This Article is About
positive affirmations
inner dialogue
personality trait
self image
apprehension
true value
mirror
truth
Making Friends Part 2: Recognizing Shyness
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Making Friends Part 2: Recognizing Shyness

There are a few things to consider when dealing with shyness. Let's first examine what is is.

Shyness can be described as a feeling of apprehension, lack of comfort, or awkwardness that comes about when a person is in proximity to, approaching, or being approached by other people, particularly in new situations or with new people. Shyness can be a personality trait or it can happen during certain stages of a child's development.

Now that we have an idea of what it is, we can address what's really happening when we feel shy, and it basicly boils down to three things. We have a negative self image, we've accepted a label that doesn't serve us, or we are extremely self concious.

Acceptance of labels

As soon as we're born, we're bombarded with labels. Everything gets a label. Labeling is how we learn to speak. We identify a thing, then seperate it from everything else with a label. We give it a name. This is how we are able to convey ideas to others. The problem comes from believing that a thing is the label instead of just a way to identify a particular thing. We so readily accept negative labels for ourselves, but the truth is that even the best labels in the world are still only names and do not encapsulate the true value of a thing. Least of all, you.

Negative self image

How do you percieve yourself? What do you see when you look in the mirror? What do you see wrong with yourself that makes you feel less than? This is very important to consider.

In the words of Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, " It doesn't matter!" Your negative self talk and percieved lack of worth serves only to bring you down, so whatever your story, forget about it. That story isn't going to help you. It isn't true anyway.

The same way that you may have adopted negative self talk, you can also adopt a new positive inner dialogue. Yes, positive affirmations do work. In the beginning you may have to fake it 'til you make it but by habitually speaking and thinking well of yourself, you reinforce the idea that you are a great person.

Overly self concious

I often felt self consious as a kid. As I grew older and found myself around other kids I would constantly wonder," Okay, what should I be doing, now?" That was usually the case when there was nothing in particular going on. I was a champion when we had assignments or specific tasks to do. Being the new kid, my free time was spent doing more solitary activities like drawing and reading comic books, writing, and learning magic tricks. When I was around peers I would analyze my surroundings and myself in hopes of catching the right moment and the right circumstance to jump into a social interaction. It felt like a metaphorical game of double-dutch and I would anxiously await the right moment to jump between the twirling ropes without knocking them out of sync.

When we recognize the signs of shyness, we are better prepared to deal with them. In Part 3 we will explore ways of coming out of our shells. Until then, know that you have the power to make change and if you have the power to change your situation, then there's nothing to worry about. If you don't have the power to change your situation, then there's no use of worry.


Street Talk

S. Gray  

As an adult, I had to battle the negative self talk. Until I took the time to analyze what I was saying to and about myself, I never realized how detrimental they had become. I had to constantly correct myself from engaging in this behavior. When I analyzed my situation and changed my behavior, it released a ton of baggage I was carrying around. It was truly empowering. I no longer attracted the type of people who like to prey on women with a low self-image. This is another winner, Harold. Thanks for sharing.

Reply
  about 9 years ago

I was really self conscious as a boy and as an adult I'm still self conscious. It's affected me very adversely. Still working on it. I think if adults can strive to always validate children, take them seriously when they make their unique expressions, try not to be dismissive or project a belittling message in the moment they express their thoughts and feelings, then this can help children to develop self worth and confidence and simply be able to just be. Just be themselves and be accepted, acknowledged, loved. Wow, that's how I wish it had been for me when I was a boy. Then I don't think I would be so self conscious and have shame, guilt, low self esteem. Nice article again Harold, making me think and feel and express. Nice work:)

Reply
  about 9 years ago

Thanks again, Rob. There's more to come. I'll keep you posted:)

Reply
  about 9 years ago
Joan S  

This article hits home. No one would believe that I'm shy, but I sure am. And as a kid, forget about it. I found your idea of accepting labels very interesting. Adults suggest things to little children, that the children accept because it's coming from an adult. Kids are sensitive. We have to be very careful to give our kids empowering messages. Thanks for the excellent article.

Reply
  about 9 years ago

Very true. Positive affirmations can sound cheesey sometimes, but they work. Especially when they come from mom and dad.

Reply
  about 9 years ago
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