Updated: Nov 29, 2022
There are many people with social phobias, but even more would self-identify as shy. Is that how you describe yourself? Is there someone in your world whom you would describe as shy?
Newsflash - I was once shy!
There was a point in my younger years, when it occurred to me that there were others who were shy too. Not only did I realise that I wasn't alone, I discovered that I had a superpower.
My superpower? I could listen.
When you learn to listen to others, you learn about their interests. You have a fantastic opportunity to find dovetails and to show empathy when they're down.
You bet, listening is a superpower!
I had another superpower, and that was being available. I once had a friend who said I had a "talk-to-able face"; and I not only thought that was the greatest compliment, but a relief.
Nobody wants to talk to a grumpy face!
The reality is, that anyone can overcome shyness. Want to give it a go? Here's how.
First, when you've been watching the telly 📺 for a while, look in the mirror to see your resting face. That's the face that strangers see. Get in the habit of putting a smile on your dial, and a spring in your step. Look like you love ❤️ life.
Second, go for a walk 🚶♀️ at the shops, and try to make eye 👀 contact with people. When you catch someone's eye, give them a smile 😏 .. it doesn't have to be a toothy grin, just a "happy to see you out and about" kinda smile.
If you ride on public transport, don't listen to anything or pay attention to your phone. Put it on silent, and allow Serendipity to bring you a new acquaintance. Let someone start a conversation with you.
If you catch a taxi or similar, have a chat with the driver. Ask about their day. Comment on the weather. Get into the habit of being friendly, with anybody.
You know that cliché, "fake it 'til you make it"? And that other one, "practice makes perfect"? I often say that clichés are clichés, because they're usually true.
Give it a go. Keep trying. Tweak as you become more confident.
Now, I thought a lot about the title of this post, and I want you to know another tip. It's the acronym in the title, STAR.
STAR stands for - Situation, Task, Action, Result. It's an acronym used by very successful job candidates when they have an interview. It helps them to answer interview questions succinctly and successfully. Stay with me here ...
For example, in a job interview, you might be asked to demonstrate how you've shown leadership in a previous role. Imagine you have a 2-column table, with the STAR words listed down the left column. Fill in the right column in your mind.
Situation: Research project
Task: Test 100 participants in only 3 months (gosh, that's a big ask! )
Action: I trained 3 RAs, & we role-played to find the most efficient method, & then applied it
Result: Job done successfully!
You might say, "I was working on a research project and we had to recruit and test 100 participants in 3 months. So, I trained 3 research assistants, and together, we were able to get the job done. I streamlined the process before we started, by doing a pilot run, with my staff and I role-playing participants with each other, so we could do it all as efficiently as possible. I was very proud of my team, and of our terrific efforts to get the job done perfectly. "
STAR can help you in all kinds of conversations. You can see from the example, that there was a clear situation, task, action, and result. This means the story has a beginning, middle and end, as well as a challenge that's overcome.
STAR is a great storytelling template. Think up an anecdote, and turn it into a STAR!
Now, finally, I have one more tip. This is an important tip, and needs a lot of practice. When you are engaged in a conversation, ask questions that show you're interested. This is what makes people like you.
Did you find this post useful? Was it helpful? Then, please, keep trying it out! Share it, forward it, make some comments.
Did you think, yes, I'd like to overcome my shyness, but I need more? Well, there's a meditation, and you can sign up for coaching - one step at a time, or an 8-Week Breakthrough Results Program. You would find my first book helpful as well! There are gift cards 🎁 too, because I know you know someone who could feel liberated by my help!
The question now is, is freedom worth it?
The answer is, YES!