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Shyness -- And How to Overcome It

By John J.O’Callaghan

Shyness in some people can be very desirable and appealing But not if their shyness is holding them back from being all that they might be, and do. As I see it, there are “Mirror” people and “Window” people.

“Mirror” people tend to be vain, shy, unhappy, introspective, misunderstood, fearful and very lonely, have few friends and are predominately negative in attitude.

“Window” people tend to be bold, curious, questioning, friendly, outgoing, vivacious, extrovert. They have a predominately positive attitude and feel very comfortable, not only with themselves, but also with the opposite sex.

If you happen to be an excessively shy “Mirror” person, you need to consider whether you should think and talk less in terms of ‘I,’ ‘my,’ and ‘me’ and more in terms of ‘you’ and ‘your.’

People are not staring at YOU!

You are not the center of attention. The person who is dressed well, walks “tall,“ has assumed an authoritative air, makes eye-contact instead of avoiding it, and wears a big smile, is attracting all the Attention!

Here are some quick-tips on how to boost your self-confidence:
Think back to your childhood and try to determine who or what happened that made you feel inferior or inadequate?

As Eleanor Roosevelt once said, “No one can make you feel inadequate without your full permission.”

When you were a child--you thought as a child. That was then. Yesterday ended last night. Today is a brand new day. You can begin again today. You can be anything you want to be.

If all you see are limitations, maybe you put them there!

Begin by pretending you are no longer shy. Then act as if you are no longer shy. That is one is the surest and most effective ways to overcome shyness.

© Copyright 2004. John J.O’Callaghan. “Quick-Fix Solutions to Minor Imperfections” extracted John's book, “Singles Looking
for Love.” Get more info by sending a blank email, subject SINGLES. mailto : johnoc29 @


Use your creative imagination. There is a big convention going on. Hundreds of people are in attendance. You are the keynote speaker.

You come on stage. Everybody claps and cheers. You hold up your hand, palm showing, and everyone becomes quite. You say what you have to say. You make a point. You illustrate that point. Everybody cheers and claps. You get a standing ovation. You are a great success.

You are on a date. When someone asks you how you are, and you tell them, you realize that is a definition of a very boring person. You determine never to be boring again.

Demonstrate empathy by encouraging your date to talk about himself or herself--while you listen attentively. From time to time you say things like, “That’s interesting,” and, “I understand. I think I know how you must have felt at the time.”

Be generous with your praise where praise is due.

Do something nice for somebody without expecting a reward. It will make you feel good. Be nice to yourself. You deserve it. So reward yourself from time to time. Treat yourself to a new outfit or whatever. Do anything that is likely improve your self-image and make you feel good about yourself.

Love yourself more. You will not be able to truly love another--until you love yourself first. Talk to yourself. Tell yourself you are a good person and that you deserve to have good things happen to you.

Count your blessings instead of your failures. Make a list. Write down all the good things about you--and give thanks to God for all that you have. Irish people in general tend to look on the bright side.

For instance, in an attempt to console someone who had just fallen off a ladder and broken a leg, they might say, “Aren't you lucky! Sure you could have broken your neck as well.”

Right now, I want to tell you a story that might help you count your blessings:

The View From the Bed Nearest the Window

Two men shared a room in a hospital. One bed was by the window. The other was by the door. Every morning the man by the door would say to the man by the window. “What's the weather like outside today?”

And the man would tell him about the park, and the park bench, and the lake and the footpath and the flowers, and about the different people who were constantly passing by.

He would tell him about the regulars, like the old man who came there every day with his young grandson. About the woman with the baby in the pram. About the nice looking young woman who sat alone on the park bench every day.

He would tell about the man with the dog who sat down beside the nice young woman. How she patted the dog and how he shared his sandwiches with her. How they seemed to be getting friendlier and friendlier with each passing day.

And when the man by the widow died the man by the door asked if he could be moved to the bed by the window. But when he looked out--all he could see was the solid brick wall of the next building!

“He was totally blind. He knew he was dying of cancer” the nurse explained. “He knew how depressed you were over losing an eye and getting your neck broken in the car accident. He just wanted to cheer you up--knowing how it would help you make a speedier recovery.”

And one more little story:
The Cracked Pot

There was a rich farmer in India who every day sent his servant Ali to the well to bring back two terra cotta pots filled with water.

One day Ali clumsily dropped one of the pots. However, it did not break but it leaked a little. Consequently, each time he got back from the well, the cracked pot was never more than half full.

Ali was too afraid to tell his master. But after a year had gone by, he felt so guilty that, even at the risk of being fired, he confessed that he had cracked the pot.

“Ali,” his master said, “I knew the pot was cracked, but I chose to say nothing because I just love flowers. You see the drops of water that leaked out encouraged wild flowers to bloom and grow all along one side of the pathway from the well.”

In a way, we are all a bit like cracked pots. It is our imperfections that make each and every one of us unique. It may even be very difficult for us to love a person who is, or thinks they are, absolutely 100% perfect in every way.

Consequently, the more mature we are, the more we are drawn toward someone, who like ourselves, also has a few minor cracks and imperfections.

So, be sure to love yourself--cracks and all! You are loveable!

© Copyright 2004. John J.O’Callaghan. “Quick-Fix Solutions to Minor Imperfections” extracted John's book, “Singles Looking
for Love.” Get more info by sending a blank email, subject SINGLES. mailto : johnoc29 @

This work is copyrighted by the author. No unauthorized duplication or presentation allowed. All Rights Reserved Reprinted With Permission

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