How to stop being shy and quiet: Shyness is described as a self-conscious obsession with real or imagined social encounters. Shyness is defined as a deliberate avoidance of social engagement owing to a fear of social scrutiny and shame, feelings of poor self-worth, anxiety, and, on rare occasions, depression. From a trait viewpoint, several theorists explain the origin of shyness. Shyness, according to trait views, is a personality trait with biological and temperamental origins (Kagan, 1994). Shyness, according to some theories, stems from sentiments of shame and humiliation, which lead to social restriction.
Most people are shy because they are concerned about how others see them. They are displaying indicators of social anxiety disorder if their fear becomes chronic and impairs their everyday lives, leading to the usage of drugs or alcohol to improve their social skills or turning down chances that involve public speaking.
A chronic dread of social circumstances in which an individual could be humiliated or scrutinized is referred to as social anxiety. Both toddlers and adults suffer from severe shyness and social anxiety. Remember that many individuals with social anxiety disorder claim that their issues started when they were much younger. Teachers, counselors, coaches, and, in some cases, even parents fail to identify their symptoms as issues.
Common Traits of People with Anxiety Disorders
a. being too self-aware
b. It’s difficult to make friends or keep a connection going.
c. apprehension in social situations/interactions
d. extreme concern for how others may judge you
e. the desire for frequent reassurance
f. You’re afraid that other people will disagree with you.
g. You’re afraid that your own words will offend someone.
h. You don’t feel in command of your body.
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Subtypes of Shyness
Shyness was formerly thought to be a single, unitary entity; however, due to disagreements over how to conceptualize shyness, some have claimed that it is multidimensional. Since then, other subtypes of shyness have been proposed. There are at least two forms of shyness, according to research: fearful shyness and self-conscious shyness. Fearful shyness appears between the ages of 6 and 12 months and is linked to the infant’s dread of strangers.
Fearful shyness is connected with inhibition in unexpected circumstances and does not need self-awareness. Self-conscious shyness is a later-onset variant of shyness that appears at the age of 3 to 4 years old and coincides with the development of self-awareness, perspective-taking, embarrassment, and self-conscious feelings. Self-conscious shyness is characterized by a person’s capacity to watch themselves from a distance.
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Social Anxiety’s Implications
Young persons with social anxiety may have similar issues over time. The following are some of them:
a. Loneliness: Because they are unable to form a typical network of peers, socially anxious youngsters often grow isolated. A socially anxious youngster may frequently have one or two close pals who he or she will rely on for all social encounters.
However, if families move, children change schools, and interests diverge, it may be important to form new acquaintances. For socially anxious youngsters, this is extremely challenging, and it just gets more difficult as they get older.
b. Reduced academic and professional success: Even in the early grades, socially anxious youngsters may have worse academic achievement. This shows that addressing anxiety issues in the early years of education may improve academic achievement. Because of social anxiety, young people’s educational and employment options may be limited later in life. This also highlights the need of assisting a child with anxiety issues at a young age.
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c. Depression: Adolescents who are socially apprehensive are more likely to suffer serious depression later in adolescence or early adulthood. Depression is widely recognized as a severe public health problem among children and adolescents, and it can raise the risk of suicide, which is one of the top causes of mortality among teenagers in developed nations. Loneliness and low self-esteem, which can both be the result of untreated social anxiety, are risk factors for serious depression and, as a result, suicide.
d. Low self-esteem: We feel good about ourselves when we play and work with people and things go smoothly, but these possibilities are restricted for socially anxious youngsters. These youngsters frequently blame themselves for their inabilities.
They grow enraged at their inability to make friends and have fun when they watch other children doing so. When this goes on for a long period, it can lead to poor self-esteem.
e. Misuse of a substance: Young people who suffer from acute shyness or social anxiety disorder are more likely to smoke, drink excessively, or use recreational substances like marijuana.
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How to overcome being shy and quiet always
1. Be honest with yourself about what you can stop: If you have spent your life as an introvert, you will not become an extrovert by studying the self-help tactics in this handout. Instead of being “unhappily shy,” the goal is for you to become “successfully shy.” Unhappily shy people are afraid of being judged, so they say as little as possible to avoid being judged. They also believe that other people don’t get nervous, that everyone is aware of their nervousness, that they are responsible for any gaps in a conversation, that they are a failure in many social situations, and that everything they say in social situations is questioned.
