Post # 1
Are there any other shy/introverted bees out there?
I’ve been like this since I was young. Basically it takes me a really long time to open up to people in larger groups, and have a hard time approaching people initially. Once I’m comfortable though I’m totally normal and engaging. My question is how do i get over this as i need to participate more in class etc and at work.
When I’m put on the spot in from of a crowd my mind tends to draw a blank and I just feel kinda nervous. Overall I’m a good communicater its just the shyness doesnt bode well for someone trying to put themselves out there if you know what i mean.
thanks for any advice, tips
Post # 2
Practice. If you’re planning on presenting, say your presentation out loud. Practice in front of friends and family. Ask your teachers if you can practice in front of them. Have them ask questions, be disruptive, create your worst case scenario, and learn how to get through it. It will feel awkward and weird, and that’s OK. After a while, it’ll be natural.
Post # 3
I have been very timid all my life and only in the last few years have I been able to overcome some of that to be more outgoing with school and work. It doesn’t really sound helpful, but I think the best way to overcome it is to make the decision to just do it. It will be uncomfortable at first, but then slowly it won’t feel as overwhelming. A lot of my shyness I think was related to the insecurity of not knowing what people were thinking of me or what I might somehow lose if I spoke up, so working on building confidence in myself and growing my self esteem has also been really important.
Post # 4
It sucks being an introvert. Especially since society only encourages extroverted behaviors to be successful in the corporate environment.
I’ve been in the business world since the 1990s and I’m still very much of an introvert; and deal with the negative consequences on a regular basis. It doesn’t mean that I’m less of an employee or not as hard of a worker, it just means I tend to keep to myself.
A good suggestion, especially for introverts, is to find a Toastmaster group and join. Listen and learn and get comfortable with presenting and speaking in front of crowds.
Post # 5
Thanks so far. I’ve been trying to do that in terms of just doing it. I feel self conscious about blushing, but maybe I’m over thinking it. I guess people around me usually seem to really know what they’re talking about and I really new to the field so that fuels my insecurity
Post # 6
Set small goals for yourself. Be prepared, for example, for a class or a business meeting, with something in advance to contribute. I make it a point to always contribute at least one idea in each meeting.
Also, it’s ok to be shy and an introvert and there is no need to change your core self – everyone has a different nature and that’s really a good thing. Nobody knows except you what’s inside you so there is no need for you to feel self-conscious. Trust me, everybody in the room is just as self-conscious as you are. For all you know they may be looking at you as the most poised and confident person around.
Smile, but don’t smile too much, laugh (quietly) at appropriate times; but it’s ok to have a “poker face,” it can come across as mysterious in a good way. 🙂 Ask questions and – best advice of all – really listen intently to other people, it will help you think of something to contribute that you’ll know will be important to whomever you’re speaking to/with. Getting a little bit out of yourself is the best thing to help you cope with your shyness while in a group situation.
Be assured your problem is a very common one. The smartest people are the introverts, usually! The person who’s loud, obnoxious and blows their own horn the most is not necessarily the most intelligent person in the crowd. Although it’s true they may temporarily benefit from being extroverted, if they don’t have the skills to back it up it won’t last long. You, in the meantime, work on yourself and gain as much knowledge as you can. Do the best job possible. In the long run it will work out for the best for you (speaking from personal experience as a non-blowing-my-own-horn person here).
Post # 7
so true! I notice that while some people are outgoing and speak a lot when it comes to really knowing the stuff they aren’t always all there.
Post # 8
I’m very introverted too. I used to be really hard on myself for it as we live in an extroverted world. I read the book called ‘Quiet’ by Susan Cain and could relate to it. It bothers me when people point out that i am quiet- like i know that but pointing it out will not suddenly make me start talking to you!
I went to toastmasters for a while to put myself out there and i gained more confidence, but in the end i will always be an introvert. Just be yourself 🙂
Post # 9
I don’t think you can ever get over being shy if that’s just how you are. I am an introvert as well and incredibly shy. And it probably got worse than it could have been since I grew up pretty holed up and sheltered.
