Shelley Widhalm

The Risk List

In Communication secrets, Shyness, Talking on May 15, 2011 at 8:20 am

I wanted to call this man who I like, and I thought, oh, it’s Saturday night, so I won’t do that. What if it looks like I don’t have plans? The not taking a risk is something I sometimes do – I like to come up with an excuse to remain comfortable in my shyness shell. It’s easier than putting myself out there on the I-might-get-rejected ledge.

My challenge for this past week was to come up with a list of things that could help me break apart the shell. Some of the things I’ve already tried, and a few are things I know about. But I tell myself I don’t want to do them, or I come up with avoidance tactics.

Here’s my Get Over Your Shyness Advice List:

  • If you meet someone new or are sitting next to them at a dinner party, say “hi” and introduce yourself. The worst thing that could happen is they could say their name and turn away. So what? It’s their loss, right?
  • When you start talking, ask questions about the other person’s interests and don’t focus too much on your own. You already know about yourself but could learn from listening to someone else.
  • Try not to worry about what other people think. What you think about yourself is what counts.
  • If starting a conversation seems overwhelming, pretend you’re in a different role, such as a reporter who’s paid to ask questions.
  • Or you could pretend you have an assignment to talk to someone new and if you don’t, you get an unsatisfactory mark.
  • If someone seems not interested in you, it’s not like they’re the only person on the planet. It’s likely that someone else will want to talk to you.
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  1. Creative ideas, I like them! Those are very good reminders to keep in mind.

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