Successfully shy people believe they have interesting things to say, that most people are friendly and accepting, that they don’t have to impress everyone in a social situation, that they don’t have to impress everyone in a social situation, that almost everyone gets nervous meeting new people, that you can’t be friends with everyone, that you can handle silences in conversations, that you can admit you’re nervous, that you can have realistic expectations for social encounters, and that you can handle being a good listener.
Also, remember that the aim is to lower your anxiety to a level where you can live with it and enjoy your social contacts, not completely remove it.
2. Keep in mind that things may become worse before they get better: It’s difficult to confront your social anxiety or shyness, which is why you’ve probably avoided a number of social occasions. It’s natural to feel uneasy or uncomfortable when confronted with unfamiliar social circumstances, but you can’t allow that to stop you.
Facing your anxiety-inducing social situations will become much easier with time and practice. The no pain, no gain philosophy is appropriate for dealing with social anxiety, but you must approach new social settings gradually and incrementally, building on what you are already accustomed to.
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3. Recognize your negative automatic thoughts: One of the most serious issues for persons who suffer from social anxiety is that they are their own harshest judges. They have instinctive negative views about themselves and their social performance. for example:
“No one will ever enjoy my presentation,”
“With my stammering, I appear like an idiot.”
“I’m sure they’re all behind my back laughing at me.”
“I’m a complete failure, I can’t do this.”
“There will never be somebody who wants to be with me.”
A record can be very useful in identifying these negative habitual thoughts. Write down every time you have bad thinking about yourself in a social setting. It’s also a good idea to write down the circumstance that brought up your negative thoughts and worry. This strategy will assist you in determining what situations make you anxious.
4. Negative thoughts must be confronted: You should start evaluating the veracity of your negative ideas when you’ve discovered them. Most of your views are likely to be greatly inflated, illogical, or altogether false. Asking yourself questions such as, “What is the evidence that supports my fear?” and “Do other people genuinely notice my nervousness?” might help you find the flaws in your reasoning.
What could go wrong in the worst-case scenario? Will that blunder jeopardize my entire future? Is it certain that others feel the same way about me? What are the chances that such circumstances will occur?
5. Detecting cognitive disturbances: When opposed to confident people, those with social anxiety have a distinct attitude. A collection of incorrect and harmful assumptions generally lies behind your negative habitual thoughts. You can start to grasp the basics of your fear by recognizing the distortions in your thinking.
6. Put an end to avoiding social situations: Avoiding anxiety-inducing situations is one of the most common ways people with social anxiety deal with their anxiety. In the short term, this helps to relieve anxiety, but in the long run, it just serves to perpetuate it. Furthermore, by avoiding social settings, you are limiting your opportunity to improve your social abilities, and if you lack excellent social skills, you will be more worried when you must interact with people.
Even if you’ve been in some uncomfortable circumstances that make avoidance very attractive, you need to stop using avoidance to deal with your social anxiety. Aside from avoiding social situations directly, shy people frequently engage in other avoidance behaviors, such as drinking or using drugs to alleviate anxiety during a social event, avoiding smiling or making eye contact to avoid a conversation, socializing only with people who talk a lot and steering conversations toward safe topics. In order to successfully overcome your social anxiety, these habits must also be addressed for modification.
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7. Recognize that you are not the center of attention for everyone: Shy people frequently assume that everyone in their environment is watching and judging everything they do or say. They have a tendency to assume they are being assessed and that the judgment will most likely be bad.
As a result, it’s critical to recognize that most individuals are preoccupied with themselves and their own performance, and are thus too disinterested, preoccupied, or self-absorbed to notice what you’re doing or saying. When you stop obsessing over how you’re viewed, you’ll be able to concentrate on what the other person is saying, doing, and their nonverbal signs, allowing you to respond to them more effectively.
