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The science behind why some of us are shy

Shyness

Shyness

If the idea of mingling at a party or giving a presentation in front of people make you feel sick, you are not alone.

About 30% of shyness is because of genetics. The rest comes about as a response to the environment.

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The science behind why some of us are shy

The science behind why some of us are shy

https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20190604-the-science-behind-why-some-of-us-are-shy

bbc.com

7

Key Ideas

Shyness

If the idea of mingling at a party or giving a presentation in front of people make you feel sick, you are not alone.

About 30% of shyness is because of genetics. The rest comes about as a response to the environment.

Shyness: Genes and environment

The environment has a large effect on personality and mental health. However, genetics may drive us to extract aspects of the environment that match our actual predispositions.

Genes and the environment work together as a dynamic system. Because of that, you can always change it through psychological therapies that can teach you techniques to cope.

Shyness is not bad

Shyness in itself is quite common and normal, but it can become a problem if it develops into social anxiety where you avoid things that need to be done. You might not be able to talk to people at work or have difficulties socializing.

Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT)

CBT is the most effective psychological therapy for people who have shyness and social anxiety.

CBT enables you to identify negative thoughts. It helps you realize what behavior is unhelpful, such as avoiding eye contact or rehearsing what you're going to say.

Overcoming shyness

To overcome shyness, focus on your audience and what's happening around you, rather than on your anxiety. You will be less caught up in whether you stumble over your words.

Challenge yourself by being more open to new situations. The more you can involve yourself with social situations, the more confident you'll become.

Shyness and introversion are not the same

Shy people are often introverted, but they might also be extroverts who allow their anxiety to get in the way. Non-shy introverts might be socially adept but prefer their own company.

Culture and shyness

The Western world places value on confident, extroverted behavior over introversion, but in parts of Asia, being quiet and reserved is preferred.

In the West, good eye contact is praised and expected, but in other cultures, it is a sign of disrespect and challenge.

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There’s nothing wrong with being an introvert. If you are emotionally unstable, being an introvert can become the biggest enemy of your progress in life.
There’s a big difference between being an introvert and being afraid of public speaking, meeting people and speaking up when necessary. Social anxiety is not introversion, it’s a fear you must face and overcome.

Thinking before speaking and acting

  • Make sure that you speak up when you have something important to say. 
  • Take advantage of your ability to observe other people, the environment you’re in and the energy flow in the room.
  • People will pay more attention to what you say when you do speak up.
  • You probably have the ability to study things better and faster, so when you do say something make sure that it’s an eye-opener.
  • People will trust you more and thus you’ll have access to more privileged information.

13 more ideas

Being an introvert

Being an introvert has nothing to do with being shy.

All it means is that some people recharge when they are by themselves (introverts).

Deal With Being an Introvert

  • Learn to recharge by yourself. You can be enormously creative and successful once you know how to recharge.
  • Create a life where you can have more time by yourself.
  • Make small incremental moves towards the life you want to live.
  • Ask yourself throughout the day: is this activity giving me energy or draining me? 
  • Be humble enough to realize what you are not good at. 
  • Self-esteem is great if you earn it. But if you have no gas in the car, faking your gas gauge won’t make the car run longer.

Gets things done as an introvert

  • Write down ten ideas a day to keep being creative.
  • Read a lot to keep learning.
  • “Execution ideas” are a subset of ideas. When you have an idea you want to test, think of the next execution ideas to get the idea done.
  • Talk with friends who can help if you think the idea is starting to gain traction.

  • Focus your execution efforts on the things you're skilled at and hire or outsource the other things.

  • Work with people who are good at what they do, so you can be good at what you do.

Introversion and social anxiety are separate

Introversion is how you’re wired, whereas social anxiety is something that is holding you back due to fear instead of due to choice.  Non-anxious introverts are perfectly happy to ...

We have to put action before feeling the confidence to overcome social anxiety

Go forth and do so. We often think we have to “feel” like doing something before doing it. But we have to put action before feeling confidence because when we see ourselves doing challenging things, we start to believe we can. - Ellen Hendriksen