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Dear Dish-It: I'm Scared @ Parties

Dear Dish-It,

When I go to parties even when I know everyone I feel scared. What can I do?

Is

Dear Is,

Have you ever watched a movie called The Rugrats? Maybe you've noticed something about Chuckie Finster, the redheaded kid. There are times when Chuckie does not like to play in the sandbox with other kids. Chuckie is shy. Lots of kids and adults are shy. Maybe you are one of them.

What's Shyness?

Shyness means to feel a little scared when you're around other people. Just about everybody feels shy sometimes. If you're the new kid in class or you go to a party in a strange home, it can make you feel shy.

Nobody sits around and says, "Well, I think I'll be shy today." It is just something that happens. It can just sneak up on you. You might feel fine practicing your soccer kicks, but you feel nervous when the coach comes over to give you a few pointers.

But being shy isn't necessarily a bad thing. It's OK if it takes you a while to feel comfortable with new people and new situations. In fact, it can even be helpful to be a little shy. When you're shy, you may spend a little extra time observing the scene before jumping right into it. And you're unlikely to talk to strangers, which you shouldn't do anyway!

What Causes Shyness?

Some kids are born shy and more sensitive. Sometimes even babies act shy. Have you ever seen a baby hide his or her face from a stranger? On the other hand, another baby might kick, smile, and wave at everyone, even strangers.

But if you weren't shy as a little kid, it's still possible to be a shy person. You might have learned to be shy because of experiences you've had at school or home. And sometimes you only feel shy for a short while, like the first time you get on a new school bus. This type of shyness often goes away after you get adjusted. For instance, after a few days, you'll probably have a seat you like to sit in and you'll get to know friends on the bus.

Can Shyness Be Serious?

Sometimes, people become so shy they are afraid to do simple things in life. For example, they won't go to a restaurant because they are too nervous to order and pay for their food. Some people are so shy about meeting new people that they rarely go outside. Doctors and psychologists often can help the person work through this kind of shyness.

If your shyness is keeping you from doing stuff you want to do, talk to someone about it. Parents, teachers, counselors, and doctors are all good people to turn to. Talking about your shyness may help you get over it. Or your friends or parents may tell you that they, too, have the same shy feelings and what they do to feel less shy. If you still feel really shy, your mom or dad might take you to see a psychologist. He or she can help you figure out how to feel more at ease around people.


Six Ways to Shake Shyness

Having a shy style isn't necessarily a problem. It's perfectly OK to take time to warm up to new people and situations. But shyness blocks some people from being as comfortable or sociable as they'd like to be.

Some people want to feel less shy so they can have more fun socializing and being themselves around others. Here are some tips for overcoming shy feelings:

  1. Start small with people you know. Practice social behaviors like eye contact, confident body language, introductions, small talk, asking questions, and invitations with the people you feel most comfortable around. Smile. Build your confidence this way. Then branch out to do this with new friends, too.
  2. Think of some conversation starters. Often, the hardest part of talking to someone new is getting started. Think of conversation openers, like introducing yourself ("Hi, I'm Chris, we're in the same English class"), giving a compliment ("That jacket looks great on you"), or asking a question ("Do you know when our report is due?"). Being ready with a conversation starter (or a few) makes it easier to approach someone.
  3. Rehearse what to say. When you're ready to try something you've been avoiding because of shyness — like a phone call or a conversation — write down what you want to say beforehand. Rehearse it out loud, maybe even in front of the mirror. Then just do it. Don't worry if it's not exactly like you practiced or if it's not perfect. Few of the things more confident-seeming people do are perfect either. Be proud that you gave it a go. Next time, it'll be even better because it will be easier.
  4. Give yourself a chance. Find group activities where you can be with people who share your interests. Give yourself a chance to practice socializing with these new people, and get to know them slowly. People who are shy often worry about failing or how others will judge them. Worries and feelings like these can keep you from trying. If self-criticism plays a role for you, ask yourself whether you'd be this critical of your best friend. Chances are you'd be much more accepting. So treat yourself like your own best friend. Encourage yourself instead of expecting to fail.
  5. Develop your assertiveness. Because shy people can be overly concerned with other peoples' reactions, they don't want to rock the boat. That doesn't mean they're wimpy or cowardly. But it can mean they are less likely to be assertive. Being assertive means speaking up for yourself when you should, asking for what you want or need, or telling other people when they're stepping on your toes.
  6. Most of all, be yourself. It's OK to try out different conversational approaches you see others using. But say and do what fits your style. Being the real you — and daring to let yourself be noticed — is what attracts friends.