8. Stop comparing yourself to the most socially adept individuals: You will surely feel inferior if you compare yourself to the most socially capable people (as shy people frequently do). You can’t help but feel horrible when you compare yourself to the wedding emcee, the speaker at a presentation, the most outgoing person at a party, or a star on television, and this feeds into your shyness.
Rather, compare yourself to other shy individuals who are similar to you. Given that nearly half of the population suffers from shyness, there will be a lot of other people who are even shyer than you.
9. Stop being deafeningly quiet in social situations: Many persons who are socially nervous respond to their own worry by being mute in various social situations. This will not assist you in developing the talents you will require in the future or in making the relationships you desire.
Instead, try asking an open-ended inquiry, complimenting someone, performing a social grace (i.e., opening a door, obtaining something for someone, smiling), remarking on something you have in common in the setting, or saying something fascinating. You will have much more to talk about if you read books or newspapers, watch television or movies, participate in community events, or simply live an active life.
10. Concentrate on your accomplishments: Shy people are prone to analyzing every social scenario they are in, looking for flaws. When we search for errors, we are almost certain to discover them, which confirms our greatest suspicions. Instead, try a different strategy. Look for the things you’re doing well. Consider what you have done successfully in the past before entering a social scenario.
Focus on the positive aspects of a social setting. Focus on what worked for you once the incident has passed. To put it another way, begin to retrain your mind to focus on the good parts of the transaction.
11. Recognize how your body responds in social situations: Certain social situations have triggered a torrent of body changes known as the “fight or flight reaction,” as you’ve certainly experienced many times in your life. Sweating, flushing, shivering, indigestion, lightheadedness, quick breathing, elevated heart rate, and parched mouth are just a few examples.
This physical reaction is triggered by a perceived threat to your sense of self. Recognize that this fight-or-flight reaction is just temporary, and don’t linger on it. Refocus your attention on the other person’s words, for example.
Also, keep in mind that the changes in your body will be far less noticeable to others than they will to you. Don’t assume that your strong physical reaction indicates that you need to flee the circumstance or that you don’t belong there. If you stay in the environment long enough, it will vanish on its own. If necessary, take a break and then return. Relabeling your stress symptoms from “anxiety” to “excitement” or from “fear” to “anticipation” may also be beneficial.
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12. Learn some relaxation techniques that are based on psychology: Relaxation techniques can help you cope with anxiety before, during, and after a stressful social encounter. You’ll have more alternatives if one method isn’t as effective or doesn’t work for you at the moment if you build a range of instruments to relax your body.
Diaphragmatic breathing, autogenic, progressive muscle relaxation, passive muscle relaxation, visualization, and mindfulness are some of these talents. Work with a psychologist to improve these abilities.
13. Enhance your social abilities: Make a strategy to gradually improve your social abilities, as a lack of social skills may cause a lot of worries. This may be a misunderstanding in some circumstances, but it might also be a major contributor to the problem in others. Determine which social skills you lack and then practice them in suitable contexts.
If making small chats is one of the talents you lack, for example, watch how other people make small talk and see what you can learn from them. After you’ve done this for a time, start practicing your small chat in places where it’s suitable.
For example, imagine sitting next to someone in one of your classes. You may use the same method in each of your courses and chat about the things you have in common, such as how they found the class, what degree they are pursuing, what topic they are writing about for a paper, and what year of university they are in. Repeating this process will gradually increase your confidence and expand your topic repertoire.
Shyness is a psychological notion that is linked to, but not identical to, introversion. It has a long and illustrious history. According to decades of study, temperamental shyness may be divided into subtypes based on the interplay between social approach and social avoidance behaviors. Each shyness subtype has its own personality, with behavioral and emotional features that differ. Behavioral and emotional issues, as well as more serious psychiatric illnesses, are all psychosocial correlates of temperamental shyness. Individuals who are extremely shy are more likely to have SAD, eating disorders, and drug abuse problems.
Edeh Samuel Chukwuemeka, ACMC, is a lawyer and a certified mediator/conciliator in Nigeria. He is also a developer with knowledge in various programming languages. Samuel is determined to leverage his skills in technology, SEO, and legal practice to revolutionize the legal profession worldwide by creating web and mobile applications that simplify legal research. Sam is also passionate about educating and providing valuable information to people.