October 30, 2023 · Bob Gass
“A man who has friends must himself be friendly.” Proverbs 18:24 NKJV
There are no shortcuts to overcoming shyness; you’re going to have to work at becoming comfortable being with people. But you can do it. Here are some surefire strategies that will help you make friends: (1) You can’t deny the fact that you’re shy, but the more you keep talking about it, the more you reinforce its control over you. “Wise words satisfy like a good meal; the right words bring satisfaction. The tongue can bring death or life; those who love to talk will reap the consequences” (vv. 20-21 NLT). Why “own” something so damaging to your goals and relationships? “God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind” (2 Timothy 1:7 NKJV). Fear is a spirit, and you must learn to reject it! The fact that you have named yourself “shy” is no reason to shy away from chances to overcome it. Avoidance just reinforces your fear. (2) Engage in an activity you really enjoy so that you’ll have something to chat about with passion and enthusiasm. (3) Overlook your thumping heart, wobbly voice, sweat, aching stomach, or other signs of anxiety; they are not lethal. Grin. It’s contagious, and it’s vital to appearing approachable. (4) Ask people to talk about their favourite subject – themselves. Then really listen and reply to their answers instead of worrying about what you will ask next. Remember, you may be able to sway what people think about you, but you cannot control it – so stop thinking about their assessment or endorsement of you. Meditate on Philippians 4:6-9, and “the God of peace will be with you” (Philippians 4:9 NKJV).