Shy Student Nurse Advice...

  1. Hello fellow nursing students. I'm here today to ask for advice about being a shy student nurse. This is my first year as a nursing student and I do not wAnt to be shy anymore (not like I chose this) but I just don't know how. I read older post (2009-2010) about shy nurses that really helped me but It would be great to know that:

    1.) I'm not the only shy person here as of 2012 in the nursing program
    2.) How can I go about this year gaining confidence and interactions from others?

    I'm tired of focusing on myself (you know the whole shy thing) I want to focus on others. That is what being a nurse is all about, right!

    I have made efforts to try to break my shyness though...such as making more eye contact, speaking to at least one new person in my class, and smiling but some days I just get depressed because I feel others just don't understand me and make little comments that really hurt my feelings.

    For example I was in a group last Friday and everyone was talking so loudly and I could barely get a word in so I shut down and didn't say anything. I want to make friends so badly but I feel like its just to late and no one wants or is willing to give me a shot

    Thanks everyone in advance to helping me on the road to becoming a more confident student nurse. God bless you all.
    Last edit by Joe V on Sep 10, '12 : Reason: spacing
  2. Visit jsh21340 profile page

    About jsh21340

    Joined: Sep '12; Posts: 6; Likes: 4
    Student Nurse; from US


  3. by   edatri
    Take a public speaking class. Seriously! I've had social anxiety disorder most of my life and taking public speaking really helped. It gives you practice in a non-threatening environment to learn to speak to communicate. Oddly enough, I love public speaking now, and I'm always very vocal in class.
  4. by   jsh21340
    That is a great idea. My College offers public speaking but I was always to scared. Just the thought of it I got nervous uggh. But I need to try something and maybe next semester I will do that. Thanks!!!
  5. by   willowita
    I consider myself a shy person too but for some reason, talking to patients seems easier to me than talking to classmates. I guess it's because with the pt/nurse relationship there is a reason you are interacting. And you as the nurse have a purpose and a goal in mind.

    Going blindly into social conversation is a lot harder and something I am terrible with. Hence the difficulty connecting with classmates. Then when you see people already pairing off and forming groups it feels like you're intruding or that you don't belong in that group. I've come to the realization that in most cases, you (or I am) the only one who thinks that. The people in the group are probably open to you being there but they have their group dynamic and you as a new comer have to figure out your way into it. It takes time. So if it's bumpy at first, keep trying. It doesn't mean that they are dissing your or don't want you around, as some of us shy people might convince ourselves of.

    It really comes down to getting out of your own head and stopping the negative self-talk. You have to be in the moment when you're around people and not worrying about how you're acting or what they think of you. It's hard and it's a work in progress for me. I'm better than I was 2 years ago but still not close to being an easy going, worry free, extrovert.
  6. by   ♑ Capricorn ♑
    I have stopped worrying about this issue about 10 years ago. I don't care what people think about me. I am an introvert, always have been and always will be. I am happy with my internal-self and embrace it. There is no one else like me and for that I enjoy being me. I don't have to prove to others that I am something that I am not. I've been there and done that in the past, its fails. Just be you. If God intended everyone to be extroverts than he wouldn't have created introverts, like myself. I am confident, high-esteemed, secure within my skin, and I hold my head up high. I am not ashamed of who I am or what I am. People misunderstand me or judge me for their own reasons, it doesn't phase me. It just goes to show that some don't really know me. People always say that it is the quiet ones that you really gotta watch. WATCH ME!
  7. by   dhoff
    You aren't alone! I'm really shy too, especially with people in authority (aka, professors). I try to go out of my comfort zone in class and especially in clinicals. It can be really hard, but I've made so many friends that way outside of my nursing classes. Its got to be the same way for in them!
  8. by   melissadavon
    Willowita, you are describing me perfectly! Glad to know I'm not alone
  9. by   dayanara
    I'm very shy too! The first 2 weeks of class were very uncomfortable because I didn't know anybody, but what was weird is that they seemed to know each other! Some girls would smile, ask questions about an assignment, etc...but that was it! So I decided that I needed to socialize more to really feel comfortable in school.
    I did something crazy, but it worked. I prepared a detailed study guide for the first exam, and made copies of it. Then I gave a copy to each person that either approached me or smiled at me from the beginning of the semester. I am now friends with EVERYBODY because the word spread and they all wanted copies of the study guide. Crazy? Yes....desperate measure? Yes...but hey I feel pretty comfortable now knowing that no one will give me a dirty look if they want a copy of the next study guide:-)
  10. by   jsh21340
    Wow Im so glad Im not alone and you all are not alone either. Thank you all for sharing your stories with me.

