a reply to: llmacgregor
1. Reading up on Attachment Disorder e.g. with
ATTACHMENTS: WHY YOU LOVE, FEEL AND ACT THE WAY YOU DO
2. There's a lot of TED TALKS on youtube about improving relationships. They are worth your time and research.
3. I don't know if assertiveness training is still available at local Jr Colleges etc., or not--it's worthwhile.
4. You can do a lot on your own. But it takes determination and persistence.
I used to tell my students the first day--"If you are shy, and want to become less shy, this is a great class for you. I guarantee that if you try
even half the things I suggest in our class time, you will be significantly less shy by the end of the semester. If you are shy and want to stay
shy--you need to drop this class and take a different professor. I REQUIRE participation."
All such students WERE significantly less shy by the end of the semester--usually so by mid-terms.
I insisted on putting all the chairs/desks in a horseshoe and no student was more than 3 seats away from me as I roamed around in the middle of the
horseshoe teaching--often by making things happen in class that the text talked about.
(A) FORCE YOURSELF to initiate conversations--initially where it doesn't risk so much on your behalf--clerks at shops and restaurants. Compliment them
on the color of their clothes; their smile; their helpfulness etc. In classes, work areas, churches, clubs . . . initiate a conversation about
shallow, safe things before and after the formal time with at least one individual. Talk about them. Draw them out.
(B) Perhaps keep a diary for a week of the negative things you say about yourself in your head. Then the next 30-90 days--refuse to allow those
thoughts air time in your head. Just stop them immediately on realizing them and focus instead on 1-3 things you are good at or good achievements etc.
(C) Write a diary in a bound book about 5 things you are thankful for each day.
(D) Read edifying biographies about folks who overcame horrible odds to achieve good things.
(E) Phone one relative a week that you really like but rarely see that much. Thank them for being in your life. Draw them out about their recent
(F) Pay attention to folks you can identify with and how they handle successful conversations, dialogues, interactions. Notice their tones of voice
and facial expressions. You can practice those privately.
(G) If you are in no social groups--join some--whether clubs, sports, arts, crafts, . . . whatever. Initiate conversation with someone in the group at
least every other time, if not every time. It doesn't have to be exhaustive, lengthy or particularly vulnerable. Just initiate it and carry it on for
(H) If someone has taken a great pic of you--put it on your bathroom mirror and in your bedroom in at least a 5 X 7" size.
(I) Think about your primary values, joys, good skills, good habits, favorite movies, most important goals, best achievements, favorite hobbies,
places you'd like to travel to. Be ready to say at least 3-5 sentences about at least 3-5 such items.
. . . Ask me if you want more such suggestions as are in this A-I list.
5. Avoid negative people who are critical of you, put you down, don't understand you, don't show you genuine caring and healthy affection. Spend more
time with those who show authentic caring and healthy affection.
6. Spend 1-3 minutes each evening before sleep picturing in your mind--how you'd like to look, sound, act if you were the opposite of shy.
7. When you speak, initiate conversation, dialogue--INSURE, MAKE CERTAIN that the volume of your voice is loud enough to be heard clearly within 3-5
8. Practice making eye contact. First--with those you feel closest to and safest with. After 2-3 days--practice it with everyone you meet, talk to.
9. Make a list of questions or statements for those you initiate conversations with e.g. clerks etc. e.g.
--You look like you're having a busy/ challenging/ interesting day!
--I'm not in a big hurry. Thank you for helping me today.
--I hope you get some time off this weekend and do something fun with those you love.
--Are you planning to do anything interesting this summer?
--Does this organization treat you fairly?
--What would you rather be doing today?
10. Some research seems to indicate that shy folks tend to end up with lower paying jobs; less job fulfillment; lower status spouses and less marriage
fulfillment and satisfaction. Even though shyness seems to have a huge genetic component, one can learn to be the opposite or at least significantly
I was so shy and insecure growing up and even in my undergrad school and the Navy--if someone looked at me harshly, I might go hide and tear up. My
students would hardly believe that. But it was true.
Please let me know how it goes. If you have any further or more specific questions, please let me know.