How to Help Your Teen Overcome Shyness

shynessDo you notice that your teen stays home alone a lot instead of going out and spending time with friends? It’s possible that they’re struggling with shyness and they’re unsure how to deal with these feelings or rise above them.
If you want to help your teenager overcome this limiting trait, it’s important to consider the teen’s feelings and use a gentle approach.
Getting rid of shyness can take time, so it’s crucial not to push your teen too far.
Consider these strategies to help them triumph:

  1. Talk to your teen. The first step is to talk to your teenager about shyness. You can discuss how shyness affects their life. Does it limit their ability to enjoy social activities? Would they like to change the situation?
  1. Develop real strategies together. How can your teen approach social interactions and activities in a new way? You can help by creating a list of ideas. Brainstorm helpful items like conversation starters, common questions, and useful answers.
  1. Rehearse the strategies at home. By rehearsing the ideas, you can help your teen practice for real-life situations.
  • You can practice giving strong handshakes and introducing yourself to others.
  • Also, practice eye contact, body language, and voice modulation. Your teen will build confidence with each rehearsal. Point out how they are improving.
  1. Start slow. It’s important to start slow and not push your teen too far at first. They should feel comfortable with the steps being taken to overcome shyness.
  • Your teen can start the process by approaching one new person or signing up for one new activity. Once they feel more comfortable, they can add more social interactions and events. Shy teens usually hesitate before they try something new, so it’s crucial that they feel support from their family.
  1. Encourage positive thinking. Changing the teen’s thought process can help eliminate shyness.
  • Shy teens often worry about being accepted or judged by others. Self-criticism can stop teens from trying new activities or meeting new friends. It’s important to address these matters. You can gently encourage your teen by focusing on the positive aspects of not being shy.
  1. Work on speaking up in different situations. Shyness can block teens from speaking up and asking questions. You can work with them to encourage them to speak their mind.
  • The waitress gets their order wrong, or a teacher forgets to include them in a fun activity. Shy teens may be too scared to speak up in these situations. Help them become more assertive so others don’t ignore them.
  1. Focus on activities the teen loves. By focusing on these types of activities, the teen is more likely to overcome shyness.
  • Encourage your son or daughter to join clubs or groups that share the same interests. Does your teen love to draw and paint? Do they spend hours listening to music? There are clubs, groups, and classes specifically designed for teenagers that can help them overcome shyness.
  • A group that shares the same interests as your teen will help them feel accepted. Conversations are easier to start because everyone enjoys the same topic.
  • I remember having a little shy girl start our martial arts program during the summer about thirteen years ago. In fact in the beginning in order to talk to her I had to talk through her grandmothers’ leg she was hiding behind. Fast forward nine years and she was graduating high school, going to college, a third degree black belt and one of my top paid instructors.

You can help your teenager get rid of shyness by starting small and working through the process slowly. Each teen has a unique personality, so it’s important to let them develop their new assertiveness naturally.

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