How to fight shyness?

// WERSJA POLSKA TUTAJ //

This is a part two of the post I am shy!

I hope you’re not looking for any specific answer for the question in this post title or any key that would let you change yourselves quickly to a self-confident person. If so, unfortunately you’ll be disappointed because I don’t have any key. But I can tell you how I see everything and what I believe can help. I hope that at least some of you who are interested in this, will read something that you’ll want to work on.

I know that a lot of people treat a lot of phobias using a method called “getting over the fear”. So if a person is afraid of spiders, her therapist will force her to hold a spider on her hand. If someone else is afraid of cats, his therapist will force him to pet a cat and so on. The same thing with shyness… If someone doesn’t want to perform in public and he think it’s because he’s shy (which means, he’s afraid what others will say) then, probably, he’ll be forced to perform in front of people.

I don’t support this way. It can make someone feel proud of himself when he does something he was always afraid to do and this is cool but so what if the problem was pushed aside? I myself had a lot of situations in my life when I didn’t want to do something and others were trying to persuade me or even to force me. I felt very bad about it, very uncomfortable and the feeling after was bad! And even though I’d smile when I fought some fear, the problem was still there and it’d come back in the same form or in a different one. And I don’t know if I said it already 😉 but I think that each problem like that has its own base and a reason. Nothing happens just like this by itself.

Nate made me realize one thing: all those prohibitions, commands, what’s proper and what’s not, aren’t my own opinion. This isn’t me who thinks or believe that. All of it are things that other people were putting in my head when I was a child and which I had to believe in. And when they speak my voice, it’s still not me but other people! It sounds terrible, doesn’t it? It was my first step to feel a little bit better with myself because I realized that I’m not the one who stops me; I’m not the one who doesn’t let me do whatever I want. For example, when I’m at a park and I want to sing something I won’t do it because my grandmother would always say: “kid, behave, people are staring!” I really want to do it but things like that come to my head and even though my grandmother isn’t close by, they’re strong enough that I resign.
By the way, singing in front of people is a problem I can’t fight yet and I never sing when someone is near me. But I’d like to.

There was a day when I said STOP because it’s too much for me to worry about what other people think I should do or not. If I really want something, why to listen to some weird people who impose their opinions on me and expect me to take them? Damn, overstatement, isn’t it?

A question I had to ask myself to be able to do anything with it was: do I want other people to control my life and do I want to do what they want me to do even when I really want something else? Answer for both questions is obvious: NO.

Other thing, what other people will tell about us… In my case, usually it’d be like this: I was walking outside, someone looked at me and then I’d suddenly think: I have something on my face, I look bad, he/she doesn’t like this and that, I shouldn’t look at this person, etc. The effect of it was that I was walking looking at the ground and if someone looked at me and I caught that look, I’d turn mine in a different direction. I was afraid of an eye contact, I was afraid that this person would start laughing at me, that I’d hear some bad comments. And again – it doesn’t happen just like that! Everything has its own reasons that we’re aware of or not.
For example, several years ago I had very serious problems with a skin on my face, shoulders, cleavage and back and really, I’m completely serious here, it happened that I heard comments like: such a gross skin, I can’t look, it grosses me out, let’s sit somewhere else, she probably doesn’t wash herself, etc. From complete strangers, in a crowd in metro or even just walking by someone on the street. Even a doctor told me once: you’ll never find any job with a face like this. Now I’d answer this “nicely” but then I was just running away and then I was creating all these scenarios each time someone looked at me. I was also afraid to talk to a group of people because what if someone will shout that I’m this and that and the rest will start laughing?

In my opinion, people who really try to advice others like this, laugh at them, name-call, etc., have really bad lives and they want to put everything on someone else. So I started to think that if someone reacts kike that regarding to what I look like or what I do, this is NOT my problem, this is NOT about me. All of it are about what kind of experiences this person has, how they feel and how they handle their own problems. I think if a person was fine, he wouldn’t feel this need to hurt someone else, this isn’t natural. He’d rather walk by not saying anything.

Also, important questions are also: do I cause you any problem? What? Answer for these questions usually sound the same: I don’t have a problem. If the fact that I wear heels hurt someone, someone felt threatened, felt some pain, I’d talk about it. But things like that happen very rarely (in my experience – never) so why would I worry about it? Why would I worry that my own friend tells me I should stop singing in a grocery store and when I ask why she says: because people are staring. Well, I don’t care about people. If she told me that people are staring and so she feels embarrassed, I’d stop because I don’t want my friend to feel like this because of what I’m doing. So I’d either stop singing, I’d keep doing it but quieter or I’d keep doing it without changes, depends. You know what I mean, don’t you? And so if someone tells me that I look horrible and I shouldn’t go out anywhere, I’ll tell him: OK, you don’t like the way I look! And I’ll go away. Because an opinion like this one has no value to me.

I said it already some time ago but I’ll say it again that there’s a HUGE different in two versions of sharing your own opinion.
The first one is something like: you’re horrible, you look disgusting, you shouldn’t go out, do something with yourself, stop singing, behave like a normal person, sit like a girl, etc.
The second one: when you sing here everybody stares and I feel embarrassed, I don’t really like this shirt you’re wearing, when you don’t wash yourself for a week I don’t feel comfortable being with you.
Do you see a difference? If you don’t like something, share it instead of attacking others and crossing their private and comfort zone.

There’s one more thing that might seem weird at first but believe me, it works. When you want something and in your own head you hear that you shouldn’t, it isn’t proper and so on… Be this person who says that. Imagine that you’re the one who tells you that it’s not proper and then switch places and now reply to charges, defend yourself, ask questions, say you’ll do what you want, etc. And keep switching places like this until you feel it’s enough, the problem is solved and that the truth is that this person doesn’t have anything to say after all.

When I pushed these voices away or I started to answer them, I began to think and care about myself instead of other people and I feel much better. Because my imagination works perfectly but the problem is that its experiences from the past make it show us negative scenarios. This is my decision if I listen to it or not. If I do then this fear will stop me from doing something I want. If I take this risk, I’ll probably feel much better because these voices will stop coming, because I crossed some boundary and now I’ll have a control over my life. And this is what it all is about!

What do you think about what I said? Do you have any other tips? Do you think these methods make sense? I’d be happy to read your opinions.

Talk to you next time!
Aga

PS. And a song for the end 🙂
Lady Gaga & Beyonce – Telephone

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