Power Networking Blog

Overcoming Shyness

Overcoming Shyness (7)

In this category of our blog we offer articles related to overcoming shyness. Being shy shouldn't prevent you from being an effective networker. If you have any questions, just ask!

You ask a short simple question that requires a complex answer to do it justice.

It’s far too easy for people that don’t experience being shy and quiet to say ‘just stop doing it.’

Life doesn’t work that way.

How can I network if I'm shy?Well, the good news, if there is any, is that you are not alone. I don’t know where in the world you are located but the Shyness Institute, located in the USA, reports that more than 50% of North Americans describe themselves as being shy in social situations.

You would think that with all this social media and on-line connectedness, we would be becoming more social and less shy, but the opposite is true. This collective increase in our shyness has been attributed to several causes.

Friday, 16 December 2016 07:54

What kind of shy am I?

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Shyness doesn’t come in ‘kinds.’ It can however, be placed on a continuum. On one end of the continuum you would have a person who is painfully shy in all situations. At the other end of the continuum you would have someone who is moderately shy in social situations. They don’t like socializing but they do it anyways. They don’t let it control their lives.

Shyness is merely a lack of social skills, which in turn creates tension i.e. stress in the individual.

Friday, 05 August 2016 07:41

How do I Overcome Social Anxiety?

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How do I Overcome Social Anxiety?Calling it ‘social anxiety’ is great for mental health clinicians. We’ve always known it as shyness.

Shyness is a learned behaviour. We are conditioned to be shy by our circumstances in life. We aren’t born with it. Experiences that have been unpleasant to us have a way of repeating themselves when we least expect it. Odds are, that when we respond with shyness in a social situation, we wouldn’t recognize that our response is conditioned or a reflex related to the original incident. Our conscious mind won’t give us access to that memory. Yet we respond almost in the exact same way as we originally did.

Too Shy to Network?Sound familiar?

“Do your hands start sweating and your legs shake with the thought of having to not only attend a business networking session but actually talk to people?”

“Do you feel paralyzed by the fear of rejection when you are at a business networking event?

“Would you rather have a root canal than attend a business networking event?

“Would you rather send an e-mail to a business lead than meet them in person?”

Well if any of these apply … you may be shy!

“Get over it!” That’s what our extroverted friends would say. “Just do what we do!”

Life isn’t that simple. We aren’t all extroverts and it would probably be a noisy world if we were. Being shy isn’t a personal defect.

You aren’t the only one out there, even if it feels like it sometimes. The world is full of shy people and that doesn’t prevent you from being an effective networker and reaping the benefits that networking can bring to your business.

Shyness can be defined as a reticence and self-consciousness, not just in stressful social situations but over all.

Power Networking for Shy People: Tips & Techniques for Moving from Shy to Sly! by Rae StonehouseThe following is an excerpt from Power Networking for Shy People: Tips & Techniques for Moving from Shy to Sly! written by Rae Stonehouse aka the “Shy Guy.”


As this is a book on networking for shy people, I’m assuming that you experience shyness to a certain degree. There isn’t a standard measurement that applies to everyone. We all experience it in a different way. What might intimidate me may not cause any distress to you at all.

For some people it is the large groups of people that cause their anxiety. For others, it can be the inevitable 1 to 1 conversation, where they fear that they may appear to be stupid.

For me, I find the approaching of somebody that I don’t know to be challenging. I would suspect that I have a deep-seated fear of rejection that triggers my anxiety. Yet, I have developed an advanced skill at public speaking, an area that many would find to be even more stressful.

Thursday, 04 August 2016 07:20

Is Toastmasters Good for Painfully Shy People?

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Is Toastmasters good for shy people by Rae StonehouseLike any thought-provoking question, there likely isn’t a definitive answer. This one, as others, would likely fit into the “it depends” category.

Let me preface my comments with sharing that I am a 22 years and counting member of Toastmasters, Past District 21 Governor and a Distinguished Toastmaster. I wouldn’t say that I was painfully shy when I joined Toastmasters but my shyness did limit me significantly.