Getting Rid of Being Shy

I am one of those people who gets really shy among other people, especially if they are people I don’t know or whom I barely know. I don’t why exactly is that, since I have been like that ever since I can remember. Granted, over the last couple of years, when I got a job and became more independent this started to improve, but I still can close up rather quickly around other people and tend not to stand out in the crowd. I don’t want to be like that, but on the other hand it is hard to just turn a switch and completely transform and change myself. Although, I am working on being more confident, open-minded and seeking to meet new people where that’s possible.

But in the last couple of years I almost forced myself to change this aspect of my behaviour. I used to be so shy that my words tangled in my mouth and from it came made up words, I feared communication in public places so much, even talking on the phone presented a challenge, if I was talking to an official or something like that. But I am well aware that I shouldn’t be so shy, because why should I really care much about what the person on the other side of the phone thinks about me if I am going to talk to him/her only once in my life. Life is too short to be stressing out about such trivial things.

Are you a shy person? How do you deal with your shyness? How do you conquer it? Did your parents raise you to be more open and confident, or maybe to be more careful and reserved?