Eleven Quotes to Help You Overcome Shyness

Shyness in certain contexts can be a real handicap. It's not a pathological trait but it does penalize many people in their day to day lives. If you're one of them, this article will interest you.
Eleven Quotes to Help You Overcome Shyness

Last update: 29 July, 2022

Shyness isn’t an illness. In fact, everyone’s been shy at some time or another. However, if it makes you suffer or limits you in your daily life, you should do something about it. We’re going to give you some quotes to inspire you to overcome your feelings of shyness.

If you’re shy, you find it  difficult to establish new relationships and perform tasks that involve you exposing yourself to the judgment of others. This can interfere with your academic or work performance and even lead you, at times, to feelings of unwanted loneliness.

However, a change in perspective can be enough to encourage you to take some small risks to escape from your comfort zone. We hope that the following quotes will help you.

Quotes to help you overcome shyness

Doctors, writers, philosophers, politicians, and personalities from various fields have reflected on shyness, paying special attention to its origin and its consequences.

1. “Shyness is made up of the desire to please and the fear of not getting it”. (Edme-Pierre Beauchene)

If you’re shy, other people may think you’re cold, disinterested, and distant. This isn’t true and, like everyone else, you hope to make others like you. It’s the fear of not achieving it that often paralyzes and inhibits you and leads you to hide behind a mask of silence.

Worried woman looking out of a window
Shy people often feel really insecure.

2. “So many people are shut up tight inside themselves like boxes, yet they would open up, unfolding quite wonderfully, if only you were interested in them”. (Sylva Plath)

If you’re shy, you often simply need a safe space to express yourself. After all, you have a sensitive and rich personality. You just need someone to pay attention to you and show some interest in you so you can open up to them.

3. “The man who asks a question is a fool for a minute, the man who does not ask is a fool for life”. (Confucius)

This is one of the main negative consequences of shyness: it prevents you from expressing yourself assertively enough to ask questions or assert your own desires and preferences. If you’re insecure, hesitant, and lack confidence, you’re far more vulnerable to possible attacks from others.

4. “Shyness has a strange component of narcissism, a belief that how we look, how we perform is truly important to other people”. (André Dubus)

This is another interesting quote to help you overcome shyness, as it opens your eyes to a paradox. Indeed, although it may seem that shyness is related to humility, to giving little importance to yourself, in reality, it’s quite the opposite.

Shame arises from the idea that others are focused solely on you and that what you do or say is really extremely relevant.

5. “You wouldn’t worry so much about what others think of you if you realized how seldom they do”. (Eleanor Roosevelt)

Interestingly, most people are always so focused on themselves, on their own issues and concerns that they barely notice others. Therefore, the examination under a magnifying glass you fear never takes place. Furthermore, others aren’t implacable in their judgments or as severe as you think when judging you. In fact, as a shy person, you fear what you imagine more than what really happens.

6. “To the timid and hesitating, everything is impossible, because it seems so”. (Walter Scott)

Often, your shyness and embarrassment can act as a self-fulfilling prophecy. You’re afraid of making a fool of yourself, of stuttering, or saying something inappropriate. This makes you experience such a high level of anxiety that it paralyzes you. You’re unable to be yourself and you make the exact mistakes you’re afraid of.

This experience ends up being unpleasant for you and convinces you that you were right, you’re no good at speaking in public or making friends. However, if you could’ve eliminated those mental limitations, none of it would’ve happened. What you think will be difficult for you is precisely that way because you believe it to be so.

7. “You’re always saying people don’t like you, but people can’t like something that isn’t there”. (Cath Crowley)

If you’re a shy person, you may think that people don’t like you, so you have a hard time socializing, and may often feel rejected. However, it’s your own shyness that’s preventing you from showing yourself. This prevents others from knowing you and appreciating you for who you are. You can’t connect with someone without daring to expose yourself.

8. “The way to overcome shyness is to become so wrapped up in something that you forget to be afraid”. (Claudia Ladybird Johnson)

If you’re looking for a way to overcome shyness, stop focusing on yourself and your social performance and become fully involved in what’s happening. Pay attention to that conversation, that person in front of you, get involved in the conversation, in what you’re saying and listening to. When you remove yourself from the center of the equation and really get involved in the situation, your shyness will disappear.

9. “Your shyness alone will bring you more emotional and material losses than all of your other negative attributes”. (Amit Kalantri)

If you’re shy, you tend to withdraw and stay in the background in the hope of hiding your awkwardness from the eyes of others. You tell yourself “If I hide, I’ll avoid being judged over my shortcomings”. However, this attitude will lead to much more suffering, isolation, or rejection than daring to show yourself to the world.

10. “Deep rivers run quiet”. (Haruki Murakami)

Shyness isn’t all negative. In fact, it has some really positive qualities linked to it.

For example, if you’re shy, you’ll probably have a rich and complex inner world. You’re also sensitive and loyal with great listening skills. You need to value those virtues.

Friends talking in the office
Shy people are often great listeners.

11. “If you cannot love me as I deserve, better go, there will be those who will be able to enjoy what I am”. (Walter Rizo)

We end this selection of quotes for overcoming shyness with a contribution from the famous doctor of psychology, Walter Riso. Indeed, it’s always preferable to expose yourself to rejection for having allowed yourself to be who you are than for having hidden behind a mask of insecurity.

Finally, shyness can be a burden that affects your development in different areas. More importantly, it can cause you great suffering if it’s excessively present in your life. We hope that the previous quotes have helped you to reflect on shyness and have motivated you to take the first step to overcoming your fears.

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