Yes: The One-Word Solution to Overcome Shyness

David - About Mindset - August 26, 2019

Dany Wallace wrote Yes Man, a memoir based upon a year of his life, in which he chose to say "Yes" to any opportunity on his path.

"The only time you have no opportunities is when you decide to stop taking them."

- Danny Wallace

The Yes philosophy was born and thousands of people across the globe tried it, including me.

This article will get you through what I've learned. Overcoming shyness and living new experiences by saying a simple yet powerful word: Yes.

All the points discussed in this article are detailed and illustrated with examples in this book.

Table of Contents
Yes: The One-Word Solution to Overcome Shyness - Illustration - Picture

Why Overcoming Shyness Is so Hard: The Negative Loop

The first milestone in overcoming shyness is to get out of the negative loop that comes with it.

You must understand that shyness is a complete state of mind within which you have locked yourself.

Shyness is not hardwired into your brain, and no one was ever born with outstanding social skills.

Shyness is the result of numerous bad experiences with social interactions, which made you feel so uncomfortable as not to try socializing ever again.

You reinforce this feeling every day by avoiding people and by convincing yourself it is not too big of a deal.

The negative loop becomes stronger every time you give up on a social interaction, even the tiniest one. When you surrender in an argument, when you do not say "hi" properly, when you let a person take advantage of your shyness, when you are charged more because you cannot say "No".

If you have ever thought "It’s okay", you were wrong.

Every time you have refused to attend an afterwork with colleagues, a party with friends, an event with relatives. You made the decision to stay alone instead of joining people and enjoying moments with them.

You did so because the simple idea of having a social interaction triggered your defense mechanism. The more you did it, the more you felt accustomed to saying "No".

You must reverse this loop and develop your eagerness to live new experiences with complete strangers. It has to become natural to say "Yes", or at least to keep from always saying "No".

Yes: The One-Word Solution to Overcome Shyness - Illustration - Picture

How to Overcome Shyness by Saying Yes

The main idea is to say "Yes" as much as you can, as long as you are not taking the risk to endanger yourself.

This behavior takes you through incredible and unexpected experiences you would have missed if you had said "No".

As for ourselves, this philosophy is crucial to exit the negative loop, and enter the positive one.

Whenever you are asked to go out, to attend an event, to meet someone, say "Yes" without even thinking for a second.

The more you think, the more reasons you find to scare yourself, anguish about the social confrontation, and eventually say "No".

Just say "Yes", no matter what it takes. Try to be as available as possible, and put your social events in priority.

Yes: The One-Word Solution to Overcome Shyness - Illustration - Picture

Bottom Line

Stop saying "No".

Say "Yes" instead.

Whenever you plan to overcome shyness, laying on a sofa, scrolling through all the events in your city, make it mandatory to attend an event this week. You will read events’ descriptions, and you will think "Oh, this is not perfect. I don’t know if it suits me."

Unless you try out, there is no way to tell. Make it a challenge, and put yourself all in to achieve it. I recommend you download Meetup, Eventbrite, and similar mobile apps to find events in your area.

Unless you take the first step and make the decision to act, no one will ever put you out and build your social confidence for you.

Take action, say "Yes", and multiply your social interactions.

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Karina Reader

Saying yes to more opportunities is a great way of overcoming shyness. However, I feel like this won't always work when you're an introvert. For me, I can only take so much social interaction until I'm so exhausted that I barely know my name anymore... But the bottom line is the same: you should never say no to something just because you're scared of it. If anything, that's probably the best reason to at least try.

David M. Author

All the readers of this article should go through your comment. I think you are right and your testimony rings a bell to most of us (introverts). Thanks a lot for your insight Karina.

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