How does one improve their communication skills when they're naturally shy and reserved?
Good question, the key for me was practice by learning to gain experience more through exposure.
By exposing yourself to the situations you'd otherwise avoid, at first it will be difficult but eventually you'll get better at it and you'll notice that its just a normal thing in your life. You can start by approaching strangers, just a hi or hello and later on you can ask for directions to certain places and even further you'll be able to small talk with them.
It can be different for everyone, but I think it comes with experience. When you talk and discuss with different kind of people, read new things, and when it becomes a routine, you feel comfortable in having conversations and communicating eventually. It's a gradual change which happens. This is what I have experienced.
Vanica I’m willing to bet that you’re a wonderful listener. That is a magnificent communication skill to have. I’m not a very good conversationalist either. I too am shy and reserved, and I live a very quiet life. But I’m genuinely interested in people and that tends to do the heavy lifting in my conversations. I truly want to find out more about them. I would also encourage you to push yourself to try new things and make small talk with new people. Read. Watch documentaries. Expand your vocabulary! Grow grow grow! Lol
I am naturally and extremely shy, however for me, I had to work on my low self esteem and I had to put myself out there. Everyone is different and we all cope in our own ways. Since I was imposed so much darkness in my life it was difficult for me to interact without feeling that I was being ridiculed and judged. Once I started believing in myself, it made it so much easier for me. My best advice is fir you to follow your instinct and take one day at a time. There are no magical solutions.
I’d say work On your self esteem daily , gratitude journal & possibly daily meditation affirmations( 5 minutes) . Do little bits of exposure at first & build up over time . Set a goal for certain days . Even showing up & trying it is better than not . There’s always another chance / day . Do it with loving kindness. Be gentle with yourself.