In the previous shyness post, I explained about the three types of shyness: situational shyness (in specific situations), transitional shyness (during transitions or change) and permanent shyness (pretty much in all social situations).
To be able to overcome our shyness, we need to understand the reasons behind it. Here are the four main reasons why shyness occurs:
The first is a need for control. Shyness can start when people feel like they are outside their comfort zone. People who experience this kind of shyness usually know what is socially acceptable in certain situations, they ask questions to be sure, and they are good at thinking on their feet. These people prefer to talk about their strengths and things within their comfort zone, they are well prepared and like consistency. When things are unclear, unpredictable, or when someone pressures them, they worry and become anxious because they lose their sense of control.
The second reason for shyness is a lack of trust. People who experience this kind of shyness are a bit reserved. Their main fear is getting hurt if they allow others to get too close. These people often have experienced rejection, bullying or neglect. Shyness acts as a shelter that protects them from being exposed. Such shy people keep conversations light, they divert the topic away from themselves, and they do not share personal information. Their greatest fear is getting hurt by letting others get too close.
The third reason for shyness is fear of judgment. Some shy people fear being judged badly by others, so they avoid it altogether. Such people value others opinion of them highly and find it hard to present their true selves for fear of judgment. They tend to have a small group of friend who accept them the way they are and get anxious in the company of new people. Such shy individuals prefer more dominant friend and rely on them to keep the conversation going. They do not know what to say and find it hard to answer questions spontaneously. They are very self critical and are wary in social settings. Their greatest fear is being judged harshly.
The fourth reason for shyness is being critical towards ourselves and others. These are the kind of people who have a little voice in their head that says things like “should have” and “would have”. They think in terms of right and wrong and are often negatively critical. They worry about the impression they have on others because they want to be perceived as smart and able. Such people are judgmental and always worried about making fools of themselves or doing something silly. They often think, “if only…” are afraid of being embarrassed. The main fear in this type of shyness is to be perceived as weak.
Join me next time for tips on how to overcome shyness.