How to Help a Shy Friend Overcome Shyness

Shyness is not an easy trait to shake and is unarguably a worrisome one, especially if a close friend tends to be timid. Here are a few tricks to help such friend overcome shyness.


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    Let your friend know you're there and that you're going to help them. Letting them know what you're trying to do might save you some embarrassment, as your friend now understands that whatever you do then on, you're only trying to help.
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    Talk to your friend often. Always give your friend a mental psych-up. Reassure them constantly that they're 'okay'. Most cases of shyness stems from less appreciation of a subject's personality. Lovingly offer advice on the few things you feel need to be changed, while convincing your friend that they're 'wonderful', 'fun-to-be-with', and very 'attractive'. It would go a long way to boosting such a person's confidence.
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    When they talk, listen to them and reply with a calm and attached voice if prompted. Create an image of someone they can talk to at any time and about anything without a sense of shame being felt.
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    Avoid saying nasty things about your shy friend's personality. Remember that shyness isn't a trait we choose. Simply because you're one bubbly, full-of-life individual does not follow that your friend should 'naturally' toe the same line. Do not tease him/her or call them names like 'snail', or 'hermit', or the likes.
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    Go out with them often. Plan functions where you two can go together and slowly ease them into society. Always be by your friend's side, to boost his/her morale, especially if you're a well-known or popular person (even if this would bring all the major attention your way). Bring him/her into conversations slowly and introduce them nicely to new people. Start with small occasions within your friend's comfort zone (like your classroom projects, street carnivals, church gatherings, etc.), and work to broaden that perspective.
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    Start a social media profile for your friend (if permitted), as this would introduce them to a wider range of socialization and make the work of helping them beat their shyness easier for you.
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    Encourage your friend to take pictures of themselves, and take group pictures with them also. Help them frame display these pictures in their room, post them on social media profiles (if such a person permits, but don't over push this option), or start a picture album.


  • Always discuss your intentions before hand, so he/she would be aware of what you'll be doing.
  • Do not rush the progress. It's never a good idea to rush a shy person out of their safety zone.
  • Practice patience. As you guide such friend lovingly out his/her cocoon, don't blow off your top if your friend seems to be making snail-paced progress, or if such a friend regresses.


  • Never make them feel ashamed or embarrassed, for any reason, in private and in public. This could have long-standing repercussions, or even cost you the friendship
  • Be careful less your friend develops an addiction to social media, as opposed to meeting people physically. This would only make such a friend more withdrawn and further hamper your goal of getting him/her out their shell.
  • Never treat helping your shy friend socialize as a pet-project, overshooting it with attention. Remember that shy people easily get choked and feel resentment. So be moderate in the choice of places to take such persons to, the kinds of people you connect them with, and the list of new daunts you've prepared in your cocoon-shattering armory.
  • While letting your shy friend know they can talk to you about anything, be particularly careful not to develop into such a person's living, breathing personal diary. Else, you might've wound up making your friend's situation a wee bit worse than 'just shy'.

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Categories: Overcoming Shyness & Insecurities