“How to stop being shy?” Well, we know shyness can often feel like a monumental hurdle, standing in the way of forming relationships, self-expression, and pursuing dreams. However, this seemingly towering trait is far from permanent and can be managed, even transformed into self-assuredness.

Within this guide, we dive into a plethora of strategies ranging from behavioral techniques to lifestyle adjustments, all designed to enhance self-confidence.

These tips, grounded in psychology and personal growth principles, are not about becoming someone else, but about evolving into the best version of yourself, unencumbered by self-doubt.

Prepare to step into the spotlight, understand how to stop being shy, and conquer shyness with newfound confidence.

Actions to Kickstart Your Journey out of Shyness

“How to stop being shy”

The 46 Ways to Conquer Shyness

1. Seek out uncomfortable situations…or at least try

Attend social events alone, to challenge yourself and expand your comfort zone

Practice deep breathing and positive self-talk to manage anxiety when faced with discomfort. Start by identifying one upcoming event where you can push your boundaries, create a plan for attending, and commit to staying for a specific duration.

Reflect on the experience afterward, noting the positive aspects and what you learned from stepping outside your comfort zone.


2. Gradual Exposure Therapy: Face Shyness Head-On

One step at a time, gradually expose yourself to feared social situations, starting with less intimidating scenarios, and gradually increasing the difficulty

Begin by engaging in small talk with a friendly acquaintance, and then progress to larger social gatherings over time. Create a hierarchy of social situations that trigger shyness, ranging from the least challenging to the most challenging. 

Start with the least intimidating situation and practice entering it repeatedly until it feels more comfortable. Gradually this will help you gain confidence to learn how to stop being shy

3. Challenge Negative Self-Perceptions 

Identify and challenge self-critical thoughts by reframing them with more realistic and positive alternatives.

For instance, instead of thinking, “I always say something stupid,” replace it with, “I have valuable insights to share, and everyone makes occasional mistakes.”

When negative thoughts arise during social interactions, pause and question their validity. Replace them with positive affirmations that counteract self-criticism. Keep them accessible for quick reference during challenging moments.

4. Practice active empathy using questions

Focus on genuinely understanding and empathizing with others during conversations, rather than solely worrying about how you are perceived. 

Listen attentively, ask open-ended questions, and engage in active listening techniques to foster deeper connections. Before engaging in a conversation, remind yourself to prioritize understanding the other person’s perspective. 

Practice active listening skills, such as maintaining eye contact, nodding to show comprehension, and summarizing the speaker’s points to demonstrate your attentiveness.

5. Join a public speaking group or improv class

Enroll in a public speaking club like Toastmasters or join an improv class to develop your communication skills in a supportive environment. 

Regularly attending these sessions will gradually build your confidence in expressing yourself in front of others. Research local public speaking groups or improv classes in your area, and choose one that aligns with your interests.

Commit to attending the sessions consistently, actively participate, and take advantage of feedback to understand how to stop being shy. 

i hate being shy

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6. Seek out specific social hobbies or groups

Pursue hobbies or activities that naturally involve social interaction, such as joining a book club, sports team, or community service organization. 

Regularly participating in these groups provides opportunities for social engagement in a context you enjoy. Identify hobbies or interests that align with your passions and involve group participation. 

Research local groups related to those interests. Then attend meetings or events, and engage in conversations and activities to connect with like-minded individuals.

7. Create a strengths inventory: Reflect regularly

Write down a list of your positive attributes and achievements and review them whenever self-doubt arises. Set aside time to brainstorm and create a comprehensive list of your strengths, accomplishments, and positive qualities. 

Keep the list of positive attributes in a place you can see, and review it daily or whenever you need a confidence boost.

Take a few moments each day to acknowledge and appreciate your strengths.

8. “How to be less shy?” Practice assertiveness

Practice assertive communication in low-stakes situations first, such as requesting a specific order at a restaurant, and gradually progress to more significant interactions. 

Start by identifying a few situations in your daily life where you would like to be more assertive. 

