Why Am I So Shy?
Shyness is a complex emotion that affects many aspects of life.
What is shyness?
Shyness is feeling uneasy around people, strangers, those in authority, persons of the opposite sex, or even your peers. It is extreme self-consciousness that affects it victims in a variety of ways. Some people get embarrassed with eyes downcast and heart pounding, they find themselves unable to speak. Others lose their composure and begin to chatter continuously.
A shy person is often valued as a good listener. But when shyness restricts and inhibits us from realizing our full potential harmfully affects our relationships, work, and feelings, it is time to do something about it!.
Shyness is an emotion that affects how a person feels and behaves around others. Shyness can mean feeling uncomfortable, self-conscious, nervous, bashful, timid, or insecure. People who feel shy sometimes notice physical sensations like blushing or feeling speechless, shaky, or breathless.
Shyness can be defined as the presence of anxious reactions and excessive self-consciousness and negative self-evaluation in response to real or imagined social interactions. Specifically, these experiences must occur to the degree that it produces enough discomfort to interfere with and inhibit one’s ability to perform successfully in social situations.
Shyness is a personality trait encompassing a type of inhibition or discomfort shown by individuals in interpersonal situations that will significantly affect their participation in activities. As a personality trait, shyness is a key factor affecting individual behavioral characteristics. Studies have found that individuals with shy tendencies account for 48% of the total sample (Heiser et al., 2003).
Moreover, a study by Lei and Zhang (2002) found that shyness was a significant variable in predicting bullying. Shy individuals commonly demonstrate greater social avoidance, which may make it more difficult for other people to accept them and so they instead become bullies (Ren et al., 2018). At the same time, shy individuals may also show more aggression due to a hostile attribution tendency (Gao et al., 2016a, b).
Shyness can vary in strength. Many people feel mild feelings of discomfort that are easily overcome. Others feel extreme fear of social situations, and this fear can be debilitating. Inhibition, withdrawal from social activities, anxiety, and depression can result from shyness.
Because extreme shyness can interfere with socializing, it can also affect a person’s self-confidence and self-esteem. And it can prevent someone from taking advantage of opportunities or trying new things. Extreme feelings of shyness are often a sign of an anxiety condition called social phobia. People with social phobia often need the help of a therapist to overcome extreme shyness.
The research problem of this article is the relationship between shyness, self-esteem, and styles of self-presentation. Although the concept of shyness is difficult to describe , there is some agreement that shyness is a tendency to avoid people and feel inhibition, tension, unpleasant emotions, or discomfort in social interactions . It affects many fields of the shy person’s functioning.
As a shy person, you might feel overly sensitive to not knowing what to say or how others will react to you. You might be acutely self-conscious about a specific aspect of your appearance or personality. Or, you might be self-conscious about everything. A good start is understanding the problem.
How Shyness Affects Your Social Life
Shyness can have negative effects on your academic success, social life, and romantic relationships.
A recent study shows how shyness can affect a person’s well-being and the quality of the romantic relationships they have. Some extremely shy persons develop depression and other emotional and mental issues due to isolation. Because human interaction is such an important part of living a happy and fulfilled life, if this activity is neglected, people are likely to have a lower quality of life.
Everyday shyness that does not prevent you from achieving your goals or participating in life can have its advantages. However, severe shyness that interferes with daily functioning is not helpful, and not something with which you have to live. If severe shyness or social anxiety is a problem for you, be sure to speak to your doctor for a referral to a mental health professional.
A 2022 study found that shyness has a greater impact on your self-esteem when you tend to navigate social situations by presenting yourself as helpless or unsure. If, on the other hand, you constantly try to get others to see you in a favorable light, shyness may not negatively affect your self-worth.
GS: First of all, it is important to remember that shyness is a very widespread phenomenon. Most people have experienced social inhibition in certain situations. The problem arises when normal, everyday activities trigger social anxiety and avoidance behaviors. At school, this affects peer relationships and classroom participation.
Shy people are also at risk for being used by others, and can find themselves embroiled in bad relationships that offer little in the way of affection or support. This is because shy people often let others choose them, rather than risk rejection by trying to connect with the people they truly want in their lives. And once involved, they might not have the self-esteem to step away even if they know they should.
When shyness is not extreme, it can make you appear more approachable to others. Shyness, and the modesty and self-effacing nature that go with it, are rarely threatening to others and may allow people to feel more comfortable around you. In other words, you don’t have an air of superiority that makes it hard to talk with you.
The last of these variables is of interest for at least two reasons. First, shyness occurs in a considerable number of people at some point in their lives [28,29 and, second, shyness is a social phenomenon and, as such, may affect the sense of self-esteem . Empirical findings display that shyness correlates negatively with self-esteem among preschoolers , school children [33, adolescents [35, as well as younger [37,38 and older adults . In other words, people who are shy typically tend to have a lower perception of self-worth and have a lower [38 or negatively unrealistic self-evaluation of themselves and their abilities. Based on the above studies, we hypothesized that:
If you are shy, there are ways to overcome your shyness and improve your life.
Yes, give yourself grace! Give yourself permission to be shy. One of the things that make overcoming shyness seem so hard is that shy people often assume it’s a problem that only a few others experience, when, in fact, as high as 60% of the U.S. population experiences some form of shyness. If you think you’re one of the few who feel these emotions, you’re more apt to think there’s something wrong with you. But the reality is that most people will experience shyness from time to time throughout their lives – from famous athletes, chefs, entrepreneurs, or the person who delivers your mail, you can be assured that you’re not alone.
Overcoming shyness is possible, but it may not feel easy. If you’ve given these tips a go and you’re still having trouble, you might want to talk it over with someone you trust, such as a family member, teacher or counselor. If you’re really struggling with your shyness, there might be something else going on. Make an appointment with a GP or mental health professional, who can talk it through with you and help you to come up with a plan.
One great way to overcome shyness is to, simply stated, look the part. This is similar to paying attention to your words, but instead, it’s paying attention to dressing well and good hygiene – two things that can boost your self-confidence. Let’s be honest – a person who is shy has enough on their plate to worry about how they look. Plus, when you feel confident in your appearance, you’ll come across more composed, and you’ll carry yourself differently in your interactions and be more inclined to strike up conversations with those you meet.
Spoken words are a very powerful thing, and we have a great opportunity to replace negative words that we’ve been repeating over and over with positivity ones. The more you say you’re shy, chances are, the more shy you’ll become. Replacing words like, “I am shy” with “I am learning to be confident” or “I’m a failure” with “I can do this” can go a long way in moving from shyness to confidence.
Some shy people might envy outgoing people. How do they make it look so easy? You might even see your shyness as a defect or flaw, especially if your profession is dominated by extroverts. But being shy isn’t all bad, so take a deep breath and show yourself some compassion.
Don’t let the world miss out on what you have to offer. Here are some tips to learn how to overcome shyness to connect with others at work, at parties, and everywhere in between. And while you might not care to become a social butterfly, it never hurts to let a few more people in on all the ways you’re amazing and ordinary and human.
One of the most beautiful things in life is that we are all different. Imagine for a second if everyone was the same –that would be boring! What makes this world special and intriguing is the uniqueness of cultures, cuisines, and people. Appreciating your uniqueness, including the trait of shyness, can be celebrated. It’s a part of your makeup and personality, and even though you’re moving toward more confidence in your social interactions, the shy characteristics about you should not be negated or discarded.