Interacting with other people makes most people, if not all, uncomfortable at some level. Even the most gregarious and self-confident people are sensitive to and influenced by the opinions of others, especially the opinions others have about them. All of us want to be liked and loved. It is a basic human need. Even if we tell ourselves that what others think or say about us, does not matter, the truth is that our confidence would be impacted if we felt everyone we knew had suddenly turned against us.
Deep down all of us are shy. Everyone is just as shy as you and I. Everyone – in the whole wide world. It is just that some have learnt to hide it a little bit better or they simply ignore it, but everyone of us has the same fears and self-doubts. Shyness represents a reluctance to engage with others for fear of being embarrassed. This explains why we can feel shy in one context and not another. In a room full of family or friends with whom we’re intimately familiar, it’s hard to feel shy, because we know them and they know us. We feel at ease and can say the things we want to say, because the risk of embarrassment in such company is low. The secret to overcome our shyness is to imagine strangers as potential friends and push ourselves to face up to that initial fear of being embarrassed. It is about learning to become comfortable with being uncomfortable in the presence of people we don’t yet know!