye contact and overcome nervousness

Shyness is a fairly common problem. It is typically defined as a fear of social situations and nervousness around other people. It sometimes only manifests in certain situations. For example some women are only shy around men. Some people are comfortable meeting people one on one, but are nervous in large groups. Some people are very awkward in any setting in which they have to interact with other people.


Some symptoms are visible to other people, such as avoiding eye contact, talking softly or stuttering. Some people may blush, shake or sweat. Their body language usually reveals that they try to turn away from other people.

Some people can appear to others that they are not shy even though they are. These people are probably suffering inward symptoms such as self-doubt, anxiety or negative self talk


Experts disagree as to whether it is caused by genes. Even though there is some evidence that it is genetic, it is more likely that timidness is caused by being raised around emotional abuse. If a child is continually ridiculed and rarely encouraged or praised, that child will become full of self-doubt and timid.

It is often develops over time as a reaction to social failures. If you continually blunder socially, you will begin to be apprehensive, lack confidence and start to avoid social settings. The more you fail socially, the less you want to put yourself in social settings.


Timidness and lack of self confidence are very closely related. One of the first things you need to do is continually remind yourself that all people are your equals. Some are born more physically attractive; some are smarter, some are more athletic. But no one is better than anyone else. Everyone has some strengths and some weaknesses.

If you are shy, chances are you are dwelling on your weaknesses, real or imagined. But weakness isn’t all you have to offer. Whatever your weakness is, somewhere you have strengths to offer as well.

If you dwell on your weakness, particularly memories of social ineptness, you are empowering small incidents to become bigger than they are. Don’t make mountains out of molehills. No one is perfect.

You need to build up your own sense of self-worth. Give yourself a pat on the back every time you make even a tiny effort at improvement. Some people have a tendency not to want to speak up, thinking they have nothing to offer. The fact is, other people need to hear your perspective.

Speaking up may be too big of a first step. If you feel the lack of confidence, the first thing you need to work on is making eye contact with other people and smiling. For a person who does not have strong self-esteem and confidence, being able to do that is a very big deal.

Act “as if” you are comfortable around other people. If you are warm and friendly toward other people, they usually will respond to you in the same way.

Practice getting outside of yourself and thinking of other people. Work to improve your self confidence and you will gradually overcome your nervousness.

Self confidence techniques

Positive thinking

Return home from shyness

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