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Overcoming shyness - the process


2shy2try

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It's easy to recognize what's wrong with your life, but much harder to do anything about it. I proved that with my first thread on these forums, where my initial post ultimately amounted to a rant about the missing pieces of my life with no indication of any action being taken to fix things. And naturally several posters were quick to point this out, in both respectful and harsh ways. And they are completely right; it's time I did something about it.

 

To get the ball rolling, I started dropping some habits and activities that have been dragging me down and holding me back in recent years. I quit playing Magic the Gathering, a trading card game I'd been playing since high school for which social interaction is limited, 99% male, and the majority who play are not exactly the best role models. I quit pressing snooze for an hour every morning and now get up when the alarm goes off. (you’d be amazed how big a difference something this simple can make)

 

Most importantly, I put an end to the most embarrassing activity in my life today, an activity I got hooked on 7 years ago while home sick with my mother, and that has since been both a source of internal shame and provided a negative escape from my own problems: watching a soap opera. It's not the kind of thing most people find attractive in a 24 year old male, and even though very few people know about it (this is the first time I've even told an anonymous online audience), it's been baggage I always felt would ruin any relationship I got going.

 

In addition to dropping this baggage, I just joined a gym today. Although my body and appearance hasn’t been my main obstacle for awhile now, I still feel like the energy I will get from working out, the improved appearance and self-confidence, and the constant opportunities to interact with fellow female fitness fanatics (try saying that five times fast) can only be a good thing.

 

Although I feel I’m off to a good start, I know I’ve got a ways to go. The question now is what else can I be doing to overcome my shyness and work towards the relationship I strongly desire. Although I have plenty of ideas, I was hoping to get some feedback from others who have underwent similar life-changing personal transformations, including the steps you took and the results your hard work produced. As much as I want advice on what I can be doing for myself, I can’t help but also seek reassurance that putting in the effort will produce the results I want.

 

Thanks in advance. With any luck, this thread will help me change my username from 2shy2try to never2shy2try. And maybe it will even help others in similar situations to my own stop sulking and start taking action.

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You ever been on an airport? Ever see a passenger who has a phobia of flying trying to board a plane with three people convincing him/her to get on a 1 hour flight? Crying, heavily breathing, sweating, etc. Well if you haven't, I certainly have. You think to yourself how can a grown individual be so afraid of doing something so safe and routine these days? I see shyness as a similar phobia but a more general one at that. At least that's the way it was for me but I did manage to over come it and have been in a place I want to be when it comes to that issue for the past few years. I realized that my shyness was almost wholely based on fear and that was fear of rejection, any form of rejection. But what was I really afraid of that made me shy away? I basically had a string of experiences and images about myself in my own mind. Many were good and some were not so good. For me getting out of my box was like a calculated gamble that I almost never wanted to take. The reason I wouldn't take that gamble is because any form of what I conceived bad response or reaction I would get from people in any way would make me completely miserable and lower my self esteem by say 10 points. A comparable good reaction would elevate my esteem by say 1 point. So you see for every 1 negative reactions I would get from people I would need at least 10 to put me back on par self esteem wise. I figured for me it wasn't worth the effort so I was shy when it came to everything. So what worked for me? I had to convince myself that a bad reaction is of equal value as a good reaction I get from someone and the bad reaction doesn't have to drag me down as much as it did. Before I could achieve this though I had to learn to be more comfortable in my own skin.. completely and accept myself for who I was. And so how do you face these fears? You have to dive in head on just like you would handle any phobia. You expose yourself to what you would consider extreme situations that you would normally shy away from. This will be extremely difficult at first but after a while you will realize that it's really not that bad. Once you learn that once and practice this state of mind it will became your new habit and replace the old one associated with shyness. I will tell you though, for this method to be effective you really should feel relatively good about yourself.

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It's a difficult process, to be sure. One of the surest signs that human beings are fallible is how we think and process information. We can KNOW what it takes to overcome shyness. We can understand it to a T. But somehow, it takes work, meditation, waterboarding, etc. to actually be CONVINCED of what it takes to overcome shyness.

