Are You a Shy Person?
First of all, what is this trait called shyness? Shyness may be defined as a feeling of discomfort when the person is placed in a social situation where he has to relate with other people.
Shyness usually creeps in when you encounter unfamiliar circumstances. Extremely shy people find that their shyness is a roadblock to interacting normally with others even in familiar conditions. A shy person does not like to feel the discomfort he associates with the object or person he encounters so he will probably avoid either. This only feeds his feelings of shyness.
Shyness does not always remain a character trait of shy people forever. Some people are able to outgrow their feelings of shyness through exposure to social situations. However, for some people, shyness might remain a facet of their personality throughout their lifetime.
There is no one kind of shyness. Some people might find themselves socially adept with certain kinds of people but display shyness towards others. Shyness might actually be a symptom of a degree of introversion displayed by the individual.
Shyness Research Institute director Bernardo J. Carducci noted that introverts opt not to engage in social situations since a) they get no benefit from these, or b) they sense that there is too much sensory input for them to handle.
A shy person often believes that his shyness is a negative aspect of his personality. At the same time, other people are not comfortable dealing with shy people, particularly when the culture they operate in places a premium on individuality and leadership. The shy person might then perceive such aversion to be directed to himself, instead of discomfort brought about by his shyness. At any rate, either situation only helps to make a shy person even more leery of associating with people and lessens his self-confidence.
How does one overcome shyness? There is no hard and fast rule since the trait of shyness is displayed by each person in varying degrees. One suggestion is that the shy person be placed in a social situation where he can interact freely with another person or other people. It might help if the shy person is accompanied by someone he trusts, so that conversation does not falter when the shy person gets a shyness attack.
It would also help if a mental health care professional were to talk to the shy individual to find out just what causes his shyness. For example, a teenage boy might be shy around girls because he is afraid he might be rejected. He might actually want to meet girls but his fear gets in the way. In such a case, he might find it helpful to go on a “friendly date”, where his date is not the object of his affection but just a casual acquaintance.
Shyness can often be overcome when the individual develops the right social skills. If not, counseling as a form of therapy might help to draw out the shy person from his shell.