I feel very shy and embarrassed

My problem is that whenever any female friend of mine says something nice to me I feel very shy and embarrassed. I love sports and am happy to indulge in social activities. But when it comes to girls praising or complimenting me, it’s an embarrassing situation for me. Am I abnormal?
Ashish (17)

Dear Ashish,

Your shyness and self-consciousness cause you to be embarrassed when your female friends compliment you, and this is not abnormal at all. It is perfectly normal to feel shy with those of the opposite gender in your teens.

If you are uncomfortable and embarrassed when the spotlight is on you, is it that you think you don’t deserve the attention and the compliments? Or are you afraid that someday they will change their minds about you and think that you’re not good enough?

Start by receiving a compliment with grace. Practise saying, ‘Thank you’ and smiling in front of a mirror and then simply say ‘Thank you’ and smile when they pay you a compliment next. Learn how to pay a sincere compliment to them too. It will take the attention off you and yet make you appreciated.

Girls are human beings too, so learn the art of conversation. Think of an interesting topic and bring it up. Ask for their views. This will take the spotlight off yourself and distribute the attention among many others. Plus, you will find common interests.

Most importantly, your shyness can be a strength — it shows that instead of being brash or rude you are a caring and gentle person. And who doesn’t like a tough guy who can be gentle too!

Nasreen Hashambhoy is a Counsellor, Life Coach and a Facilitator of training programmes for schools and corporates. Through a combination of coaching, counselling and facilitation techniques based on cognitive science and positive psychology, she helps clients achieve their true potential. She is the author of the series Values In Action published by Better Yourself Books.

Nasreen Hashambhoy

Nasreen Hashambhoy is a Counsellor, Life Coach and a Facilitator of training programmes for schools and corporates. Through a combination of coaching, counselling and facilitation techniques based on cognitive science and positive psychology, she helps clients achieve their true potential. She is the author of the series Values In Action published by Better Yourself Books.