Teen wants to overcome shyness
June 8, 2012 1:36PM
Updated: July 10, 2012 6:00AM
Dr. Wallace: I’m a 17-year-old young woman and I’m told that I’m attractive. I get good grades and I have a great sense of humor. I should be a popular teen, but I’m not. The reason is that I’m extremely shy and some think of me as being “nerdy.” I’ve never gone out with a guy. My mom even inquired if I even wanted to go out with a guy. When I told her yes, she said that I had better rid myself of my shyness. That’s why I’m contacting you. I’d like to overcome my shyness in a hurry. Can you help me?
Nameless, Salt Lake City
Nameless: Don’t feel that you are alone in your shyness. It’s perfectly natural to feel this way. All of us, even those who appear to be outgoing, have some degree of shyness. Shyness is the result of being self-conscious.
Your shyness will not end overnight, but it will end. You will have more success overcoming it by degrees rather than all at once. Step No. 1 is to look a person “in the eye” when asked a question. Next, answer the question and smile when answering. Remember, the person who asked you the question could also be extremely shy.
When meeting someone for the first time, make a good impression by offering a compliment. That’s always a nice way to start a conversation. Concentrate your thoughts on others, and do your very best to forget about yourself.
Practice with your family, and alone, in front of a full-length mirror. It will take a little time, but each conversation with someone you know or with someone you have never met before will be a little easier.
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