27 Tips For Breaking Out of Your Shell

We believe it's what's inside that counts, which is why we partnered with Zico to bring you these tips on opening your heart, mind, and spirit to crack life wide open.

It doesn't matter if you're a party animal or a bit of an introvert, everyone gets self-conscious sometimes. But living on the sidelines? You could be missing out on some amazing things life has to offer. Maybe it takes time for you to warm up to others or you're just naturally reserved — either way, it's time to bust out of that shell! Here are 27 ways to ditch your shyness for good.

  1. Stash your phone: Instead of using your phone as a prop when in the elevator or waiting in line at the grocery store, tuck away your phone and make conversation with those around you. And learning how to make small talk builds your self confidence and communication skills.
  2. Change it up: If you're usually a Chap Stick kind of girl, break the habit and master a vibrant red pout. Or start wearing your hair up or painting your nails.
  3. Talk IRL: Stop texting or calling when you want to chat with a friend or even a co-worker. Make time to talk in person. Even though you're already comfortable with the person you're communicating with, talking face-to-face helps make connections.
  4. The eyes have it: Make eye contact while talking with others, which also encourages your listening skills. You can do it!
  5. Join a gym: Along with getting in shape, working out with others encourages conversations. Take it a step further and sign up for a group class — or get a personal trainer.
  6. Take a cooking class: Sign up for a local cooking class or group activity — all on your own. And prepay, which encourages you to actually follow through with it.
  7. Compliment yourself: Every day, look at yourself in the mirror and give yourself an honest compliment. And say it out loud. You might feel a bit foolish at first, but in time you'll start feeling more confident.
  8. Compliment others: Now that you're mastering the art of complimenting yourself, throw some props to those around you. Along with being a great conversation starter, you're making others feel better about themselves, too.
  9. Own it: By acknowledging that you have a tendency to be shy in social situations, it helps you find your other strengths and move on. Sometimes admitting your faults is the first step in overcoming weaknesses.
  10. Love yourself: Sure, you're not a social diva, which might not be your goal anyway. And popularity isn't everything. Accept who you are, love your unique qualities, and only push yourself to be more social at a level you feel comfortable.
  11. Focus on others: Stop freaking out about how you're feeling and focus on those around you. Listen to what people are saying — and ask questions. Before you know it you'll be deep in conversation.
  12. Meditate: Make the time to relax during the day and meditate. Along with centering yourself, meditation gives you a moment to think through your day and visualize yourself working through challenging situations where your shyness takes over.
  13. Make a true friend: If you already have a bestie, that's awesome. Lean on her when you need support. If you're not there yet, spend quality time with others, which creates long-term and lasting companions.
  14. Get natural: When you hide behind your makeup you're not sharing your true self with others. Pick one day a week to go makeup free and enjoy the fresh feeling.
  15. Take acting lessons: Nobody laughs at you for acting silly, trying out different voices, or following a script, which is a great way to explore your emotions and comfort level with others.
  16. Talk out loud: Even when you're home alone, talk more. Before you know it, talking and chatting with others will come easily.
  17. Go out alone: Don't be afraid to have a me party and go out to dinner on your own. You might feel uncomfortable at first, but spending time with yourself isn't anything to be ashamed about. Own it, and treat yourself to a fantastic dinner.
  18. Start a journal: Write everything down in a journal to share times when you felt overwhelmed and what happened as a result. Writing down how you feel is a beneficial decompressor that helps relieve stress.
  19. Set a goal: That's right — set a goal to overcome. Work hard to make it happen and then properly reward yourself.
  20. Go outside: Head to the park with your favorite book and read outdoors. Even though you're alone, there are lots of people around — and one of them just might talk to you.
  21. Be positive: Look forward, not back. Stop kicking yourself for things you could have done, and think about how you can do things now. And stop being so hard on yourself!
  22. Treat yourself: Celebrate your wins! You deserve it! Even if it's for speaking out during a meeting or saying hello to the person in line behind you at the grocery store, reward yourself when things go your way.
  23. Surround yourself: Head to a location that's packed with social people and do some serious people watching. Peer pressure isn't always a bad thing, and before you know it, you might find yourself joining in the fun.
  24. Karaoke: Gather a group of friends together for a night of karaoke fun. And this time sign up to sing — and actually do it.
  25. Throw a dinner party: You don't have to be a chef to host a dinner party! Invite friends over and order pizza or takeout from your favorite restaurant, taking down the stress level.
  26. Learn a foreign language: Sign up to learn a foreign language at your community college. Along with learning a new language, you'll be forced to speak in class — without the worry of anyone laughing at you! And learning a foreign language is a social activity, which might lead to making new friends.
  27. Be YOU! You are a unique and special person — even if you're a little shy. Breaking out of your shell isn't about changing who you are, it's about creating a better you. Don't try to be someone else, just a more confident and chattier version of yourself.