 

I'll throw in a fr'instance. Believe it or not, a person can be overcome with severe depression for almost no reason whatsoever. It can occur simply because of a chemical imbalance in the brain, or possibly some other such reason. We might even see a billboard on the road, which would remind us of something unpleasant and we'd plunge into a dark, bleak state of mind. We can have nothing wrong in our lives and STILL feel this way.

 

I know we're discussing shyness and not depression, but if our minds are so fickle with depression, imagine how they are with shyness. It's basically anxiety given a name that's applicable to social interaction. We might have a legitimate reason to be down in the dumps or just highly awkward because we're shy. And even if the causes of shyness are removed, the actual feeling can remain, and it might recur that much more easily the next time we feel shy for a legitimate reason.

 

So, yeah, it does take work. But it can be overcome.

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I guess im confused how this got to be a discussion on the theories about depression and shyness. I dont mind the discussion but i would at least try to connect it to what the person was talking about. I guess one thing that i can understand but i see it differently now is stopping what you liked to do before. I can understand the problems that come with the so called nerd label but in the end do u want to be someone that people would like or would you like to be yourself and be ok with that and have people be attracted to you because of that.

 

I can name quite a few people who you wouldnt necessarily think of as people who like things like card games or anything that isnt cool. I can say Megan Fox is probably the hottest celebrity now or at least sexiest and shes a flat out nerd. Also Vin Diesel is a video game fanatic and also played Magic the Gathering growing up. I can say this isnt the norm but i dont think the activity makes the person. I think when you start believe in what other people think of you then you dont allow yourself to be who you are and be comfortable with yourself.

 

I didnt really have any good fortune with girls growing up because i just didnt know what i was doing wrong. I then decided to focus on working on that but in the end i wasnt being myself. I did end up attracting people who i could relate to but i also had alot of people like me because i tried to represent who i thought would be someone people would like. Ive basically come out of that thinking how those people that would of liked me for being someone that i wasnt was going to lead me nowhere. I dont think you need to change who you are to get attention from girls you just need to understand the good qualities about yourself. Alot of people see shyness as not a good thing but that doesnt take away all the other good traits you have. Its just shyness can be a roadblock to not letting yourself be comfortable around others and letting you be the person you are. I also think people arent shy around people they know so its either usually something that takes time to get over or a fear of rejection.

 

I do agree that if you decided to change things you didnt like then thats a good thing. I play Dota a game mod in Warcraft 3. I do think that i find alot of people who have alot of issues but at the same time its a good game. I struggle with wanting to enjoy the game and having to deal with people that can make it a bad experience. I would just evaluate what is really causing you problems and work on that. I also would look at myself and things i do because sometimes we look at whats going on outside of us without making the changes within that we need to make.

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Let me clarify. I am not trying to change who I am or become what I think I should be just to pick up girls. I am simply cutting out activities in my life that I've been doing, not because they make me happy, but rather because they are part of the comfort zone I've taken shelter in for the last decade.

 

I am not suggesting that people who play card games and video games cannot lead successful social lives, nor that the act of simply cutting these things out of my life will change the way I interact with women by itself. These activities have just been holding me back in my particular case (particularly since I went solo more often than not), and it's time I experienced what life has to offer outside my shell.

 

What I do is not who I am, so changing what I do such that I better like who I am can only be a positive. With any luck these actions will propel me one step closer to the relationship I want. I already feel better than I have in a long time, and hopefully it just gets better from here.

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Stick to working out. Its one of the best decisions I ever made. I started working out three years ago and via the gym I have made many friends, I have met a lot of women, who in turn introduced me to other girls, I've gotten into much better shape. Even if you're body isn't holding you back, once you start becoming ripped, people start treating you differently. People just treat you with more respect, you just suddenly have more authority in life, and there's just a confidence that comes from being strong. Learn to enjoy working out. And buy an iPod if you don't have one.

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