This post is written as a follow up to the original post, “Child Psychologist Offers Four More Ways to Help Teens Overcome Shyness.” After all of this hoopla over the teen dance articles, I thought it might be nice to share something truly wonderful. I interviewed Randy Hyde for the Deseret News. I’ve known him for years, and he is just one of those charismatic, outstanding, truly wonderful people that makes you feel like a million bucks. Here are four additional tips he shares on helping teens with shyness.
1. Look people in the eye.
Look people in the eye when you speak to them. “Since people need to feel important and included, eye contact is one of the best ways to communicate this to another person,” Hyde said. “It communicates, ‘I am truly with you.'”
2. Be curious about others
Hyde suggests teens ask their peers questions such as, “What do you want to be when your grow up?” or “Did you see Mazerunner?” This helps create commonality; and once they find they have similar interests it becomes easier to talk with them.
3. Include everyone.
While teenagers can often form cliques, Hyde says teens can be more more influential if they include everyone.
When Hyde was a sophomore in high school, his friends whom he had grown up with were part of the elite group. They were popular and while he liked hanging out with them, he wanted to reach out to everyone.
“I made a decision that I was going to be friends with everybody — the stoners, the jocks, especially the lonely, the nerds, the preps . . . and it made all the difference for me,” Hyde said. “If I saw somebody that was lonely, I went out of my way to be kind to them.”
He was surprised when someone nominated him for student office. While the boy that Hyde ran against was a great athlete and very popular, Hyde won handily because, “I was friends with everybody,” he said.
4. Learn to deal with others who are unfriendly or unresponsive.
Sometimes other teens may not seem to appreciate kindness. After Hyde won the school election, one of his friends asked him, “So what? Are you too good to be friends with me now?”
He realized then that she felt threatened by his win and worried that he would no longer be nice to her. He understood he had to be even more kind to her to help her deal with her feelings of insecurity.
Hyde pointed out that often when we sincerely complement others, we don’t receive a thank you or a positive reaction. However, this shouldn’t deter us.
“The Savior cured 10 lepers and nine left without saying thank you … one came back and said thank you. Sometimes you just have to do it because it’s the right thing to do, and you’re building yourself, and you’re serving God,” Hyde said.
Do you think these tips are realistic?