Plan and practice assertive responses in those scenarios, focusing on clear and respectful communication. Gradually challenge yourself with more complex situations as you become more comfortable.

9. Be self-compassionate with social setbacks

Practice self-compassion by speaking to yourself as you would to a supportive friend, acknowledging that everyone experiences moments of vulnerability.

When you encounter a challenging social situation or make a mistake, pause and acknowledge that it’s a normal part of the learning process. 

Practice self-talk that emphasizes that everyone faces similar challenges and that you are doing your best. Remember, learning how to stop being shy comes with self-compassion.

10. Set realistic goals to overcome shyness

For example, such as initiating one conversation at a social event or sharing an opinion during a meeting. Break down these goals into actionable steps, and celebrate each small accomplishment.

First, start by identifying one specific goal related to overcoming shyness, such as starting a conversation with a stranger at a networking event. Next, break down this goal into smaller, manageable steps, such as researching conversation starters or practicing introductions. 

Track your progress, reward yourself for each milestone, and adjust your goals as needed.

11. Accept that awkward moments are normal 

Awkwardness is a normal part of social interaction. Embrace imperfections and view them as opportunities for growth and learning rather than reasons for self-judgment. 

Remind yourself that perfection is unattainable and that mistakes and missteps are valuable learning experiences. Challenge perfectionist tendencies by intentionally putting yourself in situations where mistakes are likely to happen and practice self-acceptance and resilience when they do occur. 

Focus on the progress made rather than striving for flawless execution.

12. Seek out speaking engagements or presentations

For example, such as sharing insights at work meetings or volunteering to give a speech at local community events. Taking the initiative to speak in front of others builds confidence and diminishes shyness over time

How to reduce shyness by taking action

In professional or community settings, actively seek out opportunities to contribute your thoughts and ideas publicly. 

Volunteer for presentations, panel discussions, or workshops where you can share your expertise. Prepare and rehearse your speech, presentation, or conversation script, focusing on delivering it with confidence and enthusiasm.

13. Gradually open up about yourself

Talk about your thoughts, feelings, and experiences with trusted individuals, starting with small disclosures and gradually sharing more. Engaging in self-disclosure fosters deeper connections and helps you realize that vulnerability can be rewarding. 

Choose a close friend, family member, or mentor with whom you feel comfortable and trust. 

Start by sharing small, personal stories or thoughts, and gauge their reaction and supportiveness. As you develop more trust, gradually share deeper and more vulnerable aspects of yourself, and observe the positive impact it has on your relationships.

14. Seek professional support for anxiety or shyness 

A professional can provide personalized guidance, techniques, and support to help you overcome shyness. Research mental health professionals who specialize in social anxiety or cognitive-behavioral therapy. Schedule an appointment for an initial consultation to discuss your specific concerns and goals. This will help you understand how to stop being shy.

How to overcome social anxiety and shyness

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Collaborate with the therapist on developing a tailored treatment plan that includes evidence-based strategies and ongoing support. 

15. Gradual desensitization: Confront shyness slowly

Expose yourself to the least intimidating situation and gradually work your way up. Take action by intentionally seeking out these situations, starting with the lowest level of discomfort, and gradually exposing yourself to higher levels

Gradually increase the duration and intensity of exposure, allowing yourself to adapt and become more comfortable over time. If you hate parties, learn more about why here. 

16. Create conversational starters 

Prepare a list of open-ended questions or conversation starters to use in social situations. Practice these prompts beforehand to feel more confident and prepared during conversations.

Take action by brainstorming a variety of questions and prompts that can initiate engaging discussions. 

Memorize a few and have them readily available in your mind or on a notepad when you’re in social settings. Use these prompts to initiate conversations and keep them flowing.

How to not be nervous

17. Use visualization techniques to reduce shyness

Prior to entering social situations that make you feel shy, visualize yourself being confident, relaxed, and engaging in positive interactions. Imagine yourself successfully navigating the situation and feeling comfortable. This is a great way to learn how to not be shy.

