When you’re shy, it can feel like the world doesn’t notice you and all of your assets. But the truth might be that you aren’t noticing all of the assets of the world around you. It’s OK to use your shell as protection, but if you’re trying to figure out how to put yourself out there as an ordinarily bashful person, you might have to extend yourself out of your armor for a while. Tactics like being quiet and withdrawing from social situations work to protect your feelings, but establishing boundaries while putting yourself out there will help you protect your emotions while they’re coming up in real time.
If you’re shy and putting yourself out there, know that your sensitive feelings and your highly-attuned intuition are both your best friend and worst enemy. Being in touch with your emotions can help alert you when someone isn’t worthy of your time, but if you haven’t adequately healed from past experiences, your intuition can also make you think that the past is repeating itself in every new encounter that happens. Allowing yourself to project on other people can keep you closed off and mistrustful of a universe that has your back.
If you’re a shy person looking for love this spring, here’s how to put yourself out there, and protect yourself throughout.
1. Find Your Kind Of Armor
As a shy person myself, I put a lot of time into getting ready — but my appearance isn’t for anyone else. I’m dressing just for me, and selecting clothes that express what I want to attract. I will intentionally choose outfits that take up a lot of space — a fur jacket, deep purple winged eyeshadow — to embolden my spirit. I even wear wigs sometimes!
What I find is that when I have a big look, I don’t need to say much to attract attention. People will actually do all of the talking in order to impress me. That’s a funny power dynamic for someone who is used to placing everyone around me on a pedestal (as shy people tend to do). It also empowers me to be choosy about who I pay attention to. Remember: Shyness can read as mysterious, depending on the context. You can control how you are seen in another person’s eyes depending on the way in which you choose to project yourself.
2. Let Communication Be Your Sword
There are all sorts of ways in which we communicate. A lot of pressure is put on shy people to be able to express themselves verbally, but this is just because we don’t pay enough attention to our own body language. You’re expressing yourself all the time through the way you’re standing, the position of your arms, and even the ways certain emotions will ripple across your face.
If you’re a shy person who’s putting themselves out there, consider paying more attention to the ways in which you are communicating through body language. When you’re interested in someone, try initiating contact by touching their upper arm. If you aren’t interested in someone, you can also choose to convey that message by inserting a handshake when they swoop in for a hug, for example. Find your own communicative powers, and the world will sit up and start paying attention.
3. Don’t Give Anyone Else Too Much Credit
I think that shy people are generally hyper-observant, and end up almost obsessively watching what others do. Although this practice is good for getting introverts outside of themselves, it can also create the false perception that you actually know what someone is thinking — and that it has something to do with you, as an individual.
The truth is, most people aren’t thinking about you — they’re thinking about themselves, and how you fit into their narrative. But the person they are seeing isn’t actually "you." You’re the only one who has that insight into yourself.
So when you’re putting yourself out there, try not to get too caught up in what anyone else says or does. That’s putting a lot of energy into another person, when you really should consider preserving that passion for yourself and your own emotions. Tend to your inner fires and, eventually, you’ll find the power within.
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