Let’s get to the heart of what shyness really is…
Shyness is fear. Pure. Unadulterated. Baby-fresh-out-of-the-womb, fear.
I understand fear. In fact, I was ruled by it for a long time because growing up, I never felt safe.
Not at home. Not out in the world.
Fear is real but it doesn’t get to run the show. And one of the best things you can do to overcome fear is to shine a light on it.
When you do that, you realize the thing you were afraid of was bigger in your mind than it was in life. And little by little you build your self-confidence and smash your social anxiety in the face.
Imagine the following tips as building blocks to help you be less shy around girls.
1. Don’t make up stories
We live by the stories we tell ourselves. One of the best things you can do to overcome shyness is to stop telling yourself stories. Or rather, come up with better ones.
Dr. Joe Dispenza has this thing where he talks about the stories we tell ourselves. These stories encompass everything from your “frustrated so you have to stop working” to “you’re hungry so you have to eat now.”
A common story we all function by is finding safety and security. But those two things are myths. Once you realize that, the world will open up to even a shy guy like yourself.
In the case of shyness, the story you’re telling yourself is one of the following…
- I’m not good with talking to girls
- I have low self-esteem
- I’m an introvert, I don’t do good with people
Here’s a mind-blown moment, introversion does not equal shyness. You can be an introvert that is great at talking to people. But since introverts don’t need to talk to people, they usually aren’t good at it.
Practice being realistic about your situation and even telling yourself better stories. For example, when talking to someone new, pretend you’re talking to someone you’ve known forever.
Doing this can help you overcome your social awkwardness and relax. If you’re struggling to overcome your social awkwardness I wrote all about how to do that here.
2. Tell your body (and mind) who’s boss
Chances are if you’re reading this, you’re a human being. And as a human being your body is going to betray you at times. That adrenaline pumping through your veins as another human takes a seat next to you can be terror or the beginning of something wonderful.
Your body is a reaction machine. It takes in stimuli from the environment and pumps out hormones to help you cope. It can also drive you crazy if you’re not the one in the driver’s seat.
Here’s what I mean, research shows that anxiety and excitement are experienced the exact same way in your body. The difference is how you think about what’s happening. Simply refusing to let your body dictate how a situation goes can help you get the initial small wins you need.
And those small wins build up into big boulder-sized confidence. You can train your body to follow your lead by:
- Acknowledging what is happening physically
- Reaffirming to yourself that the world is not ending
- Deciding to see your situation as an opportunity to grow
3. Stand with some confidence
Your next small step is looking and acting like a person with confidence. It’s easier said than done but with a few behavioral tweeks you can cheat the system.
You don’t have to be the most charismatic guy walking into social situations. Confident body language will do.
- Stand up straight with your shoulders back but with a released demeanor
- Smile when you make small talk
- Inhale and exhale slowly to control your urge to ramble or runaway
- Make eye contact
Sorry to say but no matter how much you workout, or how much money you make, the opposite sex is not going to approach you. And IF it does happen, it’s the exception not the rule. Anyone that is drawn to you because you have low self-esteem is someone you wanna stay away from anyway.
Working on these things will help you build your courage to talk to girls you meet anywhere.
4. Knock your comfort zone’s teeth out
Your comfort zone is a bully. It’s your reticular activation system1 creating habits and making it so you have to use your brain less. The result is, it’s painful to even _think _about doing new things let alone trying them.
For brushing and showering, that’s awesome. For everything else, your comfort zone is where your dreams go to die. Put another way, your comfort zone is the fastest way to an unfulfilling life.
Don’t let your fear of rejection hold you back. You will get rejected. It’s not only normal, it’s expected. There are 4 billion people on the earth. Over half of them are female. There’s a chance one of them will talk to you.
There’s this guy, Jia Jiang, who spent 100 days fighting his fear of rejection. After letting some trauma he experienced as a 6 year old dictate his life, he found himself afraid to do what was necessary to grow a successful business. Jia did everything he could to get out of the paralyzed state fear put him in.
Things like asking for a burger refill, or asking a complete stranger to borrow $100.
Just like Jia Jiang, you can become a little less shy and break out of your current comfort zone with small steps. Start by simply saying hello, how are you and go from there. Don’t be discouraged if it doesn’t go perfectly your first time out the gate.
The more progress you make the more it benefits your self-esteem.
5. Know who you want to show up as
Your self-image, or who you identify as, dictates how you act in the world. And you attract things based on how you’re showing up in the world, not what you want.
Ancient wisdom teaches us to…
“Be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind”
Something as fundamental as not knowing yourself can make you self-conscious.
Write down your ideal vision of yourself. Put up images of how a confident man would dress. Come up with characteristics that you relate to and want to live by: courageous, confidence, patience, empathetic, hardworking, etc.
6. Be someone girls (and people) want to talk to
Most girls are raised to be weary of men they don’t know. And attractive girls are used to being approached. So if you’re going to talk to them, you’ve got to know the animal you’re dealing with.
Practice these social skills to get the conversation going:
- Say something funny if you feel comfortable making jokes (if not, don’t do this)
- Ask a question that doesn’t have a yes or no answer
- Listen to the answer and respond
Studies show2 most people are judgmental when they first meet someone. This is mostly due to hesitation in not knowing your intentions. With this in mind, use the tips above to make yourself more trustworthy. Also, avoid being judgemental yourself. It’ll pay dividends when making new friends and getting to know others.
And that’s something even the least charismatic guy can do.
7. Drop your expectations
The world doesn’t owe you anything.
Not money, not happiness, not women.
However, if you are willing to put in the work, to make yourself into the kind of man that attracts women, and that others look up to…
… the world will conspire to ensure you get whatever you want. And there’s the paradox.
When you stop expecting things to go your way simply because you exist, more things go your way. Likewise, when you drop your expectations (good or bad) when talking to girls, the act of talking to them loses their weight.
That “weightlessness” carries into conversations and you come off as more authentic.
Drop your expectations by becoming a man that lives on the side of reality. You have to work for everything you want, even a positive mindset.
You’ll be angry at first to realize how things really are but then little by little, you’ll start to see the beauty in it. And that’s when the world starts to open up to you.
To overcome shyness around girls is a multifaceted approach. It starts with recognizing your fear. Then choose 2-3 of these tips to try today…
- Don’t tell yourself stories about things that aren’t happening
- Don’t let your emotions drive the car
- Fix your posture and your body language to send better social signals
- Mama said knock you out (your comfort zone that is)
- Know thyself
- Practice your social skills and don’t be judgemental
- Drop your expectations
I hope that helps. The rest is up to you.
Garcia-Rill, E., Science Direct, 2009, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, (accessed Sep 17, 2021). ↩
Lount Jr., Robert B., Zhong, Chen-Bo, Sivanathan, Niro, Murnighan, J. Keith, Getting Off on the Wrong Foot: The Timing of a Breach and the Restoration of Trust (accessed September 17, 2021)., Dispute and Resolution Research Center at Northwestern University, ↩