How To Overcome Shyness to Make Friends

Overcome the Number One Obstacle in Making New Friends

Man sweet talking girl

Shyness may seem harmless if doesn't interfere with our social and/or professional lives, but it gets really frustrating when shyness gets in the way of our day-to-day lives and we miss out on way too many opportunities. In fact, it is a good personality attribute for one to be shy up to some extent because you may be less likely to brag, gossip or be too moody and demanding. Also, shy people are usually good and loyal friends. In reality, there is no one who never feels shy, but if the shyness is severe enough to keep one from meeting new people, making friends and preventing one from doing what he wants to do, then it is a problem to be treated. In this article, we will discuss in detail some causes of shyness and provide you some tips to overcome this problem.

  1. Find the roots of the problem. Some experts believe that shyness might be genetically inherited from parents while other studies show that shyness could be developed from very early childhood (2 to 3 years old). However, whatever the cause might be, shyness is a learned behavior that can be altered with practice and some effort on the person's own part. As a child grows, environment, family members and friends play a major role in the development of her personality.

    There is a difference between being introverted and being shy. An introvert is a person who is more involved and more interested/happy with his own self rather than in the world and therefore may not be too eager to form relationships and be social, while shyness is a whole different thing. Find out more about your condition--your friends and family members might be able to help tell you more about your personality traits that you might be ignoring or simply not aware of. Find the underlying reasons for your shyness and deal with them. Find out if it's the environment, friends or some other factors that reinforce your shy behavior.

  2. Find out if you have low self-esteem and lack self-confidence. These two components often contribute to shyness and feeling timid around other people. Find ways to boost your self-esteem and have higher self-confidence. Always look your best; this alone will send your self-esteem higher. Shy people usually find it difficult to engage and keep a conversation going on any topic. Get in the habit of updating yourself on current affairs; you will have much information and knowledge to talk about in your next conversation with someone. Always smile when around the people; this will lesson your anxiety and make you more open to people. Use positive affirmations to boost your self-confidence and self-esteem.
  3. Practice meeting new people and get into conversations with them. Try to meet and be around as many people, be social, join clubs, go to public events where you can meet/see new people, wait in the bus stop for the bus and meet other persons waiting for the bus and other social gatherings. Start with a pleasant smile and try to engage in conversations with them. If you find it too difficult to start conversations with strangers, then practice it in home with friends and family members, and ask them to play the role of strangers and you try to start conversations with them or practice it in front of a mirror and imagine you are talking to a stranger.

    If you fear rejection, try to imagine the situation in your mind and think of the possible circumstances involving rejection and think about your response of how to handle the situation. Next time, when you really are in such a situation, you will be able to recall it from your practice and you can handle it perfectly. Try some relaxation techniques/exercises to get yourself relaxed when trying to engage in a conversation/interaction with strangers. The more you attempt to talk to new people, the more confident you will become. You can start first with just a good smile and a hello, telling others how it is a pleasant weather, how you usually wait for the bus in this bus stop, etc. Record your success and see how quickly you have developed new social skills.

  4. Be your own best friend first. Shy people often get into self-criticism, negative thoughts about themselves and compare themselves with others who they think are smarter and more outgoing. They usually think about the strong points of others and the weaknesses of their own and by doing this, end up not getting noticed in gatherings and social places. Understand that no one is perfect; everybody has his own strengths and weaknesses. Don't judge yourself negatively because of your drawbacks in a few aspects of your life--be positive about yourself, love yourself and be a good friend to yourself first in order to be a good friend to others. Be proud of yourself but don't be too arrogant or brag about yourself: Just relax and be yourself, and that will be enough.
  5. Find new hobbies and interests for yourself. Often, people hold back in social conversations because they think they have nothing important/useful to discuss. Get some healthy hobbies for yourself. You will more likely encounter people with the same interests and can have good conversations or even learn/teach each other. At the end, you will feel more confident and happy with your knowledge and experience a bunch of different hobbies and will be eager to share your experience with others.
  6. Have a healthy lifestyle. Stay active physically and mentally. Enjoy some sports, exercises and morning/evening walks, play games that stimulate your mind, eat healthy food and fresh vegetables and enjoy life to its fullest.
  7. Get some professional help. If you are not motivated enough to do all this by yourself, or you think you are suffering from more severe shyness, then it is a good idea to see a professional to help you. There are plenty of mental health professionals and therapists who can help you overcome your shyness. Find supportive groups of like people and interact with them.

Overcome shyness and enjoy a fuller and happier life, full of great opportunities. Just don't miss the potential wonderful friends you might have with a little effort on your part.


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Good article about human behaviour patterns. This article reveals that most of our inferiority complexes are developed during our childhood. We should stop replaying our past failures. Just delete them and reprogram with positive thoughts !

By Naveen Raju

I like the part about asking friends & family members to help you determine if you are shy or just introverted. Usually they know us better than we know ourselves!

By Riley Klein