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Are You Shy? Vote!

  • A little - I can get kinda goofy in front of crushes.
  • Nope! I love being the center of attention!
  • I wish I was a turtle and I had a shell I could hide in - all the time!

Dear Dish-It In The Forums

KayKayZ
KayKayZ posted in Friends:
Hmm, okay, well I'll try to give you the best advice that I can, Error. So you say you don't like your friend for a number of reasons: Liar, bad influence, uses swear words, too blunt, etc. I feel like some of these could be over-looked, such as the swearing and the 'bad influence' part. Really, all you have to do is just not copy her actions, and they won't be influential at all. If you disagree, it shouldn't be hard to just refuse to follow in her steps. However, lying isn't the best quality I would look for in a friend.  She doesn't seem like an enjoyable person to be around in general, which is why you are making this post, obviously. But I'm gonna ask you something here. Don't you think that, in a way, you're lying too? You're pretending to be her friend solely for purposes of monetary value because, I assume, your family cannot pay for or get you to gymnastic class themselves. If this is true, that's kind of bad, isn't it? It sounds like, to me, that your friendship isn't exactly a healthy relationship at all. But I'm gonna sympathize with you, since I know gymnastics must be important to you, and you wouldn't be doing this if you didn't have a good reason. So, what should you do about it? Well, personally I think there are a few things you could do. You could stop being her friend, therefore no longer having to deal with her; but in the process lose access to your gymnastics class and have to look for it in another way. On the flip side, you could continue to put up with her, which would probably not be in your best interests, but you'd still get to attend your class. Or, you could try talking to her about it. Ask her what she really thinks of your friendship, if she actually values you as her friend. Maybe you two can talk about problems that you're having with each other and work on fixing them. This option could have negative effects, since she might want to stop being your friend or things could become very awkward after that. But it's probably your best bet to be honest with her, as you'd hope she would be with you. How about if you tried being really nice to her? Kindness is contagious, and perhaps if you treat her well enough, she'll start doing the same to you. I feel like maybe if you complimented her, told her things that you really like about her, maybe even got her gifts or made her food once in a while, that she would come to appreciate you and all that you do for her. And in turn, she might start to respect you more herself, and become a good friend. That's about all I can say. If you're close enough with her mom, maybe you could even try asking her about her daughter and see if she can give you any advice. Hopefully that helped in some way, but if it didn't, maybe it at least made you think? I hope your problem gets resolved, Error, and you can be content with the outcome of it. :-)
reply 3 days
Error101
Error101 posted in Friends:
Okay so I have this friend and I don't like the type of person she is and I wouldn't be friends with her but her mom takes me to gymnastics every week.  I  had her over to spend the night and she lied about everything to me.  She kept telling me that she used to think I was weird and she didn't like me and it kind of hurt my feelings...  I would never tell someone that even if it was true.  She cusses and is a bad influence and she lies a ton.  There are a ton of bad qualities about her, and very few good ones.  I can't be mean to her because she is how I get to gymnastics but I don't really want to be her friend.  What should I do?  :(
reply 4 days
Wonderfulcalico
My parents have always been aggressive and abusive and I only just noticed it a couple months ago. Over time they've gotten worse (specifically my mother). Whenever she gets mad she'll yell at us and if she gets mad enough she'll hit and push us around. Whoever we get into arguments it's always one- sided and she always wins, even if she knows she is wrong. An argument we had not to long ago was about me not taking care of myself. She looked at my hair and started to touch it and told me "Your hair isn't soft why is it so dry, it's probably because you aren't taking care of your hair." Then she goes on to tell me that she's going to cut it and all of this other stuff when she knows I'm conscious about me looking like a boy ( Used to get called a boy for having short hair). As the argument goes on, I start to tell her things that she knows she is wrong about. She proceeds to yell at me then grabs me by the face and say "If you don't lower your tone and listen to what I'm saying I'm going to knock you in the head." Then she goes on to tell me she remembers nothing I was saying and that it's a lie. She also hit me when I didn't clean the laundry room correctly and whenever she