Dear Lynette,

I've also had a lot of struggles with shyness. It's been hard to make friends on my own and to go to social events by myself. One thing that's helped is to join a group activity. Book groups or an exercise class worked really well for me. The focus is not only on you but on an entire group and the social aspect becomes a bit more relaxed. The more I get to observe how people were in the group the easier it was for me to pick who felt safe and I could then feel a bit more courageous in joining in. Good luck.


What a wonderful website this is.....People think I am outgoing and the complete opposite of shy....Those comments I received when I had been able to admit my shyness at Coda (codependency meetings).....They were "out of place" because it took everything for me to admit it the advantage, I didn't make eye contact. I have been comfortably invisible for over 50 years and only with therapy and very hard work, am realizing that I AM NOT invisible.....Which fear is worse being seen or not being seen? Your letter is so wonderful and open and honest. I know you are working on yourself and that I have learned, with time and some heavy duty praying, works wonders. I have learned to "let go" of what I think of me...that is my old judging. If I am confusing you, I am sorry, but what I am trying to say is I am working at not thinking about my shyness.....or any other flaw that I have carried along this road....I am giving it to my Higher Power constantly and leaving that thought blank.....My motives are to stop judging and stop thinking of what I think I am - Do hope this wasn't too confusing and that it will help....


Response for Lynette:
I am always trying new ways to get over my shyness. Somedays it's even hard for me to make eye contact. Sometimes I set goals for myself: like to take a walk and look and smile at three people. Other times I feel braver, and can actually say something neutral to someone I don't know. "Isn't it a gorgeous day?" is a remark most everyone agrees with (when it is gorgeous.) Other things I've tried are taking classes, especially if there is action involved (art work or exercise, for example.)If I'm moving or absorbed, I don't feel as self-conscious. I've thought about joining a book circle which I think would be fun, but I haven't found one yet. The best thing for me though is to make a personal contest out of social situations: I tell myself to see if I can talk at least two minutes to someone at a party, for example. I've found a lot of good ideas in books about social phobia, too. Also: one friend of mine who had severe agoraphobia (she couldn't go out in public at all) got much better with medication. I think she took Wellbutrin. If your shyness is really bad, you should ask your doctor about medicine that might help.
Good luck, Lynette!