The teenager is an introvert and the school: an unexpected strategies for overcoming shyness

Consultant in negotiations of several well-known companies and introvert Susan Cain was able to overcome their shyness and became a famous speaker. Your experience she described in the book “the secret power. The success formula of a teenage introvert”, which will help a shy child become more confident. The book was published in publishing house “Mann, Ivanov and Ferber”.

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How to make yourself heard

Susan Cain

As much as I wish that schools and teachers have revised their approach to the assessment vnutrikletochnykh discussions, I still believe that you will get many advantages if you try to become more active and will learn to voice their own thoughts and not keep them to yourself. Your ideas deserve to learn about them and appreciate them!

The researchers found that in a typical group environment, the contribution of introverts eventually begin to appreciate more and more. Others understand that although introverts and rarely pull the arm, they are always saying something thoughtful, if you really dare to speak.

And if you don’t like to participate in discussions, try to understand why that so offends you. If you understand the cause of fear, you will be easier to develop a strategy to overcome it. Gradually you will learn to Express their thoughts the way you like and convenient for you.

Why do we sometimes seem unnatural to “cast a vote”? Here are some common reasons:

  • I don’t want to be wrong.
  • I don’t want to talk nonsense.
  • I prefer to listen carefully, let him speak.
  • No time to think of the answer.
  • I’m afraid that when open my mouth, not able to utter a word.
  • I hate it when everyone looks at me. I never liked to be the center of attention.

Some of this is due to the fear of awkward situations: you’re afraid to do something wrong and embarrass myself in public. This fear need not be ashamed. Most people from time to time experiencing it, just some it is particularly strong.

When fear seizes you, keep this in mind: you’re not alone. Try to overcome your fears gradually in small steps, for example, raise your hand if you know the answer to the question.

The more you do, the more you will have small victories over themselves. And over time you will become much easier in school (even if you think that’s impossible). If you experience daily fear in the presence of a large number of people and it keeps you from doing what you like, I advise you to go to a psychologist or counselor.

However, the more you speak aloud, the more you begin to understand that always give the correct or “ideal” response and to meet the expectations of others is not necessary. Some of the reasons listed above, associated with the desire for perfection, which affects many introverts. It’s a double-edged sword: on the one hand, it ensures the high quality of your work, and on the other — can stop you to speak in public, because not everything that we say or do is perfect.

The reluctance to cast a vote is not always associated with fear, anxiety, or perfectionism. Often introverts simply do not want to waffle (and many with whom I spoke, wish all people followed this rule!). Unlike “thinking out loud” extroverts, we introverts prefer to think first and then say something. Our ability to deeply focus on a particular topic — a real gift. But when the teacher suddenly calls us, we literally frozen, because we had no time to prepare! Often we introverts pay so much attention to the content and clarity of our responses, we prefer to keep quiet and not to beat it or falling. Sometimes by the time when we mentally formulate the desired response, the discussion is over.

Teenagers, whom I interviewed while working on the book, invented a variety of strategies that allow them to be heard. Many admitted that the more often they participate in discussions, the easier it becomes to learn.

The most important thing is to create a comfortable environment to participate in the discussion. Sometimes it is enough just to take the right place. One of the students with whom we talked, always tried to sit in the front row. So replying, he did not see the faces of classmates and experienced severe stress, usually appearing under their eyes.

Another boy admitted that he likes to sit with friends, they help him to stay positive. Other kids learned during the response to focus on some of the friendly-minded classmates and to contact them (and not to those who seem indifferent and arrogant).

And someone help the idea that other people get nervous too! For example, a sixteen year old Lola from Queens, new York, noticed that her classmates are so obsessed with the kind of impression to others that they don’t care about her worries.

The truth is that any person feels vulnerable when you share with someone your thoughts. Even people who seem confident, worried whether they would reply. So the problem all the same.

Some to answer in class easier than to interact with their peers on a daily basis. Henry from Toronto studying in the sixth grade. The lesson he has the opportunity to speak, without participating in the dialogue. He responds, and then the teacher calls the next, and the boy not have to try to keep the conversation going, as usually happens in friendly conversation.

