The Counselling Centre


What is shyness?

One definition of shyness is "having difficulty in creating a good rapport with the people one meets."

For some people, the problem of shyness may simply be having trouble thinking of things to say in social situations. For others, it may involve crippling physical manifestations of uneasiness. For most, shyness involves a combination of both symptoms to a greater or lesser degree. In any event, the effects of shyness can be devastating.

Overcoming Shyness Tips

There are two important stages involved in any plan to overcome shyness:

1. Facing your problem head on

2. Building your self-confidence as you perform better in challenging situations and progress

Here are a few steps to take:

  1. Start a diary and note in it each days successes (focus on successes no matter how small). Each time you manage a situation confidently and with less and less shyness note it down and record what happened and how you managed the situation.
  2. Look for opportunities to improve and challenge yourself.
  3. Practice relaxing your mind and body so that tension can be removed and you can feel calm even in the most difficult moments.
  4. Make sure you are well prepared for challenging situations and rehearse them in your mind.
  5. Practice, Practice, Practice

How to manage events which cause you to suffer from shyness:

If you find yourself in a situation you find difficult the first thing you need to do is relax.

Normally the fear of the situation and the self-consciousness that your shyness brings cause you to panic or become tense and flustered. You feel terrible and fail to act calmly and confidently and this spirals out of control and you start to blush or feel like an idiot and experience physical pain. Do not panic! You just need to calm yourself down and relax in these moments.

Here's what to do:

  • Control breathing - you should breath from the stomach not from the chest and slowly.
  • Relax your muscles - start with your face muscles and then neck, shoulders, back, arm, chest, leg muscles and tell each muscle to relax one by one
  • Relax mentally - when you breath in think calm and when you breath out think release negative thoughts

The Counselling Centre offers individual and couples counselling to help with these issues. For more information, call The Counselling Centre at 902-420-5615 or drop by our office on the 4th floor of the Student Centre.