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How to Develop Life Skills to Fight Shyness

“Shyness” has this connotation of something negative, considered as a personality problem or fault. But this is the most common condition which can be felt by anyone at any one point in their life, regardless of status, even if you are just an ordinary person or a celebrity.

No one can be exempted from feeling shy even the likes of former President and Mrs. Jimmy Carter, Barbara Walters, Nicole Kidman, Johnny Carson, Sally Field, Ella Fitzgerald, Henry Fonda, Farrah Fawcett Majors, Sigourney Weaver and Gloria Estefan. All of these celebrities and personalities were considered shy at one time in their life.

So, what is wrong with being shy? The shy people of the world are known to be the “silent majority.” Did you know that almost half of the Americans in the United States are shy? Another interesting finding is that shy men marry much later in life. People who are experiencing shyness is on the increase too, an estimated 10 percent over the last decade. And a significant effect of shyness is people missing out on opportunities. 

The key to converting shyness into something positive is to develop life skills that will diminish the effect or impact of such a feeling or condition in our life.  Again, to a certain degree, shyness is normal. But if it already hinders a person’s development and relationship with others, it becomes a disabling impediment.

One great life skill that people should invest in is the improvement of their social skills. Imagine the benefits you would gain if you take time to rid yourself of self-doubt.  It will make your life happy and simpler.  You are more confident in handling any social situation that you may encounter.

Sociable people are who others love to be around. These kinds of people are good at starting conversations and maintaining people’s interest in what they are saying until they reach the end. These people are oftentimes the life of the party. They have the ability to handle difficult and awkward situations and are graceful enough to accept that not all share their opinions. They can, too, accept rejection and most often are appreciated by the people around them.

Social skills will also help a person develop the ability to read non-verbal communication like body language, to solve problems creatively and critically and to iron out sensitive situation with almost little effort.

Do you want to learn all these skills? Then be ready to hear these six great tips to improve your social skills.

1. Good communication and listening skills are the boosters in developing social skills. They are the ultimate skills that will help you get the most out of any social conditions.
2. Learn to read non-verbal communication such as body language, gestures and facial expressions. Body language and facial expressions are equally powerful as the words coming out of someone’s mouth. Moreover, there are certain messages that just cannot be expressed through words and these are important in your interactions with people.

3. Bear in mind that social skills are not developed overnight. It is a process that you have to undergo if you want your skills to be effective for you and your interaction with others. Focus only on one or two personality traits you have and develop them through constant exposure and practice. Changing yourself all at the same time will just backfire and you will not achieve your desired effect. Let your development work for you.

4. Become responsible for your own behavior and never be afraid to admit your mistakes. It will not only develop your social skills but it will also make you a “real” person.

5. Listen first to what others have to say before you respond. This is where many people make a huge mistake.  Nobody seems to listen anymore, everybody wants to speak. Hear first the person’s intent then offer suggestions and comments right after he made his point.

6. Become aware of your own interaction with other people. Learn from the mistakes of others by observing them and their actions, specifically those actions that prod you to respond negatively. After learning this, you may need to modify your own behavior to make most experiences pleasing for you and others.
After achieving these skills, these can also go hand in hand with good verbal communication skills by:

1. Sending clear messages and not mixing them up. Be sure that your facial expressions, gestures and words match to give the correct message.

2. An important element in communication is making eye contact. This exudes sincerity from the speaker and makes your eyes sparkle.

3. When sending messages, make your whole body talk.

4. Better be sure to use the right and appropriate words.

5. Nothing is better than having a speaker pronounce words correctly. It is so pleasing to the ear.

6. Your voice has varying volumes so use them appropriately. If you’re speaking to a small group, there is no need to modulate but if you are speaking to a larger group, be prepared to modulate and speak loud and clear.

7. Never stammer and avoid saying “huh.” Enunciate words clearly and appropriately.

8. If you are speaking publicly and for the whole day, be prepared to animate your voice or you will bore your audience to death. Use dynamics and avoid monotones. Make your pitch raise and lower during appropriate times.

9. Use appropriate pacing. Do not speak as if you are in a hurry. This will make you appear to be unsure of what you are saying.

10. Develop your voice more. If you are already a good speaker do not stop developing even more because this will increase your effectiveness.

With all these skills, you are well equipped to combat your shyness or if you still feel it at times during social gatherings, it will be more manageable until such time that your shyness is already history.