Shy People Can Learn to Speak Up!

Published: 28th July 2009
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When I was younger, what I wanted most in the world was to become talkative. In fact, I was extremely jealous of some people I knew who could talk and talk for hours and never shut up!

In those days, I was painfully shy and I had no social skills. Even when I was in my twenties, I would often be completely silent when I was surrounded by other chattering people.

It wasn't that I didn't have anything to say - I was just extremely shy. Because of my extreme shyness, I just wasn't able to say anything most of the time. I could barely speak up. I was so scared of speaking up that whenever people asked me a question, my mind would go completely blank

In spite of this extreme shyness, I did manage to make some friends, because I had some other good qualities. In my own very shy way I could be charming and interesting.

But oh, how I longed to be able to talk to other people! How I wished that I could just go on and on and blurt out anything that was on my mind like some of my friends could do!

Nowadays, I might think those people were too talkative, because most of the time they didn't actually say anything. I wished that I could have the nerve to speak, even when I had nothing important to say!

I used to sit and listen to these people and wonder to myself, "How do they have the nerve to talk and take center stage in this conversation even though they are only talking about trivial matters?

Why is it that I have so many terribly important things to say, and I can't find the courage to say a single thing?"

Probably many other shy people also have similar thoughts that go through their minds. There are probably many other shy people just like me who would trade our lives in an instant and switch places with some talkative person who just goes on and on talking for hours.

I'm sure that I'm not the only shy person who has been extremely jealous of talkative people. I spent many years wishing I could do that.

I think that most people who meet me today would never believe that I was ever shy. Most of the time, my shyness doesn't show, and I actually can be very talkative on occasion.

I learned to stop criticizing myself whenever I spoke and just let the words flow. I stopped being so focused on how I thought other people might be reacting, and just realized their reactions didn't have to be my main concern. I could focus on saying what I wanted to say. I could let myself be silly. I could be much more playful.

However, this transformation from a very shy person to one who can sometimes talk too much did not just happen quickly. This transformation into being a much more friendly and outgoing person did not happen just by itself.

No. This transformation actually took years of work. I spent many years trying to overcome my shyness, and my lack of confidence. I spent many years analyzing what makes people able to have friends.

Eventually I learned enough that I was able to write some books about it to help other people develop their social skills and their conversational skills.

I speak up every chance I get. Maybe some people now wish I would just be quiet again!

This article was written by friendship expert Royane Real. Discover more self improvement articles by Royane Real and other self help writers at

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