It’s normal to see at least one out of ten kids being so shy to relate with those they aren’t familiar with. Are you shy up till this moment?
I was once like you. I was shy to the core, but guess what? I conquered that , destroying all elements of shyness that lie within me.
Let me share my story with and also tell you how I was able to overcome shyness.
I grew up in a remote area in Lagos state, Nigeria – known as Afromedia in Ojo LGA. Since I was a kid, I’ve always been too shy that it will take a stranger no effort to notice whenever they come close to me.
It was really bad.
It was extreme.
At a time, I felt I couldn’t help myself. I started staying indoors, even when my friends and siblings where out to play. Sure, I was becoming lonely, as it made me had very little friends. I was shy but smart at same the time.
No one noticed the smart aspect of me, as being shy clouded my whole being making the smarter part of me invisible to others.
Yes, it was extreme and bad. I couldn’t look at my siblings or parents maintaining as eye contact.
One Sunday afternoon, when I was around 8years of age (a day I will never forget). Dad knew how shy I was, he didn’t know how to help me, so he carried out a little experiment on that day.
Dad invited my friends and our neighbors’ children with my siblings inclusive. We all gathered in our living room. Dad brought out the drinks and snacks he had bought leaving each of us with same conditions to get his or hers.
As a kid, snacks and these sweetened drinks were our all, as we valued and never joked with them. I was seriously interested in the drinks but dad’s condition was too tough and he maintained his stand.
Dad, playing the role of a DJ gave us a hit from this radio made in the 90’s. then he said to us all, the condition to get a drink and snack was for us to come out individually to dace for few seconds.
Shit! I said to myself as I knew I was too shy and would be unable to do that, so I took a second thought. “Maybe dad might be joking”. I waited patiently as all kids around took turns and I was the only one left.
I refused to dance and so did dad refuse giving me the drink and snack. I was disappointed, I didn’t know weither to cry or not.
At many occasions, being shy has deprived me some benefits…I knew I needed to up my game and get the hell out of the pit of shyness but I didn’t know how. It was not until I was ready to get into college.
When I was 17, I took the necessary exams to get me into college but didn’t seem to work out, as I wasn’t offered admission in the college of my choice. So, I settled for a mono-tech.(engineering inclined) named National Metallurgical Training Institute at Onitsha, Anambra state Nigeria.
During my last semester In the school, around October 2014, we were been taught how to tackle interviews, knowing fully well that majority of us will be going after jobs on graduating.
I got my break through over shyness during these lectures.
“It works with the eyes”
I found out a fact, which is – anyone whom you can look through their eyes maintaining eye contact during a conversation, will never sense you as being shy or nervous. And that was a principle to keep by, in the interview hall “maintain eye contact”.
I told myself, I was going to do away with shyness and I took action immediately.
Most times, when I’m around my friends discussing, I did a fun play to help myself. I would ask one to look me in the eyes while I made a count.
Initially, I never crossed 10, during counting. But as I continued the practice, I started to last longer. Most time my friend by name Okonkwo Okechukwu would give a smile, just to break the count. LOL. It caught me in some cases but I had my way in many.
That single practice has made me more confident than ever. I could look anyone in the eyes and express myself. It doesn’t matter if I’m just seeing you for the first time.
After graduating from the mono-tech., being a close pal to my then head of department, Engr. Sylvester. A job offer came from a company, so he called his boys to go check it out. He sent I and a friend Daniel to the company located at Nnewi, Anambra State Nigeria.
The interview was really hot.
I was alone facing the CEO of the company and the branch manager in an office. The company produces “BABYMATE DDIAPERS” a popular product in south east, Nigeria.
They kept throwing questions at me, while I answered them with confidence built as a result of maintaining eye contact. At some point, I noticed the manager whom was a pretty lady avoiding my eyes.
When I look at her to answer a question she asked, she automatically throws her eyes to my CV on the table like though she wanted picking something from it.
When they had exhausted their questions, he CEO stared at me for few seconds. Lol. I could still imagine his eyes looking at me on that day. After our short stare, the next thing he asked was, “where are you from”. After which he gave me N4,000 to take myself home. A journey that would consume less than 1k.
To cut the story short, I got the job…they needed me to start the next day. That was what my practice of eye contact as a means for boosting confidence and shunning shyness won me.
You can try it out.
It will work out for you.
Understand that there’s no reason to be shy.
You can conquer shyness.
If I did, you too can.