How to Get Noticed when You're Shy

Three Methods:Standing Out in a CrowdIncreasing Social ContactAltering Your Mindset

It can be difficult to get noticed if you are shy. You may want to simultaneously avoid people and stand out in a crowd. However, this is a difficult balance to manage. If you truly want to get noticed, you may benefit from working on standing out in a crowd, increasing social contact, and altering your mindset about social interactions and being shy.

Method 1
Standing Out in a Crowd

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    Be yourself. You don’t have to put on a false façade in order to get noticed by others.[1] It is okay to be introverted or shy. We are all different and not everyone can be super outgoing and social at every moment. Respect who you are and love yourself for your unique shyness. Lots of people think being shy is sweet and attractive; not everyone is drawn to the life of the party.
    • Acknowledging your shyness can actually increase the positive impression you make on people.[2] Also, explaining that you are working on your shyness can increase positivity further and help you get noticed.
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    Wear something noticeable and unique. Dress in a way that reflects your personality and inner beauty.[3] Sometimes we can get stuck in our own fashion habits and forget to explore new ways of expressing ourselves through clothing and jewelry.
    • If you like bright colors you can wear yellow, orange, or pink colors instead of the basic blacks, browns, blues, grays, and whites.
    • Try not to overdo it (by wearing too much makeup or flashy, outrageous clothing); you want to get noticed for who you are and not in a negative way.
    • If it makes you feel more unique or confident, you can try out a new haircut, color, or style.
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    Get out in the open. Many people who are shy may want to stand up against the wall or shrink away in the back of the room. Don't hide behind anything; get out in the middle of the room where you are more likely to get noticed!
    • If you are concerned with being alone or feeling awkward, find someone you know and go stand next to and interact with him.
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    Display positive body language. Non-verbal communication makes up a lot of our communication.[4] So, it is especially crucial to focus on the impression you are making with your body.
    • Smile and use other positive facial expressions such as attentiveness. Mirror other people's emotions; this can show that you are understanding.
    • Keep your arms and legs uncrossed. Crossed arms or legs shows that you are closed off. It can even send the signal that you are angry.
    • Instead of shrinking down or displaying a slumped posture, take up as much space as possible with your body; this shows confidence and power.
    • Haptics, or communicating through touch is a useful way to stand out and let people know you like them.[5] You can give hugs, high-fives, or put your hand on someone's shoulder. Make sure it is appropriate and the person doesn't mind if you touch him.

Method 2
Increasing Social Contact

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    Connect with people you already know. Trust is a huge factor in overcoming shyness in order to stand out and get noticed by others.[6] Instead of jumping into a situation with strangers, try practicing getting noticed with people you already feel comfortable with.[7]
    • Talk to a friend about your shyness and worries about not being noticed.
    • Let a friend or family member know that you want to get noticed and ask her for advice on what you can do.
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    Be prepared. Having a plan can help you to feel less shy and more confident when interacting with others. Think of possible interactions you might have in a specific situation and plan what to say or how to deal with them.
    • Think of an ice-breaker if you feel nervous about meeting new people or talking with people you don't know very well.[8] For example, you could ask about a current event to open up a conversation by saying, "Did you see what happened on the news last night?" Another option is to talk about recent movies or television shows you've been watching. Chances are you'll be able to find one that you both are interested in.
    • Always be prepared for anything. When a teacher/someone calls on you don't hesitate and fade into the shadows, strange as it may sound people will think you're more normal if you answer confidently even if incorrect than a tentative correct.
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    Meet new people. You can’t be noticed if you avoid interacting with others. Talking to new people you don't know is a great way to get noticed. Being friendly may give you a great chance to get noticed and overcome some of your shyness.[9]
    • Make eye contact, and simply say, “hello,” with a smile.[10]
    • Make it apparent that you like or are interested in the person.[11] Listen to the person and nod your head or show in another way that you are listening to them.
    • Ask a question and say the person’s name; people love to hear their own name.[12]
    • Talk about something they like or something you really like and get a conversation going.
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    Use social media. Communicating on the internet may help to reduce shyness and help you get noticed.[13]
    • Facebook is a way to meet new people, but don't let Facebook do the job for you, because that might make your shyness worse. Don't rely on the internet completely for social interaction.
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    Feign extroversion. Many shy people find that forcing themselves to be extroverted helps them cope with their shyness.[14] However, this is not a quick fix.
    • A great way to feel confident is just to pretend you are. Act. It works, and at some point it won't be acting anymore.
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    Avoid self-medicating. Some may use alcohol or other drugs to feel less inhibited.[15] This may help you feel more confident in the short-term, but doesn’t do anything for your shyness or getting you to be noticed in the long-term. If you rely on alcohol or other substances to be social then it can become a crutch and even an addiction that could be difficult to quit.
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    Join a group that you’re interested in. You can use a group situation as a way to practice getting noticed by others.[16]
    • Try finding a group at
    • Look for exercise classes at your local gym such as yoga, Zumba, or rock-climbing.
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    Get professional help if needed. If your shyness is excessive or leads to high levels of social anxiety, including worries about being judged negatively by others, professional help can assist you.[17][18]
    • Contact your medical health insurance company and request a list of therapists that are covered.
    • If you do not have health insurance you can conduct a search for local or government organizations that provide low-cost, sliding scale, or free mental health services.

Method 3
Altering Your Mindset

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    Change your anxious thoughts. Some individuals who are shy may have negative thoughts that make it difficult to engage in social interactions. Some examples include, “I’m inhibited by others,” “I’m not as interesting as other people,” or “I have trouble thinking of things to say when talking to others.”[19]
    • Notice when you are having negative thoughts about interacting with others. Evaluate patterns in your thinking that might produce anxiety or nervousness.
    • Come up with alternative thoughts to tell yourself when you notice you are having a negative thought.
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    Reassure yourself. Reassurance or self-affirmations can help you cope with feeling shy in social situations, which may help you be less shy and be noticed more often.[20]
    • If you are feeling shy or anxious you can think or tell yourself, "I am feeling anxious, but I know I can get through this."
    • If you want to get noticed but feel anxious you can tell yourself, "I am feeling shy, but I want people to notice me. I know I can put myself in the center of the room. I can deal with my anxiety and still be noticed."
    • During times when you not feeling confident you can think, "I am worthy of friendship and love even though I am shy. I am interesting. I am awesome."
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    Learn necessary social skills. During your down-time, you can work on improving your social skills.[21] Focus on smiling, asking questions, and listening.[22]
    • You can take a social skills class, or get group therapy treatment.
    • Toastmasters is a useful resource for helping people become comfortable with public speaking.[23]

Sources and Citations

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Categories: Overcoming Shyness & Insecurities