Home Discussion Forum How can I overcome my shyness, low self-esteem, and self-consciousness?

How can I overcome my shyness, low self-esteem, and self-consciousness?

Hi, I am a first time “caller.” Hehe. (nervous laughter at the joke)
All my life I’ve been shy and sensitive. I also have a low self-esteem. I’m able to talk with my family and the few friends that I have. It’s hard for me to make friends. I don’t talk much until I get to know someone better. I haven’t been on a date or been able to ask someone out due to my shyness. For example in grade school I had a crush on someone. I did nothing about it and we lost connection. We then became friends again and after tons of advice I was gonna try to ask her out. I found out she is in a serious relationship. I moved on as I am not the type to ruin relationships. I am also shy in thinking I am too thin and in need of more muscle (arms, chest, stomach). I’m self-conscious of my body. In gym class I’d always change in the stall vs with all the other guys. Fully-clothed in public always. Also I blush easily.
How do I beat this shyness, low self-esteem, and self consciousness?
Thank you,
Justin (22)
I also worry a lot and over think things. I’d have thoughts playing in my head again and again and then I never actually say it. I fear that if I say something it’ll seem stupid or cause others to be annoyed/angry/make fun of me. I haven’t had the greatest history when it comes to having friends. All throughout grade school I was ignored and my former classmates talked amongst themselves and acted cliquish. When I did have attention on me it lasted for a few seconds. Also doing presentations for class frightened me. I’d do them but I’d be nervous and sweat. When going to parties and stuff I usually sit around feeling bored and lonely as I don’t usually know anyone. I can’t initiate conversations due to my shyness either. Plus, who can talk over the loud music? Hehe. In classes I never speak up unless I am called on and then I say little wishing for the spotlight to be put on someone else.
I’m the kind of guy that tries to be a gentleman. I have a pretty good sense of humour too I’ve been told. I believe you should treat others how you want to be treated. Also honesty is the best policy …and liar liar pants on fire. I am not the kind of guy that would cheat on any relationship. I don’t drink, smoke, or do drugs. I can also be very open (if I was not uncomfortable or shy) …as I can tell you anything easily via typing. Modest and humble …I don’t know …as I’ve just said a mouthful about myself. But I do not mean to seem like I am showing off or something as that was not my intention. (<-me over thinking now). Sorry. Just telling a bit about myself if it helps with your answering. I might add that I am not completely skinny. I'm about 5'9-5'10 and 130 lbs.


  1. Volunteer! Nothing helps shyness and low self-esteem more than helping others. Go to a homeless shelter and feed the hungry, volunteer your time at a nursing home by providing entertainment or see if they need help with activities for the residents that live there, help an elderly neighbor with her yardwork or get groceries for her. Not only will it improve your self-esteem, but if you do it enough it will get out in the community on what a good-willed person that you are.

  2. I guess start slowly work out talk alot more each day to strangers, be creative don’t regret things you say, don’t try to impress everybody theres alot of people out there. Hey what do you have to lose. Once you make a step up like talking to a chick one day it builds confidence fast you start feeling confident more and more. Find a friend who’s very friendly and out going he will drive you and you will start doing things you usually won’t usually do like going out to clubs , Dating or whatever you like to do for fun. theres alot more try this first just thing you don’t want to be 40 and be saying damn i should have did this come on dude your 22 i know really ugly people with great personalites which makes them beautiful, Fun, cool people. I know people that look like models who have crappy personalites who have “fake” friends be yourself the way you are to your family. dude just be more confident.

  3. There are good things about you that you are not giving yourself credit for. Make a list of the good things you are. Then make a list of the things you think make you undeserving.
    Always remember the good things about you when trying to meet or socialize with other people. If there are things about you that you would like to improve, take them one by one and work on them.
    As for being shy, I will tell you this–no one ever gets want they want in life unless they go for it. Learn to take more chances. Once you do it a few times, it will become easier for you.
    Take it from someone that did not walk into a door first, for fear of being criticized. I finally met a man that asked me why. I told him that it was because people would stare at me. He told me that it was because I was a nice looking lady. He told me that it was unimportant what others thought anyway. The most important thing I needed to do, he said, was be proud of the person I am. He made me realize that I could not please everyone all of the time anyway. He kept pushing me to do things I was afraid of doing. After awhile I began to feel confident. I am no longer that shy little girl now.

  4. Are you at all familiar with the concept of mask-acting? Actors can get nervous when playing a role (“God, I look so stupid!!!”, “They’re going to hate this performace…”, etc.), but if they’re behind a mask or elaborate make-up, they are free to run wild. Picture Jack Nicholson. He’s a good actor, but once he put on the make-up for the Joker in “Batman”(1989), he just went nuts!
    I myself was a particularly shy guy myself, but I found my shyness rapidly diminishing once I found MY mask.
    Whenever I wear these sunglasses, I turn psychologically invisible, and am seldom plagued by social anxieties. What you need to do is find a mask of your own, preferably one that’s stylish enough to act as a conversation starter as well. 🙂
    Hope this helps!

  5. Hey Justin,
    I am sometimes shy too, don’t worry you can come out of this. What you can do is, force yourself to do something when you don’t have the guts to. The first few times can be really hard for you, but as you force yourself to socialize more and do things you are shy about, then you should get somewhat used to it. For example, I found out about a global business class, a great opportunity. I really wanted to sign up for this class, until i found out that I will have to present a business plan in front of successful business people and business students from Harvard. But I thought about it, i cant be successful in life if I am going to shy away from so many things. To tell you the truth I am really nervous when speaking in front of people, but I told myself I have to overcome this shyness, so I forced myself to sign up for this class. Well, I hope it will work out for you.
    and as for self – esteem, you should make some improvements on your body if you are not satisfied. such as work out more since you said you have a skinny body.
    you should talk more to people, i know it is going to be hard for you, but just do it. you will get used to it and you will become more open.
    I hope what I said wasn’t too much gibberish, good luck

  6. Justin,
    You just described me growing up. You HAVE to find an outlet. Mine was humor. I learned that when I was in an
    awkward situation, if i called attention to the awkwardness of it, people would laugh.
    Like for example. QUIT changing in stalls! It makes you seem weird and like you have something to hide. Change in front of others and say something like “If anyone has a sensitivity to light, look away because I’m so white I’m bound to reflect when this shirt comes off!”
    You have to learn that it’s okay to be skinny. i looked like I belonged on a “feed the children” poster in high school. I still got through it, had girlfriends, etc.
    Your biggest issue is YOU. If you think you don’t deserve to be talked to, have friends, girlfriends, etc… IT SHOWS.
    NEVER let ANYONE make you feel like you don’t deserve something you want.

  7. You are just too self-concious,people don’t even look at you that way. Remember, whatever you do, as long as it is not harming anyone, you are doing just fine. what’s the big deal about it? why do you have to see things so seriously? maybe when you say hi to someone you met, he just thinks it is general.
    Stop self conscious stuff, who the heck really care what you do (as long as harmless), most of us are busy, you are just too care about your performance.
    In terms of muscle, come on, just eat and go to Gym. you can’t expect to have great body without excersice.


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