Wanting To Become an Extrovert

By Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW

Frightening. Hi, I am an undergrad. I am so shy and timid. I always feel that whenever somebody is laughing, they are laughing at me. I always fear whenever I have to do a new task in new place.For example, I am very much interested in swimming but I am not going because of some fear in me. But I once I get used to that place, I don’t have any problems with that and same is the case whenever I meet new people. I take lot of time to open up and I feel I am so lame and introvert. Anyways once I get used to them, I will be like normal. My fear increases with the number of people.For example, I fear more when I meet 5 new persons than when I meet 2 new persons. So, please tell me do I have any pysc problem. What should I do to become an extrovert.

A. I do not believe that you necessarily have to become an extrovert to solve this problem. The goal for you should be to decrease your fears. Fear can be crippling. The best way to overcome fears are to face them and that can be a difficult challenge.

My recommendation is for you to consider therapy. Cognitive behavioral therapy might be the best approach. Antidepressant or anti-anxiety medication as an adjunct to therapy may also be beneficial.

The ‘cognitive’ aspect of CBT involves analyzing thinking patterns. It also involves exploring the evidence behind one’s beliefs.

For instance, you believe that others are laughing at you. Possible evidence might include seeing someone laugh at you or overhearing a derogatory remark made about you. If no evidence is available to support a belief, then one must consider the possibility that your assumptions are wrong.

If someone continues to believe negative things about themselves without evidence to support their beliefs, then other factors may be at work. Low self-esteem is one such factor. Perhaps you believe others are laughing at you because you do not have a high opinion of yourself. If you do not hold yourself in high regard, then you may assume that no one else does.

A behavioral approach to this problem may include having you slowly and systematically engage in behavior that frightens you. You would essentially be facing your fears but in a very controlled way. With each successful completion of a task, your fears will decrease and ultimately can be extinguished. Therapy could greatly assist you in this process.

The find help tab can help you locate a therapist in your community. I hope that you strongly consider it. Be proactive. Get help for this problem sooner rather than later. Don’t let fear continue to hold you back in life.

Please take care. I wish you the best.

Dr. Kristina Randle

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 8 May 2011

APA Reference
Randle, K. (2011). Wanting To Become an Extrovert. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 1, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2011/05/08/wanting-to-become-an-extrovert/