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Overcoming Shyness: Forming Relationships Even if You Feel Shy

Relationship Building for Shy People

Do you want to improve your social life, but aren't sure how to beat your shyness?

It might seem difficult or impossible, but there are many ways to improve the quality and quantity of your conversations, make new relationships, and strengthen existing ones without compromising who you are. Keep reading to learn about some of the techniques I've seen work firsthand.

Practice engaging in conversations

Communication is like any other skill. Some people are natural born talents, while others need a bit more practice to feel confident and become proficient in the skill.

Exercise your conversational abilities by making a point to engage in conversations throughout your day. You can start with the cashier at the store, the barista at the coffee shop, your hairdresser, any anyone else you encounter in daily life. Ask people how they're doing or what they did over the weekend and then go from there.

And remember, if someone doesn't want to talk to you, that absolutely does not mean there's something wrong with you . They could be having a bad day, or perhaps the other person is even shyer than you are.

Discover ways to develop your self-confidence by trying new things

Another shyness-beating method is to try new, and perhaps even intimidating, things in other areas of your life. That could mean signing up for the dance class you've always dreamt about, working on learning a new language, taking up skateboarding, or anything else you've always wanted to try.

Once you develop self-confidence in one thing, it just might inspire you to work on improving your social life. You might even meet new people naturally along the way.

Find a community of people with similar interests

By joining a community of people with shared interests you already know that you'll have something to talk about together. is a wonderful resource for finding groups of like-minded people. There are groups based on age, sports and activities, languages, the type of dog you own, and so much more. Have a look at the active groups in your area and sign up to attend an event. You'll even be able to see a list of other people who plan on attending, which can help calm your fears of meeting new people.

Work on developing compassion and empathy

I really enjoyed this piece from Psychology Today, written by Dr. Alex Lickerman. He described compassion as the ultimate cure for shyness , and I think he may be onto something:

“In other words, the more compassion I found myself feeling for other people, the less I become concerned about how they saw me—not because I no longer cared how they saw me, but rather because I was paying less attention to it.”

Everyone you meet is struggling with something, much like you're struggling with your shyness. Recognizing this and taking time to understand the true gravity of the concept can be a great help when trying to overcome your own shyness. Approaching people from a place of compassion and empathy is also an excellent way to build strong and healthy relationships.

If you need help improving your social life our counselors are here to help, contact us today!