Girl Talk Friday #1: How To Be Confident Around Boys | Naomi Chanel Laing
How to Overcome Shyness Around Guys
Most adolescents go through periods of shyness. In some cases, this may interfere with your dating life or make you feel insecure. By learning to relax in social situations, and projecting a positive image, you will be more confident and able to overcome your shyness around guys.
If you’re typically shy around guys, focus on breathing deeply, maintaining eye contact and staying in the moment. Instead of worrying about what they think, focus on what they’re saying and respond in a way that feels natural. If you’re still feeling anxious, try practicing smaller-scale social interactions, like saying “Hello” in the hallway or complimenting him on something he’s wearing. Most importantly, just be yourself!For tips on how to build self-confidence and relaxing during a conversation, scroll down!
Relaxing in Social Situations
Realize that not everyone is looking at you.This can be the hardest part about talking to a guy, is that it can feel like everyone is watching you. Most often, this isn’t true. People are most often too absorbed in their own lives and preoccupations to notice whether you’re nervous or doing something weird.However, most of the time when people are shy, the shyness isn’t visible to others.
- Taking time to be in the moment can help with this. Focus on your breathing, and do your best to focus on the task at hand.
- If you’re feeling inclined, conduct an experiment to see just how few people are really paying attention to you. Try going to a public place and making yourself stand out by wearing something loud or doing something unusual. You’ll find that few people actually heed these things. For example, wear a large watch and repeatedly ask passersby the time. It may make you feel at peace to know you’re not the center of attention.
Don’t worry about fitting in or pleasing guys.While this is easy to say, it is hard to do, especially when you’re young. It can seem that if you don’t fit in generally, you won’t have friends, or you won’t have the “best” friends. However, your real friends will like you for who you are. Worthwhile guys will like you for who you are. They will like your quirks and your passions—the things that make you you.
- A worthwhile guy might say, "I think it's cool that you're not afraid to be yourself." Even so, that opinion shouldn't be needed to validate your choices. You make your choices for a reason.
- You may find it makes you even more desirable to others when you don’t care about fitting in. It makes you seem confident.
Focus on your breath.Breathing is a natural way to calm you down. Breathing deeply can help calm the heart and lower your stress response. No one will notice you breathing a little deeper, and you’ll feel better for doing so.
Stay in the moment.Instead of worrying about what others think about you or what could go wrong, or any other anxiety that pops into your head, focus on the moment and pay your attention outward. Listen to what people say. Watch their facial expressions. It helps to keep eye contact if you can. By focusing on the moment, you have less time to worry about what’s worrying you.
Practice having social interactions.Simply talking to guys can make it easier. If you have a negative reaction, or they act in a bullying manner, avoid them, and find other guys to talk to. Not all of the success of a social interaction rests with you. Remember, you can only control what you bring to the conversation.
- Say something about something you noticed about them. For instance, you could say, "I noticed that you wear skater shoes. Do you like to skateboard?" or "That was a cool drawing you did in art class. Where'd you get that idea?" Getting them talking about something they like can be a good way to give yourself time to get more comfortable in the social situation.
- Practice getting rejected. It’s a part of life, and not all people will approve of you. Even if it’s uncomfortable at first, embracing your fear can make it a less powerful force in your life.
Projecting a Positive Image
Speak up for yourself.If you are constantly deferring to other people, or letting people walk all over you in a conversation, you need to speak up. It’s not that you have to be confrontational. It’s more that you express yourself confidently. You don’t have to agree with other people’s opinions or plans for them to like you. If a guy bails because you speak up for yourself, he’s probably not the kind of guy you want around anyway.
- For instance, if you aren't comfortable with a situation, staying out past curfew for example, you can say, "I'm not going to stay out late. I'll be grounded for sure, and I really want to be able to hang out again soon." This can let them know that you aren't willing to get in trouble for them, but that you are interested in hanging out again.
Try new things.Often, people are shy because they think they aren’t interesting enough for a guy to notice. They hide themselves away rather than do what they think would embarrass them. However, the people who exude the most confidence are often people who are willing to try new things, whether they’re in front of people or not. You can always start small (talking to people you admire), or jump right in (go bungee jumping). Either way, once you’ve started, it get easier to make it a habit.
Dress the way you want.This doesn’t mean letting it all go (unless you are comfortable doing this). However, if you are constantly wondering if people care what you’re wearing, then you might want to reconsider your outfits. Don’t worry about others’ opinions, but wear what makes you feel good. People, especially guys, will notice your confidence rather than your outfit, when you love what you wear.
Recognize your self-worth.This may be the most important aspect of overcoming shyness around guys. You are worth a lot just because you’re you. You don’t need guys’ approval for that to be so. If you believe in your self-worth and believe that you don’t need anyone else’s approval, you will find that you feel more confident around guys.
- Look at your accomplishments, your friendships, what makes you unique. This can help you gain a perspective on what's awesome about you.
- Don't compare yourself to others. This can only hurt whether by making you feel superior to others or by making feel like you don't measure up.
Stop worrying about being perfect.No one is perfect. In fact, often when you ask perfectionists what being perfect would mean, they don’t have a clear idea themselves, or the image is someone they’ve idealized beyond reality. In any case, perfection is unattainable. You can, however, be the best 'you' you can be.
- When you think about being perfect, instead ask yourself what it is you really want. Often it's external influences that want us to be perfect, and you may find that being perfect gets in the way of what you really want, such as happiness, writing a book, or anything else that you might have a goal.
Be yourself.This can be hard to do, when you’re nervous, but it is important to realize that just because you don’t act exactly the same in every situation does not mean you aren’t being yourself. You wouldn’t ask your boss for something the same way you’d ask your parents for something. Expressing your confidence around guys may look different than expressing your confidence in school or in writing.
- If you are embarrassed about something in your life (where you live, the car you drive, etc.), you may need to stop and take stock of why you feel that way. Is it others' expectations?
- When someone doesn't like something you like, say, "That's cool, but I like what I like." They can make fun of you or bully you for it, but they can't make you not like it.
- Being vulnerable takes courage and self-compassion, but it will get easier the more you practice doing it.
QuestionHow do I make everyone like me?
Licensed Professional CounselorLicensed Professional CounselorExpert AnswerBy not trying to make anyone like you. The more you like yourself, the more other people will naturally like you. Focus on being true to yourself and non-judgmental with others, Those qualities will usually be very attractive to others, and they will probably like you more.Thanks!
QuestionHow do I get over a fear of rejection?
Licensed Professional CounselorLicensed Professional CounselorExpert AnswerUltimately, you will need to challenge your thoughts and feelings by facing those things that you fear. You may also want to look into some self-help books for guidance, including "Feel the Fear . . . and Do It Anyway" by Susan Jeffers. If that does not help then seek the help of a trained therapist to help you overcome your fear of rejection.Thanks!
- It's okay to try to impress someone. Just don't let that change who you are. Stay true to yourself.
- Guys may seem confident and tough, but it is usually an act. Guys get nervous around girls just as girls get nervous around guys.
- If you are experiencing extreme anxiety or shyness, you may need to see a therapist. The advice in this article is not meant to replace the advice of a mental health profession or to minimize the difficulty of overcoming anxiety or shyness.
Video: How to STOP Being Shy And Awkward
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