Tips for overcoming shyness - by Jackie Burns

Former Wallflower Jessica D. – Forgot She was Shy

After college, Jessica was pretty much done with dating. She was so used to being introduced as the “quiet one” or the “shy one” that she couldn’t see herself as anything else. Sure, she was shy; she had always been. But she had been other things too. She was an amazing distance runner and a talented painter. She loved modern short stories and action movies. She had studied in France and snorkeled in Hawaii. She had helped raise her younger brothers after her mom had died. But after college, Jessica was “the shy girl.” And she wasn’t sure she had much to offer. And she didn't have any good tips for overcoming shyness.

“Being shy was practically part of my name in college. People called me ‘Jessica, shestheshyone’ like it was my last name. I heard it so much and it was true that I just fell into a very lonely pattern. Go to party. Be quiet at party. Have boy ask about me. Boy is told ‘Jessica, shestheshyone.’ Boy never talks to me. It was pretty awful because even in situations when I might have wanted to speak up, I felt I couldn’t because I had become so predictable and dependable as this girl who was defined by other people. How could I flirt with a guy if he never approached me because he thought I was unapproachable and not worth his time? I really hated it.”

So how did Jessica discover the tips for overcoming shyness and lose her dreadful last name? For her, it was as simple as just letting go of the label. After college, she found herself at an office party. She was a young intern (and she knew she had a lot of promise), and a handsome fellow employee congratulated her on some project she had finished. Instead of being shy, she just started telling him all about the work she had done – she was proud of it after all. When he asked her out, she realized that she had been flirting with him AND he had never heard her “other” last name. It quickly became her “former” last name. If you think you’re shy, everyone else will too. But it is not as simple as just letting go, so here’s Jessica's amazing tips for overcoming shyness:.

  • “Stay in the Moment. The first thing I did was just stay in the moment. I was lucky that Tom was asking me about a job I knew I had done well, but in hindsight – there were a million other times I could have done this if I had just thought about it. Moments of confidence are the best place to start.
  • Move Away! Also if everyone thinks you’re one way, get a new everyone! A new environment is a great way to forget your old patterns and self definitions. You don’t have to cross the country but some new scenes – work, classes, gym, anything can work.
  • Forget you are shy!Remember You’re More than Just Shy. The last thing I had to do was remember that I was more than that stupid label. Yes, I was shy. I still am most of the time. But that’s not a disease – nor is it the only thing that defines who I am. When I forgot I was shy, I remembered everything else I had been.
  • Go with the Letting Go. It is so much easier to connect with guys when I don’t feel paralyzed by some stupid image someone else has of me. If you catch yourself reminding yourself of how painfully shy you are – ignore yourself, trust me – you’re wrong. Flirting with guys is so much easier now and way more fun!”
  • With these new revelations at work, Jessica quickly translated them to her dating life. Now she could be the girl who did go out on a Friday when her friends asked her to. And when she went out, she remembered that she was a pretty fabulous person. And more than anything, she grounds herself in the moment. If I guy flirts with her, she remembers that there is a reason why. And if there’s a reason why he’s flirting, as Jessica says, “Why not flirt back?”

    Jessica was fortunate to learn one of the most important tips for overcoming shyness - let go of the shy girl label!

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