As the previous posters said, practice helps especially when you are presenting. You want to make sure you know the material well. When I present, I like having a powerpoint to help guide me so that I know what points I need to cover. They have been excellent visual reminders for me and I don’t tense up when I know I am prepared. 🙂
Post # 10
Hey there. Story time.
Once upon a time there was a bee. She grew up hiding behind her parents’ legs when people came over to the house, turning beet red whenever teachers called on her, absolutely wanting to cry during “popcorn reading” in school, etc.. When she turned 18, she got a summer job at a pet store cleaning animal cages. Come to find out, the job wasn’t just a janitorial job. It was customer service. And the manager said, “Bee, if you don’t start talking to customers you will be fired. You have one month to figure it out.”
Ok, so I got a fire lit under my ass. I loved my job, and I also figured that I couldn’t coast through life being as shy as I was. I forced myself to talk to customers every single day. The first few weeks I stumbled, looked down at the ground, freaked out and had to get my manager to finish a sales pitch fore me, and went through all sorts of embarrassing scenarios. I even signed up for a public speaking class at the local community college. During class, I focused on one thing at a time. My first speech, I worked on not saying “um.” On my next one, I focused on eye contact. And so on.
With a lot of practice and a loooot of initial humiliation, I mastered it. I now head my own department of my own business, and there is NO way I could’ve done that without trying as hard as I did. It was deliberate. It was difficult. It was necessary.
Post # 11
I second this. I was so so shy at my job, and I forced myself to make the phone calls I needed to, and forced myself to make eye contact with people/small talk. I just grit my teeth, and practiced a little every day. Almost a year later, I am very comfortable at my workplace. I’m still shy, but I don’t feel nearly anxious when I have to talk to someone or make a call.
Post # 12
I’m introverted (I see this as a permanent character trait that’s neitheir positive nor negative) and shy (a very negative tendency to be socially fearful), and I’ve been working on the shyness for years.
As everyone else has said, practicing is really the only way to be less anxious. Over time you collect experiences and proof that you can manage it.
What helps in the moment is a combination of:
1. physical relaxation – breathing and meditation
2. rational optimism – challenge your social fears and talk back to them realistically, gather evidence about your social encounters that disproves them. It’s so important to remember times when things went better than you expected, because we tend to selectively forget these.
3. an emotional booster – like visualisation and role playing. I imagine myself putting on armour and slaying monsters (YMMV), or imagine the socially adept and elegant people I know and imitate them a little. You know, fake it til you make it. It helps counter my self belief about my own social awkwardness and lets my better traits shine.
Post # 13
all of these are helpful, thank you.
i’ve actually talked to some of my teachers about this issue, and all of them seem super understanding so far
Post # 14
In the true sense of being “introverted” — drawing energy from being alone — I fit the description to a T. I choose to do things extroverted people do so well in the fact that I put myself out there, I introduce myself to new people, etc. I am a teacher and in my second year at my school but I have established quality relationships with every single one of my peers. How I did it is I spent time talking to 1-2 of them at a time when I first started. I made it a point to put myself out there. I fostered quality relationships, and I am benefiting from that now, halfway through my second year at my school. I can still be pretty quiet in groups and I listen a lot and internalize a lot, but I also put out my opinion when I feel it is beneficial.
It IS hard to be an introvert in an extroverted world, absolutely, but there are some skills that everyone benefits from, one of those being breaking the ice in a new work environment and putting yourself out there. It’s hard, I know it is, but it is worthwhile to become comfortable with doing so.
Post # 15
I’m like you. Really shy and don’t like talking in front of large groups. The best way to lessen your shyness and become more confident is to practice whatever you want to say out loud. Before I became a teacher, I used to practice my lessons in front of the mirror for hours. By the time I needed to present something, I wasn’t as nervous and it was so ingrained into my brain.