What some may otherwise call an inferiority complex, or cowardice in extreme circles, shyness is, in actual sense, a variant of package pride. Prejudice may be the better word if we consider it well. Does a shy person really keep to himself out fear of not fitting in or as a means of prevention from getting soiled in the mix? While not every gathering or occasion would require an active input, having an air of confidence is a good way to make people around you comfortable. The word ‘confide’ implies a relationship between more than one, so there is no learning confidence without interaction.
So here are three relatively easy things you can do regularly to flush your shy fluids.
Take Photographs at Events
The only requirement here is a phone that can actually take pictures. Maybe a ‘proper’ smartphone will help, but if whatever it is you have can take a picture, use it. This activity should do two things for you: you will get off your comfort zone and into a vulnerable one.
“Shyness is just egoism out of its depth” Penelope Keith
The subconscious part of a shy person is constantly mindful of the external environment, at the expense of the peace that should reign inside. However, you must note that this is your picture and not for someone else. You are taking this photo of this person or thing – for yourself. Period. No one should have to bother if you are taking it right and they cannot see much of your screen anyway. SPOILER ALERT: It should not be a selfie!
Ask the other passenger a ‘dumb’ question
‘Dumb’ because you already have concluded that whatever you are going to say would be dumb. So you rather hold your peace. But actually, the only way to know if this question is dumb is to ask it. With a well formed intention to simply break out of your cloud, turn and look him or her in the eye. Well, you don’t need to ask about their spouses or if their children will re-write JAMB this year. Make it a request; “Please, what is the time?” (your phone would not be visible asking this though), or a question about what the next bus stop is. You can use same question for every new passenger you meet with relative ease. And should you meet someone you had asked before, it would be like a normal conversation. Easy right?
Practice Spelling and Dictation – ALOUD
If one and two prove two challenging, then here’s your punishment: you’re going back to Primary School. Not in the literal sense, obviously, but chances are you may have skipped this those many years ago. Instead of the universal singing in the bathroom, spelling long words aloud to your hearing could be the key to building your confidence. To make it productive, use words that are related to your career and aspirations. For instance, you may use this: “I. W.A.N.T. T.O. B.E. C.O.N.F.I.D.E.N.T”. Think about what you want to say but rather than just dictate, spell the words. Use of hand gestures and tonal alterations will be discussed in another piece; the goals for now is just to speak out loud.
So which of these will you try out?
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