A Simple Exercise to Overcome Shyness

If social interactions stress you out, you might be interested in this Psychology Today piece offering some simple exercises to overcome shyness and social anxiety.

The author suggests some group improvisational exercises that are worth checking out. But for those who want something they can do on their own, there’s this one:

“…go to a mall at a busy time of day. Take off your watch. Ask twenty people for the time of day. Use three minutes between requests. You log the results of each encounter. You later look at your findings. Here is what you are likely to find. Most will give you the time of day. Some will walk past you as though you didn’t exist. A few may engage you in a brief and pleasant conversation.”

The idea is to approach enough people that it starts to feel natural.

Anyone else have ideas for “safe” ways to practice interacting with strangers?

Ritu Walia is an FG Analyst.

Comments (2)

  1. This is a great exercise! I will definitely try it the next time I have a chance.

    For me, I practiced interacting with others by getting lost in a big city. I would be forced to ask directions in order to find my way back home.

    With that in mind, maybe one can plan to go to a big city during the middle of the day with 5 destinations in mind. Without a map, they can make it a goal to visit all those places by asking for directions and interacting with other people.

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