. . . you’re going to have to get comfortable with the phrase “fake it till you make it”. You’re going to have to learn to pretend that you’re not shy until you actually aren’t. You’re going to have to make-believe that you have no fear and no hesitancy when approached or surrounded by other people. You’re going to have to suck it up and go for it, even though it seems impossible or transparent.
You will not be able to overcome the fear of rejection until you realize that you won’t be rejected. You won’t realize that you won’t be rejected until you aren’t. You won’t have the chance not to be until you get out there and test the proverbial waters.
|Lorraine & Andy Ricker|
I have spent the vast majority of my life being painfully shy. My most vivid memories are of abject humiliation, like when I was four and thought I had been to a neighbor's house for dinner, got all excited and ready to go, then was told as I headed for the door that they really meant my older sister. Any four-year-old would do this. No? Or when I was five, started eating a Popsicle as soon as I got it in my hand and was reprimanded by my friend's mother that we don't open something until it had been paid for. Typical five-year-old behavior, right? I still cringe. The list goes on and on. I also went to twelve different schools in twelve years, and making friends became more difficult with each move.
The first thing that really made a dent in my shyness was a position for which I volunteered which required me to know the names and faces of about 100 different women. I knew maybe ten. That forced me to go up to people and introduce myself and ask about themselves. The fact that I'm really bad remembering names has always been a big hindrance to me, but now I just say on first introduction, "I'll ask you your name at least five times, so don't take it personally. I'm just really bad at it." It always gets a smile and a laugh and each time I'm less afraid to insert the disclaimer.
By far, an experience with my friend earlier this year changed my outlook entirely.