Having combatted issues of being an introvert as a child, I decided to get to the core of the problem. Where was my self-esteem lacking? I had supportive parents and good friends. Other than a few regular fights with my friends and normal disagreements with my parents, I was a happy child.
But I was happy only in my own time. Which meant time when I wasn’t in public, with people that didn’t know me. Somewhere inwardly, I knew the problem didn’t have to do with my external circumstances but with my own insecurities. My fear of failure that was deep rooted to my ego as a child, being embarrassed in public, people not wanting to associate with me etc.
A lot of these internal fears manifest itself in perpetual nervousness, shyness and introversion. I felt secluded, isolated and left-out a lot. Thankfully, it was a phase (a long one at that) that I grew out of. Come adolescence, I was secure, laughed at my own small failures and took everything in my stride. I stopped blaming external factors for my problems but I had to break through several ceilings to get where I am today.
I learned many lessons about introversion and the art of mastering your fear of public humiliation growing up. Here are ten ways I learned to overcome my nervousness:
#10: People forget
Fashion faux pas, falling down, even giving that dreaded speech that you messed up despite the practice you had all night. Stop the pity party and weeping over spilled milk, what’s done is done.
People saw it, they might have laughed and they might have formed opinions but time fixes everything. New things happen, people move on and they are not fixated on focusing on your one little mistake you made. This does not warrant for you to go into your shell even more.
#9: Laugh at your own mistakes
This one proved to be effective in getting popular. Everybody likes someone with a good sense of humor, especially someone that can direct the humor towards themselves at a time when people would think it was embarrassing.
Soon enough, any mistake you make in the future too will be appreciated because people will know you’re a sport. Learn to deal with your problems sportingly.
#8: People are nervous too and undergo the same plight as you
Remember when you meet a person for the first time, it isn’t easy for either one of you. They too, are nervous about breaking the ice, encountering awkward moments and messing things up.
Put things at ease by cracking jokes and master the art of conversation by finding common ground. Once you find a TV show/genre of music or even mutual person you know, conversation is sparked off instantaneously.
#7: Dress well
There’s a possibility your inability to conduct yourself well socially may come from security stemming from how you look. It always helps to be well groomed and dressed in proper attire, but it helps even more to boost your self-confidence if you take care of how you look.
Your inner self will begin exuding confidence once you feel like you look presentable. Shallow maybe, but foolproof nonetheless.
#6: Socialize more
Desensitize yourself by surrounding yourself with more people. Probably one of the more difficult steps, it’s effective in the long-run. Once you habituate yourself to more company, you end up becoming more social.
Having friends can give you confidence that you didn’t have before. Good friends will stick it out through anything with you and you will feel invincible. Having friends and expanding your social circle is always a healthy way to ensure you’re getting your dose of social.
#5: Remember everyone has their moments
Which means if there’s something embarrassing you said or did that can’t be undone, remember you’re not alone in the world. Everybody has a dozen embarrassing stories to tell and will, in the future. Better get used to it.
#4: Be active on social media
It’s a good place to start and it keeps you in the loop about the people around you. You find out the latest trends and rumors and yes, you’re allowed to diversify and formulate an opinion of your own.
Being on social media, contrary to what most cynics think isn’t about herd mentality. It’s sometimes about standing up for what you believe in and given a good, respectable argument in fine taste, nobody can disrespect you for it.
#3: Join an organization you’re passionate about
You get to meet more new people this way and you get to actively volunteer and promote your own self-interests. What could be better than being part of a club and having the responsibilities and unbreakable ties that come with it?
Schools and colleges have clubs catering to all sorts of hobbies and interests available at your disposal.
#2: Explore your options
In other words, don’t stick to your zone of comfort. Be ready to explore beyond it and yes-encounter uncomfortable situations but that’s how the real world is.
The biggest step is letting go of what the norm is and what you’re comfortable with to let the unconventional envelop you. Be adventurous, take risks (risks that aren’t unsafe).
#1: Stand up for what you believe in
Lastly, in this quest to overcome your nervousness, don’t lose touch with who you were. It’s easy to get brainwashed and overwhelmed by a new bout of socializing but don’t let that ever stand for coming in your way and your self-respect.
Compromise enough, but don’t compromise where it’s concerned, especially with you self-worth, dignity and respect. Never partake in activities (even if its social pressure) to do something that will put you in danger later in. Know your own boundaries and surround yourself with people that respect them.