Take action by finding a quiet space, closing your eyes, and visualizing the desired social scenario. Engage your senses and imagine the details vividly.

Repeat the visualization exercise regularly to reinforce positive associations and build confidence.

18. Role-play social situations to reduce shyness

Get help from a trusted friend or family member to engage in role-playing scenarios that simulate challenging social situations. 

Take action by choosing a few scenarios that commonly trigger shyness, such as introducing yourself to a group or speaking up in a meeting. Ask a supportive person to play different roles and practice the desired behaviors and responses.

Gradually increase the complexity of the scenarios as you gain confidence. Practice assertiveness, active listening, and confident body language. 

19. Seek out welcoming social environments 

You want a welcoming, inclusive, group of people and activities that promote positive interactions. This could include joining interest-based clubs or attending events with a supportive community. 

**Take action by researching and finding social environments that align with your interests and values. Attend events, meetings, or gatherings associated with these environments. 

Engage with the individuals present, focusing on building connections and forming relationships in a supportive and positive atmosphere.


20. Embrace your unique qualities

Recognize that everyone has insecurities, and shyness does not define your worth or abilities. 

Take action by making a list of your strengths, accomplishments, and positive attributes. Reflect on these regularly and challenge any negative self-perceptions. 

Embracing your unique qualities helps you overcome shyness by fostering authenticity, self-acceptance, differentiation, developing your own unique conversation starters, connections with niche communities, and personal growth.


22. Develop a positive self-talk routine

Replace self-critical thoughts with positive and affirming self-talk. Challenge negative self-perceptions and replace them with encouraging and supportive statements. 

Take action by paying attention to your inner dialogue and identifying critical thoughts. Practice this positive self-talk regularly, especially during challenging situations.

Developing a positive self-talk routine helps with shyness by replacing negative thoughts and self-doubt. This promotes a more optimistic mindset when facing social situations.


23. Journal self-reflection and self-awareness

Take time to reflect on your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors related to shyness. Identify patterns, triggers, and areas where you can make positive changes.

Take action by creating a journal or self-reflection practice.

Dedicate regular moments to write down your thoughts and feelings regarding shyness, noting any recurring patterns or triggers. Use this self-awareness to develop personalized strategies for overcoming shyness and challenging unhelpful patterns of thinking or behavior.

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24. Attend personal development workshops

Seek out workshops or seminars focused on building confidence, assertiveness, or overcoming shyness. Participate actively, engage with the material, and practice the techniques provided. 

Take action by researching personal development workshops or seminars in your area or online. Choose those specifically targeting confidence-building or overcoming shyness. 

Register for the workshop or seminar that resonates with you and commit to actively participating and implementing the strategies shared.


25. Celebrate small victories and progress

Acknowledge and celebrate every small step forward you take in overcoming shyness. 

Recognize that progress takes time and effort, and each accomplishment is significant. Take action by keeping a progress journal or creating a visual representation of your achievements. 

Make a habit of acknowledging and celebrating even the smallest victories, such as initiating a conversation at a party or expressing your opinion.

26. Develop a daily list of positive affirmations 

Repeat these affirmations daily, especially before entering social situations 

Take action by creating a list of empowering affirmations that counteract shyness, such as “I am confident and capable of connecting with others.”

When you catch yourself thinking, “I’ll embarrass myself,” or “No one will be interested in what I have to say,” consciously replace those thoughts with more positive and realistic ones.


27. Growth mindset: Believe personal growth is possible

View shyness as a challenge to overcome rather than a fixed trait. Take action by familiarizing yourself with the concept of a growth mindset and its benefits. 

When faced with shyness-related thoughts or challenges, consciously shift your perspective to one of growth and possibility. Focus on learning, development, and embracing the journey of personal growth. Here are more free social tools.

28. Create a positive mental image of not being shy

Visualize successful social interactions and positive outcomes in specific situations that typically trigger shyness. 

Take action by creating a mental image of a challenging social situation that you want to navigate with ease. Visualize yourself exhibiting the desired behaviors, emotions, and outcomes.