gets fed up. I'm constantly having to watch what I say and do, because I'm scared that I'm going to end up hurt. She also likes to degrade me and tell how bad I'm doing. She's said plenty of thing like when I didn't have my bed covers tucked in she yelled at me and hit me and I said "Do you expect me to just stand here and take this", and she replied saying "That's what you are supposed to do you are the child and I am the adult, you take whatever I do until I'm done." Another time is when I had my band concert and I had to pick out the right attire. When we went shopping to get the clothing I chose slacks when she liked a skirt better, we went on to fight in the store and she bought the slacks. When we got home she said to me that real girls wear skirts and dresses and boys wear slacks and pants. This hurt me because she knows I have a past with people telling me I look like a boy etc. Another time I started to sleep on the floor, because I was practicing a minimalist life. When I left my pillows on the floor she found it and questioned me on why they were there. I told her it fell of my bed when really I left it there. Later when I told my dad, he told her and she got mad because I was getting cat hair on my pillows. She then proceeded to ask why I lied and I told her sometimes lying is better then the truth (I knew she would get mad that I was sleeping on the floor so I lied) then she told me that I was never going to have a relationship, a job, or friends ( This hurt me because I don't have friends now). She's also said that I don't take care of my body because I ate two sweets in one day which lead her to banning me from Doritos and now I have to ask to get chips and any other snack. She's told me I don't take care of my teeth because I have yellow spots from using whitening toothpaste with braces on. She's told me I don't take care of my hair so I can't wash it or do any hair style or then a bun. She had lead me to starving myself (Unless she makes me eat) and cutting myself. I've just stopped caring, because what ever I do is always wrong. I never get a choice in my activities, she controls my life in fact she me just in a different body. But what is even worse is that she's turning my dad into her. Now I have a scheduled time to eat breakfast and lunch, and to go onto my electronics. I feel like I'm in a prison with my parents constantly watching over me, in fact yesterday when I was pouring my milk my mom got out a measuring cup and poured my milk into the measuring cup and said "Why isn't this a full cup" and I replied saying "Because I don't measure my milk." Then she got angry at me. There's so much I could say about her, but I'll stop. Anyways my father is always sarcastic and he doesn't realize how much it hurts me. Today I was cleaning out my bag for next school year and my dad came in and said, "Wow, you aren't even dress yet and I had to come up here to tell you how sad." Just little things like that hurt me. My little sister got mad at me last week for sitting in a certain area and she said " Why are you sitting there," and I didn't reply because I didn't want to speak to her and she then said, "Probably because you are too stupid to answer." I wanted to break down crying then and there, but I kept it in. I've limited my talking to her, because all she does is break me down. Like when there was a Proactive commercial and she said, "Ha, you need that." That hurt me because just the other my mom was telling me how I don't take care of my face and that's why I have acne. My older sister and I barely talk, because whenever I try to talk to her she's mad for what ever reason and when my parents were talking about hitting my sister she was in the corner laughing. My cat Preston is very young and I got hi,abo a year ago. I get very sad and often cry, because I've seen him turn out scared and aggressive just like me because he's been through what I have. One time he pooped in a clothes basket (It's right next to his litter box) my mom grabbed him by the neck and hit him while she smothered his face in his poop, all while yelling at him. I was going to call the Animal Protective Services, but I got too scared and I realized how lonely I would be. Please help me I'm not sure what to do anymore. Also sorry for the very long post!
reply 7 days
Error101
Error101 posted in Family Issues:
Dear Kkmr324, I hope you get to feeling better as time goes on.  It does get better but like you said you can't actually get over it.  Losing someone to cancer is awful and I have never lost a friend and I hope I never will and I am so sorry that you did, but I have lost family to cancer and it is horrible.  I hope your okay. :(
reply 8 days
Kkrmr324
Kkrmr324 posted in Family Issues:
A few months ago,my friend Kendall died of cancer. It was really hard to "get over it"; because really you dont just get over it. One thing i did was find a bunch of pictures of me and Kendall and remembered all the fun we had together. And it helped! I still miss her, but good friends and family helped with that.
reply 11 days