There is a vast difference in being shy, an introvert and an extrovert. The primary difference between shy and introvert is that the former fears socializing and the latter's social preferences are solitary activities. Thus, if the need arises, an introvert can socialize to meet his needs, but it is the shy personality that faces the biggest threat of living as a social outcast. All of us love to go out for parties, hang out after a hard day of work, confide in someone in happy and in bad times, and have lots of friends. Even an introvert does not really like to be alone after sometime. Overcoming shyness is the only way of shedding some emotional baggage and making bonds to forge some unforgettable memories.
Overcoming Shyness and Dealing with Introversion
Analyze Your Personality
Before overcoming your shyness and going from introvert to extrovert, you need to understand the difference between the two. A shy person lacks self-confidence, while an introvert uses self-confidence for things other than socializing. So, which one of the two are you? If you are a shy person, then you need to walk an extra mile to be an introvert, before you move on to being an extrovert. Thus, understanding yourself by analyzing your social preferences is the key to changing your personality. This will help you find a reason for changing yourself. Altering your attitude to make a few helpful social preferences is a great move towards living a cheerful life.
Building Your Self-image
Once you are past the first step, it is half the battle won. The next move to overcome your shyness and go from introvert to extrovert is to nail the reason for being shy. In most cases, a tattered self-image is the cause of shyness or introversion. Self-image is how you see yourself. It is your perception of your self-worth, which is a sum of your beliefs, convictions, achievements and your abilities. Oftentimes, self-image is misunderstood as other people's opinions about you. However, what is in the past, is in the past and here is your chance to move on. Building a positive self-image by believing in yourself is an important step to come out of your shell.
Introverts essentially keep most of their thoughts to themselves. On the contrary, a shy person may feel like sharing thoughts, but does not know how to. Worried about rejection and judgment, a shy person will keep his/her thoughts buried deep inside. Try and pen down your feelings in the form of allegories and ask a friend of yours to read it. This will help you share your feelings and your thoughts in a discreet manner.
However, gradually, you need to be more direct in your conversations. It isn't necessary that your friend needs to agree with everything you say. It is more important to make friends who hear you out. The more you start talking about your innate emotions, the more you will find out about people. Conversations provide a good platform for bridging gaps and building relationships.
Experience Real Time Socializing
With an influx of social networking sites, most of the socializing and hanging out is done virtually. Unfortunately, a true emotion can never be conveyed through online conversations. For instance, how many times have you meant a 'LOL' when you actually typed it? Or, how many times did you actually mean a 'HUG' when you sent a hug smiley. Rarely ever! So, take up every opportunity to be a part of real time socializing. Meeting a variety of people and being a part of different social situations always helps in realizing your social skills.
Realize Value of Relationships
The chances of a shy or an introvert person making relationships that last a lifetime are very few. Once you've overcome your fears and inhibitions and made friends, it is time to value them. There will be times when you may feel like retreating to your shell. However, you need to be there for your friends and strengthen the bond. Your closest friends will understand you, but the others won't. As you begin to mingle with people more and more, you will realize the importance of making a closely knit circle of friends, besides knowing a large number of people.
The need to take control of your shyness has to come from within. It cannot be forced and neither can it be taught. By sharing your thoughts, feeling and sentiments, you open up a side of you that remained closed to everyone around you. Understanding others and giving others a chance to understand you, is all it takes to overcome shyness.