How to get over being shy?

  1. I'm in my third week of nursing school and had a huge hit in the face today. Our first check off is next Wednesday and we have to use a fellow student as a patient, addressing them, explaining to them what we are doing all that just as if it were a real patient. Talking to people in the performance like way freaks me out. When I try to do it my throat closes and I feel like i am naked giving a national speech.

    A little background; I've always been this way. I never played sports in my life because of a fear of messing up in front of my peers. My problem isn't with potential patient or other people who I most likely won't meet again, it is with people like my class mates who have the next to years to criticize me.

    So how did you deal with this? What made you more comfortable etc?
    Please don't tell me just get over this, it's not that easy for me. Also I do not need anyone to tell me to quit and give up my dream
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    About mdm063

    Joined: Jul '13; Posts: 30; Likes: 4


  3. by   loriangel14
    Oh yeah I was shy too. Ever hear the saying "fake it til you make it?". Yeah just take a deep breath and pretend you totally know what you are doing. Are the other people in your class really that scary? I don't think anyone would criticize you for being nervous. Lots of people are.Could you get paired up with somebody you are friendly with? When I was in school we had to speak in ront of the class a lot. It was nerve wracking but it got easier. Good luck.
  4. by   Guy in Babyland
    I am a shy person but it is all a mind set. You need to fake confidence until you truly have it. You need to stop thinking of yourself as a nursing student and think of your self as an actress playing the part of a nurse with 20 yrs experience. Your classmates are novices just like you are. They will not criticize you because they will be nervous when they have to take the nurse role. When you are home alone practice with a stuffed animal (they will only make fun of you when you are out of the room) or something and practice your skills on them. Then move up to a real person that you trust (parent, sibling, good friend). They are your cheerleaders and want you to succeed. Eventually you get better. Will you turn into an outgoing, life of the party kind of, but at least you will be comfortable talking to people.

    Like I said I am a quiet, shy person around strangers. When I first introduce myself to my patient I try to break the ice by saying "Hi, I am Don I am an XXX nursing student and I will be your personal servant and will taking care of you for the next X hrs. Use me and abuse me, the busier I am taking care of you and getting things for you, the better I look to my instructor." They wont feel bad having you do things for them and in return they accept that you will need to do what you need to do to them (vitals, assessments, dressing changes, meds). Once you realize the patient is on your side to do good at clinicals, the more at ease you will feel.
    Last edit by Guy in Babyland on Sep 12, '13
  5. by   rache1rotz
    To me it sounds like you might have social anxiety disorder. I have it also. Maybe you can speak to a doctor about it?
  6. by   Nursing2102
    Once you stop caring about what people think of you, you wont be shy anymore. Quite a transition for most people but it's possible with time. I used to be very shy but after starting to work in a hospital and dealing with people day after day, I came out of my shell pretty quickly after realizing "I am here to help these people, they want/need my help.... they aren't looking for anything else from me so I have nothing to be shy about."
  7. by   pmabraham
    Good day:

    My comfort zone when I'm around people is to be as invisible as possible. I learned to deal with being out of my comfort zone like a lot of things in life -- practice, practice, practice, practice, practice, practice, practice.

    Over the years, I've learned most people are in their own world worried about their own agenda, troubles, issues, etc. Yes, a small number are interested in other people -- to either learn, engage... and yes, some to gossip and make fun. But the larger the setting (such as a college), at least for me, the number of the "make fun and gossip" people seem to be far and in between. Instead, I continue to see others running around, trying to get to class, being in their own clicks, etc.

    For the few that criticize, smile and move on. Recently in my sociology class when we were partnering up to do field research, I was in an awkward situation where I had tentatively agreed to work with someone and another asked me to work with them with the person with whom I was supposed to work with right behind me. So I did what I believed to be logical, and asked the teacher "could we do a three way?"

    Immediately a number of the fellow students around me started laughing their heads off (I'm a guy, the other two are women). I just continued acting as if I didn't hear their laughter, didn't even blush, and when the teacher stated that would be ok... then continued to coordinate with my field partners as if the other students never laughed. Guess what? Next class, it was all forgotten by the other class mates.

    As I share this, I'm not stating a shy person can get to the point of being completely unshy (is that a word?), but you can get to the point where you are extremely ok with being shy and still engage with the people around you.

    Thank you.
  8. by   Caribbean Character
    Practice with your family members, dog, goldfish, teddy bear, whomever will stand still long enough for you to say "Hi, my name is MDM063, I am a first year nursing student at (insert college name here) and I would like to take your vital signs. Is that ok with you?"
  9. by   nurseprnRN
    Your school has a student health facility. Get over there and get a referral to a counselor who specializes in this sort of thing. You are not unique, they've seen it before, you have nothing to feel embarrassed about, and there is help for you if you pursue it.
  10. by   Band
    You seem young and you're starting out a new thing. It's unfamiliar so you're feeling anxious. You should practice taking the role of a teacher and leader. Having the knowledge lessens your anxiety so you can practice. You can post on here it's online so it's easier, also get friendly with study groups. You get to know classmates more personally this way. Sorry but you're going to find some gossip, cliques, judgments, grudges, even nastiness with the same people you see for 4 years.
  11. by   SheriffLauren
    This is super common, take comfort in that. Your brand new at this and that totally OK. Do you feel confident in what you know? If so then you will do fine during your exam. They aren't expecting you to be an actress, they are testing your skills.

    I think when you are afraid of something like other judging you, you have to make excuses for yourself. "Today I'm going to do this and I'm not going to care about their reactions," and you do or say whatever. And you keep building from there, its like anxiety treatment, you ease your way in.

    I was painstakingly sky as a teenager and one day I realized, *** why is it is not ok for me to make a joke or w/e in class and Tony Stark can? So I made a joke, was horrified for the rest of the week that I was being judged, realized they must have been over it, and did it again, and eventually you realize its not the end of the world and really, its not even half as bad as you perceive it to be. Getting over something isn't easy but it can be done!!!!!!!
  12. by   Jenngirl34RN
    For me it took lots and lots of practice. I am naturally very shy, but when I was in my early twenties I got a job that required me to interact with people. At first I had to completely force myself to talk to people, and I was terrified I would say something stupid or wrong. Eventually it got easier, and I figured out that no one thought I was stupid, that I was just being self-conscious. Now (early 30s) I am still pretty quiet, but am not nearly as shy. I have moments, usually if something completely unexpected happens and I am put the spot, where I get nervous around people, but usually I no longer have problems.
  13. by   barcode120x
    For me, I get more nervous than shy. I was shy 1st semester since you don't know anyone but like a few posters have said, it's ALL in the mind. I still get nervous when being tested on my clinical instructors for meds or even skills lab, but as long as you know your stuff you'll be fine.

    In terms of being shy with other students or patients, you just gotta act normal. Easier said than done but that's how I do it. I put a smile on, I greet the person, I crack a joke or two if it's appropriate or just inquire about them (how they are doing, any family coming in, etc). Keep the conversations going because chances are if you are nervous or shy in front of them, they will be to you also
  14. by   sacha bell
    This is probably like the worst advise ever, but when I find it difficult to talk to someone, I try to imagine them as when they were children. Playful and worry free. I try to connect to that person on that idea that they have no worries and neither do I. Have you ever notice how easy it is for kids to make friends? I often drop my nieces off at their school(elementary) and I'm amazed how these kids have no social rules like we do now. They don't care about the skin tone or clothes of another kid, they care about playing, laughing and having a good time.