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Shyness at times, may just be the feeling of being frightened or timid. There are many degrees of shyness, and some people are shy in only special situations or circumstances.

One of the most common places where people (not only adults but children included) feel shy or timid is in a social gathering. More so, when people have the habit of comparing themselves with others and feel inferior about themselves. Comparing their level of education with others, their social & economic status with others, their language competency with others and go into their shell.

The following are some ways people having this problem can turn things around and even get over their shyness. It takes practice and determination, but for most people who conquer social shyness, it is well worth the effort.

Stand before a big full size mirror, look at your self, accept and acknowledge yourself just as you are. Give a big broad smile to your self.

Check your language, are you saying “I am afraid”, “I’m scared”, “I’m nervous” and conditioning your mind with negativity. Manage your self-talk and replace the negative statements or thoughts with "positives." Your mind can be programmed to act as your best friend or as your worst enemy.

You are in control of your thoughts. Practice positive affirmations and it will make a world of difference. Eg. “I’m Smart and Confident”, “I’m brave” etc.

When going into a new situation, practice what you will say to the new person or group of people. This will help you be more relaxed when the event comes.

When you are at the social gathering, the first thing to focus on is good eye contact. You can always look at other parts of the person's face besides their eyes. They can't tell the difference usually if you shift your gaze a bit. Smile and use other kinds of facial expressions to show your interest. Eye contact can mean casual interest, intense friendly or business interest, or mild to intense romantic interest. Keep that in mind!

Learn to expect some rejections with people and not take them personally. People can "reject" you for many reasons that have absolutely nothing to do with you! It is not pleasant to be rejected socially. If it bothers you, allow yourself to feel upset for a short time and then "let it go." Many others will accept you. Please remember, many great people now have faced rejections in their life.

When you start a conversation, ask questions about the other person and cannot just be answered in one or two words. Other people love to talk about themselves and their family, their business etc.

Be an active Listener. Express that you are listening through your eyes and nodding your head, also at times you could reflect to the other person by saying, “ahh”, “hmm”. Acknowledge and appreciate as and when required.

Practice, Practice and practice. You have to socialize to practice the social skills. Accept that the fact that at first you will feel nervous. Affirm again, that, “This is only natural”.

To start with, Practice this skill while you are traveling in the bus or train, start with a smile and eye contact and see whether you can start a conversation with this stranger, your fellow passenger.

“A journey of thousand miles begins with the first single step.” Start today..now.

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