As you can see, I've written alot of articles on here.
Some articles may repeat the same themes, but I had so many ideas in my head and I've learned so much, that I wanted to put it all out there. I appreciate the emails and the many praises that I've gotten in the guestbook and it's great to hear that the site has helped alot of people.
I wanted this article to be the big finale, the giant answer to sum it all up. What the hell is "shyness" about anyway. It can affect your confidence, self esteem, how you talk to women, it can leave you feeling alone and depressed on a friday night with no one to go out with. This mental belief of "shyness" can affect you physically. You can blush, stutter, and feel nervous in your stomach.
What really motivated me to change was getting honest with myself. This is just crazy. I'm tired of being alone, I'm tired of worrying so much. Believing I deserve better. Raising my standards for what I'll accept in my life.
Part of raising my standards was getting honest with myself. I had all kinds of excuses as to why I wasn't out with people: I'm a loner, I'm too nice (people don't like those who are really nice), I don't have anything in common with people, I don't like some people, people won't like me, I don't drink or smoke, I won't fit in, etc.
This is all BS if I'm honest with myself. I liked human interaction. I liked talking to girls for example on instant messenger. I liked communicating with people on message boards. So, if you like all of this interaction, then why aren't you out more?
With instant messenger, email and message boards, you get the upside of interacting with people (and people liking you) and you get none of the downside (it's anonymous, you can think before you chat on messenger, there's no rejection, etc.)
When you are alone most of the time, it's also very easy to live in a fantasy world. You're not accountable to anyone. No one knows what you're up to. On instant messenger, you can become anyone you want to be. I can remember times when "the real me" was scattered all over the place. I'd make up stories about my past and invent someone who I thought the other person would like. If you chat on instant messenger, get clear about "your story". You can put a positive spin on your past, but to completely make stuff up won't help you in the long run.
A core fear that we have in real life interactions is that people won't like you.
Why do other peoples opinions even matter? They didn't always matter to you.
Kids never worry about this stuff. Have you ever seen a 6 year old worry about what adults will think of him if he's playing with toys in a restaurant for example. Some adults may think, "won't that kid ever keep quiet", or "I hate kids". But you don't care about that. You're too busy being a kid and having fun.
I think the reason why many highschool and college age students get so shy is because their peer groups split off in different directions. When you're in elementary school everyone is pretty much the same. But as you get older, people branch off into their own little clique. There's the jocks, the nerds, the preppies, the crazy sorority chicks. The media and society shape our views of what is normal or "not normal". By the media's view, if you're not doing drugs, smoking or drinking alot in your college years...then surely...you're not "normal". There are alot more choices as you get older. People marry, move away, work. Guys are expected to hook up with women. There are so many rituals and expectations to go through; when you don't go through them, when you branch off and do your own thing, it's easy to be shy, lonely, without alot of social skills and wondering to yourself, what the hell am I doing. And if you have other challenges, like acne, being overweight, being self conscious about how you look, it makes the problem even worst.
Those social and group rituals can build on themselves. If you're very shy at age 21, you might think, I've missed so much, where do I start. And then you feel like you can't change anything and then pretty soon you're 23 or 24. After building on its self for so long, you can go from a fairly normal well adjusted kid to a nervous and blushing 22 year old.
As a result of "not fitting in", your self confidence and self esteem drop.
But the bigger problem is:
When you are very shy, you are letting other people decide how you feel about yourself.
They are complete strangers. You may not even know them. Why would you give away your power to them?
Your confidence literally hangs in the balance of what other people think about you. Rejection is devestating. You worry about conversations that you've had and if you said the right thing or not.
The ultimate solution in my opinion is to establish a daily habit of feeling absolutely outstanding about yourself and raising your standards for what you'll accept in your life. Believing in your gut, I absolutely deserve better than this. I'm tired of this, I'm tired of worrying so much, I'm tired of giving away my power to other people. I'm tired of letting other people decide how I feel about myself.
I am going to make mistakes and I don't even care about it. #$^ AU^IEO HRKYTIO*SW% BVJ #$Q^ *&DQW$_+__+ (There's my mistake..hehe). I am going to retain my own self concept and feel great about myself. I deserve to have more fun in my life.
Now, at this point, it is absolutely essential that you create a daily habit to reinforce this new belief. It is incredibly easy to get inspired in the moment, but then you revert back to your old ways tomorrow. It needs to be written in stone. Daily Habit. Daily Habit.
Start very small if you have to. Tommorow, if you're interacting with someone and if you start to care too much about what the other person thinks of you, consciously stop and think...."why should I give away my power to this person?" What did they ever do to have the power to shape my own self concept?
I can remember when I started getting "rejected" online chatting with girls. I'd instant message every girl in the room and not even care about the results. At first, I even had trouble doing that. But after a few days, it started to become automatic.
Imagine if you created a daily habit of not caring what everyone thinks of you. That is real power.
I got inspired to write all of this after a few different events. One was a documentary on MTV called True Life. It focused on the lives of young adults in wheelchairs. It was profound and inspiring television. A cute highschool cheerleader had a freak accident and was in a wheelchair for life. And yet she was out leading a normal life and having more fun than many able bodied people. She had friends, she was dating a guy in a local band and just enjoying life. Another guy who was profiled was born with no legs. And it showed him out with a cute date at a highschool dance having a good time. I was just blown away! Do I really have any more excuses?
These people could have every reason in the world to sit at home feeling sorry for themselves. And yet they are out having fun and doing some cool things.
My goal for this site is just to wake people up and take notice of what they are doing. I read this interesting quote somewhere: "more “free people” endure the pain of solitary confinement and isolation, voluntarily, than those sentenced to life in prison."