Updated: March 23, 2013 6:03AM
Dr. Wallace: I would like to know how you overcome shyness. I am very shy and would like to break away from this condition.
I read in one of your letters about how to talk to a shy person, but can you tell me how to talk when you are a shy person? I’m upset that I have this problem, and I get told all the time that I should change my ways, but I can’t. I would appreciate any thoughts on how to overcome shyness!
Nameless: To overcome shyness, it is important to take one day at a time. See each day as an opportunity to experiment. Begin with eye contact. In social situations, when you must react to another individual, look the person squarely in the eye.
Next, take a deep breath if necessary and relax. Ask the other person questions. Most people enjoy answering them, and it gives you a chance to respond and keep the conversation going. Keep a smile on your face as much as possible. Again, people enjoy being with someone who is pleasant and responsive. A smile puts others at their ease.
Your determination to overcome your shyness is the very first step in doing so. Don’t get discouraged and don’t expect to become glib and perfectly poised in a day, a week or a month. Just keep practicing every day to become more social and gradually you will find self-confidence. Write to me again soon, and let me know your progress.
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