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Imagine going to college for classes in the morning. You make your way to the classroom, wondering what the lecturer would have you and your friends do. The lecturer then comes in and announces that you’ll be doing a group project, much to your dismay. As much as you like hanging out with your circle of friends, brainstorming and discussing a group project just intimidates you. As you listen to your other group members voice out their ideas, an idea of your own comes to mind. You want to tell them, but your timidity gets in the way. “What if they hate my idea?” “Would I be humiliated?” These questions cloud your mind, rendering your idea unspoken and ignored. Sounds depressing, doesn’t it? We often turn a blind eye to someone timid, believing when they say they do not have anything to contribute. However, what goes on inside a timid person’s head?
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The Reason Behind Their Timidity
Usually, when your friend refuses to answer or is hesitant about voicing their opinion, you want to help them by encouraging and reassuring them they can do it. Sometimes, it works, and all they need is that one push. However, is it always that easy? It would be easy to think that they are just wary of social interactions without realizing they may be suffering from something more severe like trauma. According to an article on Healthline, people who have had a traumatic experience may develop anxiety and nervousness that the incident may happen again. Usually, those who are called timid have had their opinions rejected or ridiculed before, thus causing them to keep their thoughts to themselves. Another reason may lie in their upbringing. Any personality traits or mannerisms are developed during childhood; therefore, parenting plays a significant role in a child’s development. If the child was brought up with authoritarian parents, it’s no surprise they’d be terrified of rejection.
Ways to Overcome the Fear
So, how can you overcome your fear? Firstly, be more confident in yourself. I won’t say it will be easy. However, having more confidence is the first step to breaking the timidity chain. The rest should then follow naturally. You can also try practising what you want to say first before speaking up. That way, you won’t risk stumbling on your words or overload with anxiety.
How to Support Someone Timid
If you have a friend or know someone who is generally quiet, then you have probably experienced a situation where all of you are pitching ideas while they just sat there quietly despite appearing like they wanted to say something. In that case, it usually takes an act of support and encouragement from their close friends to get them to speak their mind. Frequently asking them for their input would help them slowly open up to you when they see that you won’t ridicule them. That being said, you shouldn’t try to force anything out of them. Be patient and wait for them to respond in their own time.
Hopefully, this article will be of help. Just remember. Do not be afraid of rejection. Talking with a family member or close friend may help relieve feelings of doubt and boost confidence. With time, hopefully, you’ll be able to speak your mind without any doubts.
By Chloe Yong