In my last post, I mentioned how I find it much easier to write out my thoughts in certain situations and around certain people. However with the help of one of my former teachers, I’ve been learning more about the importance of having conversations face-to-face since, even though we’ve been using email as well, he prefers face-to-face chats more. I was almost always shy around my teachers when I was in school and admittedly, years later, I’m still sometimes shy around them as an adult!
Whenever my shyness and nerves creep up, it can be hard for me to find my voice. Part of me wants to stay quiet even when I have something I want to say. While my thoughts maybe clear and coherent in my mind, when I try to speak them out loud, they become a hesitant, jumbled mess and I end up feeling like an embarrassed idiot. And other times my mind might be racing so much that I can’t figure out what to say. My shyness and nerves make me feel like I’ll just sound stupid and my fears try to take control.
Yet, while I might be afraid of speaking up face-to-face, there are benefits to this sometimes-scary form of communication. If, like me, you can easily talk to certain people such as close friends and/or family but have a hard time speaking up around some people and/or in certain situations, think about why one is much easier than the other. When we’re around people that we are close to, our fears melt away; they’re not present and trying to take over. We feel safe talking and opening up.
On the other hand, because of shyness, sometimes it can take longer for us to warm up and become more comfortable in some situations and around some people. While we hope that we can trust them and hope that they won’t judge us or make us feel stupid, our fears and nerves creep up and cause us to become hesitant when we may want to open up. Or worse-we might freeze up, unable to say anything at all! That’s when we need to remember that while talking face-to-face can be nerve-wracking at times, it is good for working on social skills and coping with shyness.
Here is a list of reasons why we might be afraid to speak up and a list of the benefits of speaking up, face-to-face:
Reasons We’re Afraid
*We’re afraid of sounding stupid.
*We’re afraid of how what we say might be received.
*We feel like what we say might be unimportant.
*We might lack courage to speak up.
*If asking questions, we’re afraid of what the answer might be.
*We’re afraid of making things worse.
*We’re afraid of rejection and/or being judged.
Benefits of Speaking Up, Face-to-Face
*It helps us cope with shyness.
*We practice being more open face-to-face.
*It helps us take more risks.
*If we ask questions, we’ll hopefully get answers.
*What we have to say might be important to us.
*We work on overcoming our fears more.
*We can practice face-to-face conversations with someone we know but are shy around.
*We might get helpful and positive advice/answers
*Face-to-face chats can help relationships grow more because they are more personal.
*Talking face-to-face can help clarify any misunderstandings that might arise.
Do you have trouble speaking up, face-to-face? What helps you overcome your fears? What do you try to remember when your shyness and nerves start to creep up?