    @Capricorn: I want to be like you... not caring about trying to be someone different and just be myself. You are very confident in you skin. Hopefully as time progresses I'll become a more confident person.
    @willowita: I'm so like professors are so intimidating but I really do need to get out of my own head.
    @dayanara: That's a great way to get people to notice you. I may have to copy that idea for next exam

    I sometimes struggle with the fact that Im not as outgoing as my family and often wonder why God made me this way but I need to realize God doesn't want me to be a loud and "in you face" type of person. God chose me to be quiet and soft spoken for a reason and Im gonna find out what it is. I'm going to keep working on my peoples skills and just trust God and know that his way is not my way.
  11. by   bunnyfungo
    I'm really shy too. I'm also horrible at small talk! When I first started college I wanted to be a biology major but I was literally too scared of lab groups to take the classes that I knew I liked.

    When I decided I wanted to go to nursing school I knew it was something that I had to work on. I know that I am a fun person, and that once I get to know people I feel really comfortable talking to them. So I made sure that for every lab I sat with the same group of people. And I made myself talk. It didn't take me long to get comfortable with my group and by the end of the semester I considered some of them close friends.

    I know it will never be easy for me, but I've proven to myself that I can do it. And, you know what? It didn't kill me
  12. by   AnnaT81
    It is so good to know that there are others out there like me :-) I am definitely the only one in my small nursing class of 20 students that suffers from this. Everyone else has formed clicks and I'm always the one left out. I feel intimidated by nurses at clinicals and am petrified of doctors since I know some of them can be quite condescending. My feelings get hurt very easily and last semester I almost cried at clinical one day when the nurse insisted that as a nurse I needed to come in and take charge of my patients. What happened was a confused patient kept refusing to get a bed bath and I couldn't convince her. I'm trying to not let these things get to me, but the truth is my social handicap has proven to be a real hindrance to my ability to perform. The fact is I am a very smart woman! I know my stuff, but am still so nervous in clinical. The funny things is that I work as a nursing assistant at a hospital so I should be completely comfortable in the clinical setting so I don't know what my problem is :-(
  13. by   manolo65
    I have to say I'm super shy too ... Maybe you wouldn't guess by my profile pic LoL... But I'm working at it
  14. by   Ginnym1981
    I'm also shy when it comes to making small talk with those I really don't know. (once I know someone, I'm kinda loud, sarcastic and opinionated )

    Getting there takes time though and just now, going into my fourth term, I'm finding myself comfortable around MOST of my classmates but still uncomfortable with most of my teachers. Whenever I try to talk I can feel myself getting tongue tied, mostly because I talk too fast (nerves). And public speaking? Forget about it! It doesn't matter if I know everyone....I shake all over, my knees literally shake so much it looks like I'm tapping my foot, my face turns as red as a tomato and I get so hot. It sucks.

    What I've done to try to overcome this is join my schools SNA. I'm treasurer and we are the voices of the students. If problems arise, it's us who have to take it to the instructors or the dean. We have to make announcements to other cohorts of things we are doing like fundraisers, volunteer opportunities as well as call organizations to set up these things.
    I'm really hoping this will help with the public speaking thing and speaking my instructors.

    Anyways, you are definitely not alone. Just keep challenging yourself to get out there and people will take notice.

    Try setting up a study group, make a facebook page/group thing and let your cohort know about it so you guys have a place to ask questions and vent (I did this also), if you guys have a place to hold them you can bring in plastic silverware, napkins etc to get noticed (we have a big file cabinet drawer in our commons area and we take turns bringing them in).
    We also do potlucks every now and again. After class is out or during a break we all gather and eat and visit with each other. Maybe you could suggest something like that?

    Good luck!!