Imagine .. being at a friends house gathering and you’re talking with ease, relaxed, no anxiety, exuding self-assurance, maintaining positive body language, and effectively expressing their thoughts and opinions.

29. Seek a support group or online community

Connect with others who are facing similar challenges and seeking to overcome shyness. Join support groups or online communities dedicated to personal growth and shyness.

How to stop being shy

Take action by searching for local support groups or online communities focused on shyness or social anxiety. Message people who are going through the same experience.

Engage in discussions, share experiences, and seek advice and support from others who understand and can relate to your journey. If you can’t find a support group online, you can find a professional therapist here.

30. Develop effective listening skills

Developing effective listening skills, (maintaining eye contact, nodding to indicate understanding, and asking follow-up questions to demonstrate genuine interest), can significantly help with shyness by shifting their focus away from their own self-consciousness.

By genuinely listening shy individuals can build stronger connections, and gain confidence in social interactions.

Effective listening also helps shy individuals understand social cues, build empathy, and contribute meaningfully to conversations. Ultimately boosting their self-esteem, and helping you understand how to stop being shy over time.

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31. Challenge avoidance behaviors

Identify situations or activities you tend to avoid due to shyness and deliberately confront them. 

Start with smaller, less intimidating situations and gradually work your way up to more challenging ones. Take action by creating a list of situations or activities you typically avoid due to shyness. Start with the least challenging item and develop a plan to face it head-on. 

Gradually expose yourself to increasingly difficult situations, pushing your boundaries and building confidence along the way.

32. “How to stop being shy?” Practice self-care

Prioritize self-care activities that promote overall well-being, reduce stress, and increase self-confidence. 

Engage in activities such as exercise, mindfulness, journaling, or spending time in nature. Take action by creating a self-care routine that includes activities that energize and rejuvenate you. 

Dedicate time each day for self-care practices that resonate with you, whether it’s engaging in physical activity, practicing mindfulness, or engaging in hobbies that bring you joy.

33. Engage in assertive body language

Sometimes, body language can tell the body everything is OK.

Take action by practicing good posture, uncrossing your arms, and adopting open and confident body language. Pay attention to the messages your body language conveys and adjust it to reflect your self-assuredness.

Body language helps with shyness


Some studies show adopting open and confident postures positively impacts how others perceive us and how we feel about ourselves (Carney, Cuddy, & Yap, 2010; Rane & Hogan).

34. “How to stop being timid?” Develop a support system

Surround yourself with supportive individuals who encourage and uplift you in your journey to overcome shyness. Share your goals and challenges with trusted friends or family members who can provide guidance and support. 

Take action by identifying individuals in your life who have consistently shown support and encouragement. Open up to them about your desire to overcome shyness and seek their understanding and assistance. 

Regularly connect with these individuals and lean on them for encouragement and motivation.

35. Engage in positive self-reflection

Take action by dedicating regular time for self-reflection, such as journaling or meditation.

Self-awareness and reflection can help overcome shyness by providing individuals with deeper insights into their thoughts, emotions, and behaviors. This will help enable you to identify and address underlying insecurities, build self-confidence, and develop effective strategies for social interaction.

How to be less shy

36. Set boundaries and assert your needs

Practice setting boundaries and communicating your needs assertively in social interactions. Identify your limits and communicate them clearly and respectfully when necessary. 

Take action by defining your boundaries and practicing assertive communication. 

Start with situations where your boundaries have been crossed or compromised in the past. Articulate your needs or express your discomfort with assertiveness, using clear and concise language. 

37. Focus on strengths-based self-improvement

Identify your strengths and leverage them to overcome shyness. Develop strategies that align with your strengths to build confidence and enhance social interactions. 

Take action by assessing your strengths and how they can contribute to overcoming awkward social moments. This can enable you to focus on your abilities and unique qualities when interacting with others.

Identify ways to apply these strengths in social situations, such as using your listening skills to engage others or utilizing your creativity to find unique conversation starters.