Grace, whom we met in the beginning of the Chapter, learned to respond immediately, but after a while, when “ripe”. This strategy proved to be effective. But you can do the opposite — to prepare in advance and to answer the first. When I was a student at Harvard law school, helped me just that.

In January 2013 I gave a lecture about the book “Introverts” on a single event in Washington. When it came time to answer the questions on the stage stood my friend Angie. We met her while studying in law school and recently again started talking. Angie stated that the College did not even know that I’m an introvert.

All were surprised, including me. But Angie noticed that the classroom I’m always first drawn hand. Do introverts do that?

I understood her confusion. At Harvard law school classes are held in large classrooms that are designed according to the type of the amphitheater, and teachers adhere to the Socratic method in teaching. The Professor calls the students at random, and when I call you, you can’t evade the answer. It’s very scary, but once you’re signed up for the course, therefore, must answer.

The rules I knew, but really didn’t want me suddenly. Therefore, before each class, I prepared on several topics, depending on what we studied at one time or another. Then, plucking up courage, pulled his hand first and answered as early as possible, before the discussion goes in this unfamiliar area. As a result, the probability that the Professor will call me closer to the end of the lesson, and I’m not ready, become much smaller. I knew that the last ask those who have not yet responded.

This strategy turned out to be another good advantage, confirmed by social psychologists: it turns out that the thoughts of the people who speak first in a group, usually the most powerful. Indeed, during the discussion, the Professor repeatedly returned to my answers, why I (suddenly) started to feel more confident.

Of course, not the one I came up with this trick. When Davis was in high school, he could not conceive of how to act in front of the class. And once I got the first four. The English teacher explained that participation in class discussions also affect the rating, and because Davis never raises his hand, he can’t put him five, no matter how well he may have passed the written exam.

“The choice was not easy, — says Davis. — Get four or pull the arm.” Davis was proud of the excellent grades and did not want to settle for a lower score, so forced myself to raise my hand and read out loud. “At first it was very scary. I was afraid to stumble, afraid that the language will begin to totter. His forehead was covered with perspiration. But I still had your hand,” he says. Having decided on such a bold move, Davis overcame fear and left it far behind, as I’ll detail further.

Among reading my book for sure there are those who think that fear of speaking in class could not be overcome. But all is not so! You will be able to defeat him and realize that it is much easier than it seems. Henry says that over time, it became so easy to answer in class that he loved when summoned to the Board!

Trust me, you’ll be able to do the same.

Advice to the demure

If every time you pull your hand in class, the heart is ready to burst out of my chest, know that you are not alone! Many people are experiencing the same thing, but that doesn’t mean you need to constantly remain silent. If you didn’t have time to read the previous Chapter here are some tips that will help you.

You first. If the topic of discussion is known in advance, plan what you’re gonna say. Think about the answer, make your own opinion and speak before the debate will take an unexpected turn.

Determine when and where better to start. When you be more comfortable to join the discussion? Use strategy and join the discussion when it’s easier for you to do it. Don’t like to answer first? No big deal: you can be part of or to develop the idea of another student. Maybe you like to ask provocative questions or play “devil’s advocate” (that is, defend a point of view different from the majority opinion)? Choose the role that suits you.

Use the notes. If you’re afraid that opening her mouth will not be able to speak, write their ideas on a piece of paper and refer to them if necessary.

Communicate with the teacher. You had something to say in the classroom, but you just don’t have the courage to raise your hand? If you’re worried about this, after class, approach the teacher and explain the situation. Really interesting topic and listen to you carefully, but quickly you find it hard to join in the discussion, so you’re nervous and silent.

Watch classmates. Celebrate when others are nonsense or wrong answer, no one pays attention to it. All people make mistakes, and their mistakes can understand and forgive! Realizing this, you become calmer and your own mistakes. Realize that if you answer incorrectly or your voice tremble a little, nothing bad will happen. “If you answer incorrectly, the teacher just asks someone else,” says one very astute girl named Annie.

Find a motivation. The best way to survive in the school to be addicted to something. This does not mean that all shy and quiet guys have to become leaders among their peers and to run for class President or anything like! Think about what is important to you. If the topic of discussion you care about, you will be able to speak it freely.

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