Overcoming Shyness in Children, Teens and Adults
Are you having trouble overcoming shyness? You’re not the only one. Many people struggle with shyness, including children, teenagers and adults.
Today we want to help you overcome your shyness and become a more confident and social person. Take note of the exercises below and start putting them into practice.
What is shyness?
Shyness is a feeling of insecurity, anxiety or fear that people experience in certain social situations. It’s due to fear of rejection, humiliation or negative judgement.
People who are shy often have a hard time relating to others in a natural way. As a result, they tend to avoid the kinds of situations that make them feel uncertain or insecure.
During childhood, shyness manifests itself in most children to some degree or another. For many children, this represents a social barrier. At the same time, for others, it’s simply a typical characteristic having to do with a certain childhood stage.
Being shy to a certain degree can be beneficial because it makes individuals more prudent and sensible in the face of various circumstances. However, when it turns into a serious problem, it’s considered social anxiety.
Social anxiety is a disorder that requires psychological treatment because it considerably affects a person’s quality of life.
The best exercises for overcoming shyness
To win the battle against shyness, put the following exercises into practice. You just need to be consistent in carrying them out.
Analyzing the situations that make you feel anxious is fundamental. Also, ask yourself questions like w hat happens if I make a mistake in public? What happens if someone doesn’t agree with my opinion? What is it about parties that makes me so afraid?
Write out the questions and answer them according to your own conclusions. You’ll discover that even in the worst case scenarios, the consequences aren’t as serious as you’ve imagined. Also, with these exercises, you’ll increase your self-esteem.
Place yourself in the role of an objective observer. You’ll notice that others make mistakes, mess up, and get things wrong all the time. And life goes on.
You can also talk to someone you trust about how to overcome your fear of failure and being embarrassed. This will allow you to have other points of view that you may find very helpful.
Practice makes perfect
Don’t expect things to change overnight. If you want to really overcome your shyness, you’ll need to be persistent in carrying out these exercises. Ideally, you should practice them at home first, without the pressure of strangers or people you don’t feel comfortable around.
Build up your self-esteem
In many cases, being shy has to do with a person’s low self-esteem. If this is your case, then there are techniques you can use to build up your or your child’s self-esteem to feel more self-confident and secure when it comes to social interaction.
Work on your sense of humor and be willing to laugh at your own mistakes. This will invite others to laugh with you, and move past whatever you’ve done wrong.
At the same time, laughter encourages a positive and happy attitude that will motivate you to socialize with others.
“Everybody’s human – everybody makes mistakes. If you laugh it off and keep going and try to give it your best the next time around, people respect that.”
Pay attention to your posture
If you experience shyness, pay attention to how you carry yourself. You’ll probably notice that you tend to slouch over or duck your head. Try taking on a more powerful posture.
Keep your head up, your shoulders back, and your chest out. This position will automatically give you more confidence and authority, and also reduce stress. It will also allow you to feel more relaxed when you’re with a group of people.
Shyness in children and adolescents
Most children experience shyness to some degree or another. Fortunately, parents can help their little ones overcome these feelings of insecurity. It’s important not to label kids in any way by telling them that they’re shy.
What’s more, don’t force them to greet people or interact with others if they don’t want to. It’s better to set a good example of sharing, being friendly, and being social.
Practicing different methods for overcoming shyness helps children channel their emotions so they don’t become a problem later in adult life.
Parents and teachers can avoid contributing to negative emotions by treating children with respect and empathy. In doing so, you give children confidence and security.It might interest you...
All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.
- Cano Vindel, A., Pellejero, M., Ferrer, M. A., Iruarrizgada, I., & Zauzo, A. (2001). Aspectos Cognitivos, Emocionales, Genéticos Y Diferenciales De La Timidez. Revista Electrónica de Motivación y Emoción
- Ito, L. M., Roso, M. C., Tiwari, S., Kendall, P. C., & Asbahr, F. R. (2008). Terapia cognitivo-comportamental da fobia social. Revista Brasileira de Psiquiatria. https://doi.org/10.1590/S1516-44462008000600007
- Olivares, J., Rosa, A. I., Piqueras, J. A., Sánchez-Meca, J., Méndez, X., & García-López, L. J. (2002). Timidez y fobia social en niños y adolescentes: Un campo emrgente. Psicologia Conductual. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0975-3575(11)80026-X
- Pellejero, M., Vindel, A. C., Ferrer, M. A., Zuazo, A., & Díez, I. I. (2000). Aspectos cognitivos, emocionales, genéticos y diferenciales de la timidez. REME, 3(4), 1. Recuperado de https://dialnet.unirioja.es/servlet/articulo?codigo=1025384
- Puente, F. de la. (2004). Niños y adolescentes tímidos e inseguros. Padres y maestros. Recuperado de https://redined.educacion.gob.es/xmlui/handle/11162/33776
- ¿Qué implica ser tímido? (2017, junio 14). Recuperado 3 de enero de 2022, de PSISE website: https://psisemadrid.org/timidez-ansiedad-social/