38. Experiment with different social settings

Step outside your comfort zone by exploring various social settings and situations. Attend diverse events, join different groups, and interact with people from different backgrounds. 

Take action by seeking out a range of social settings that expose you to new experiences and perspectives.

Attend events or join groups that you may not typically consider, allowing yourself to interact with individuals outside your usual social circle. 

39. Recognize that shyness is a common experience

Remember, shyness is a common experience, and mistakes or awkward moments do not define your worth. 

Take action by consciously practicing social skills and daily self-compassion during moments of shyness or self-doubt. 

Remind yourself that everyone experiences vulnerability and that your worthiness is not tied to the opinions of others. Treat yourself with kindness and understanding, offering words of encouragement and self-acceptance.

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40. Practice self-expression through artistic outlets

Practicing self-expression through artistic outlets can help overcome shyness by providing a safe and creative space for individuals. This allows a time to express your thoughts, emotions, fostering self-confidence and self-acceptance.

Furthermore, engaging in artistic expression provides a means of sharing one’s inner world with others, potentially receiving positive feedback and validation.

Take action by experimenting with different creative outlets to find the mode of self-expression that suits you best. 

41. Engage in social media in a purposeful way

Use social media platforms as tools for practicing social interaction and expressing yourself. Share your thoughts, engage in discussions, and connect with like-minded individuals. 

Take action by intentionally utilizing social media platforms for meaningful social interactions. Engage in conversations, share your insights, and actively participate in groups or communities centered around your interests.

Use social media as a platform to learn how to stop being shy by practicing self-expression and connecting with others in a controlled and comfortable environment.

42. Challenge self-imposed limitations

Identify self-imposed limitations that hold you back from fully engaging in social situations. Challenge these limitations by intentionally stepping outside your comfort zone and pushing your boundaries. 

Take action by reflecting on the self-imposed limitations you have placed on yourself due to shyness. 

Identify one limitation that you want to overcome and devise a plan to challenge it. Start with a small step that aligns with your goal and gradually increase the difficulty as you gain confidence.

43. Your social skills just aren’t good … yet

To overcome shyness, it is crucial to practice social skills regularly.

Engage in social situations, initiate conversations, and actively listen to others. By consistently exposing yourself to social interactions and honing your social skills, you will gradually build confidence, develop rapport with others, and diminish the fear and anxiety associated with shyness.

Learn more with free social tools here.

44. “How to stop being shy?” Practice active gratitude

Cultivate a sense of gratitude for the people, experiences, and opportunities that come your way. Regularly reflect on and appreciate the positive aspects of your social interactions. 

Take action by incorporating a gratitude practice into your daily routine.

Each day, identify at least three things related to social interactions that you are grateful for, such as meaningful conversations, supportive friends, or opportunities for personal growth. 

45. Develop empathy through perspective-taking

Practice putting yourself in the shoes of others, seeking to understand their thoughts, feelings, and perspectives. Cultivate empathy to build meaningful connections and alleviate self-consciousness. 

Take action by consciously practicing perspective-taking in social interactions. 

Actively listen to others, trying to understand their experiences and emotions. Put yourself in their position, considering how they might feel or perceive the situation. This empathetic approach will help you learn how to stop being shy.

46. Embrace the mindset of continuous learning

Adopt a mindset of continuous learning and personal growth when it comes to overcoming shyness. Embrace each social interaction as an opportunity to learn, develop new skills, and gain confidence. 

Adopt a curious mindset

Ask questions, seeking to understand, and actively learning from each interaction.

Embrace the process of growth and improvement, knowing that each social encounter contributes to your development and overcoming shyness.

why are some people shy

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What you can do right now

Also, Download our Tool Kit for free (mini-course, social blueprint, and more) Prepare more when you go out to socialize. We think if you join our community or read a few more blog posts, you won’t be saying, “how to stop being shy?”, “how to stop being timid?” or, “How to overcome shyness?”

Now, with the tips above and more understanding, you’ll feel more confident, and prepared. Also, you’ll know what to do next, especially, when it comes to socializing.

You got this!!

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