When living abroad (or at home), no need to be shy! Better to be perceived as weird, awkward, and rude than to be shy.
How to open up doors in your life
It seems the best way to open up doors in life is to NOT be shy!
When you’re shy, all doors immediately close to you. The more social risks you take, the more likely you are to have fun and interesting life experiences and feel more joy in your everyday life.
Why are we shy?
For myself, I see shyness and fear as synonymous. Being shy is being fearful of making social faux-pas (social interaction mistakes). Many of us are so afraid of being “socially awkward” that we end up NOT being social at all! The thought is:
Better to be closed off and not take social risks, than to take a social risk and be ridiculed as a fool.
I say fuck it; let us be clowns, jesters, and fools. To be frank almost all famous or successful people are socially abberant (different). We are entertained by people who are different, strange, and act “out of character”. In my life the more ridiculous I am, the more I am loved by others (especially strangers).
Don’t try to “look cool”
People who try too hard to “look cool” or “be cool” are actually the most insecure, shy, and socially risk averse people out there. Essentially being “cool” is to close yourself off from others– to appear “fascinating” by others by how enigmatic or mysterious you are.
But once again, to try to “look cool” is just a front (faking).
Once you realize that (almost) everyone is as insecure as you (or perhaps more socially insecure than you), this is when you’ve broken out of your mental prison and can truly thrive.
Simple social risks you can take
- Talk to strangers, joke with them, ask them about their life story. Chat with coffee shop baristas, store clerks, or people on the streets.
- Ask permission to photograph strangers (street portraits) and compliment them!
- Experiment living intermittently abroad, or in different places and cities. Live in a foreign country or city, and practice the local language. Tip: Better to learn a local language through situational difficulty than than to take boring grammar or language classes.
- Practice flirting, I think this is one of the best ways to improve social skills. Flirt with guys, girls, whatever gender.
When in doubt, be friendly.