But I’m Too Shy

I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me (Philippians 4:13).
Will Mindy overcome her fear of meeting people?

“Mom, I’m bored,” Mindy said.

Mom had just picked Mindy up from her piano lesson, and now they were at the stake center waiting for Mindy’s sisters to finish rehearsing for the stake musical.

Her older sister, Jessica, and younger sister, Krista, had both gotten parts in the play. But Mindy didn’t get a part. She envied her sisters a little, but she was also kind of glad she wouldn’t have to perform in front of the whole stake. That sounded scary.

“Well, why don’t you go find some other kids who aren’t practicing right now?” Mom said.

“OK,” Mindy said.

Mindy left the cultural hall and followed the sound of voices to a nearby classroom. Peeking in the door, she saw several kids she didn’t know.

“They must be from other wards in the stake,” Mindy thought.

She wanted to meet them, but she was too afraid to say hello. Instead, she walked back to the cultural hall and sat down by Mom.

“Didn’t you find the other kids?” Mom asked.

“I found them, but I don’t know any of them,” Mindy said.

“It’s not that hard to meet people,” Mom said. “When I was your age, I was really shy too, but then I decided I didn’t want to be shy anymore. I made a goal to meet one new person every day.”

“I don’t know, Mom. I don’t really think I can not be shy,” Mindy said.

“If you just try, it will get easier,” Mom said. “You can start small with just one person. Look, a girl is sitting over there by herself. Why don’t you go say hello?”

Mindy tried to think of an excuse, but she knew she should take her mom’s suggestion. She said a quick prayer asking Heavenly Father to help her, took a few deep breaths, and walked over to the girl. “Meeting one person does seem a lot easier than approaching a whole group,” she thought.

“Hi,” Mindy said.

“Hi,” the girl replied. “My name is Shalee. What’s yours?”

“My name is Mindy.” There was a bit of silence, and then Mindy thought of a question to ask. “Are you in the play?”

“No,” Shalee said. “But that’s my dad up there practicing,” she said, pointing to the stage.

“My sisters are in the play too,” Mindy said.

Their conversation went on as they learned about each other. Pretty soon practice was over, and it was time to go home.

“Who is your new friend?” Mom asked on the way home.

“Her name is Shalee, and she’s 11 like me,” Mindy said. “She was really nice.”

“And it wasn’t scary?” Mom asked.

“Well, I was scared to talk to her at first, but I’m glad I did,” Mindy said. “Maybe meeting new people isn’t so hard after all.”

Elder L. Tom Perry

“I was very shy in high school. … I was afraid to try. … Live up to your potential. Don’t be afraid to try. Have confidence in yourself.”3

Elder L. Tom Perry of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles

  •   3.

    “Sharing Family Heritage,” Ensign, Sept. 2006, 8.

  • Turn the page for some tips about overcoming shyness.

    Illustrations by Taia Morley

    Feeling Shy?

    Many children feel shy sometimes, whether they’re meeting new people, giving a talk, or answering a question in school. Here are some things to try when you feel shy:

    • Pray. You are a child of God, and so is everyone else. Heavenly Father wants to help you.

    • Breathe. Sometimes when you’re scared, you forget to breathe deeply enough. Taking slow, deep breaths can help you calm down.

    • Smile. Sometimes when you’re feeling shy, other people may think you don’t want to be their friend. Smiling tells them that you are nice.

    • Try. When you are in a situation where you’re feeling shy, you need to leave your comfort zone. Start small, and work up to harder things.

    • Practice. Think about what you will do and say before you get into the situation. You can even practice with family or friends.

    • Help. Think about and help others around you. Remember, someone who seems unfriendly may be shy just like you!

    • Don’t give up! It may take a while before you learn to overcome your shyness, but don’t stop trying.

    Illustration by Garth Bruner

    Your Own Time Line

    Time lines show us the order of when important things happened. They can show events from hundreds of years ago, a few years ago, or even a couple of days ago.

    Page 47 shows a time line of the life of the Prophet Joseph Smith. Notice how it includes important events in his life.

    December 23, 1805Joseph Smith Jr. is born in Sharon, Vermont.
    1813Joseph has surgery on his infected leg.
    1816Joseph moves with his family to Palmyra, New York.
    Spring 1820Joseph sees Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ in the First Vision.
    September 22, 1827Joseph receives the gold plates from the angel Moroni.

    Use the time line below for your own life so far. After filling in your name and the date and place of your birth, add other events such as your baptism and confirmation dates, family vacations, when you started school, when you learned to tie your shoes, and when siblings were born. You can also add small photos or drawings if you’d like.

    A Time Line of the Life of

    time lines(click to view larger)

    I was born in

    Way to Be

    boys playing video game(click to view larger)

    Illustration by Laura Andros

    This isn’t a good game. Let’s do something else.