Influence of Shyness on Personal Development and Happiness
“I have severe difficulty socializing to others”; “They think I’m unfriendly but in reality, I do want to connect to them but I don’t really know how”; “My anxiety always gets in the way, that’s why I’m painfully conscious around people”. These are some of the thoughts shared by people who are shy or those who feel uncomfortable when attention is on them because they are afraid of falling short of the standard of the superficial authority or of their perfectionist expectations on how things are supposed to be.
Shyness, regarded as a personal attribute for a person, is also considered to be a psychiatric disease (Lane, 2008). This condition may vary in different degrees to what extent a person would display its symptoms, such as uneasiness and avoiding the things he fears to deal with. It could also be experienced inwardly without showing its complications to others but the one who suffers, when hiding his difficulties, could probably add worries and problems to his psychological self.
Unusual situations are the common circumstances that trigger shyness. Also, the person’s environment may contribute to his shyness. If he is psychologically maltreated, there is a high risk that degree of shyness and avoidance to others would increase. But, the deeper root of shyness can be explained by genetics. There has been progress in determining suspected genes involved in personality but only a little development in confirming relationships between these. A gene-linked polymorphic region (5-HTTLPR) is examined and identified to be related with shyness (Ebstein et al., 2003). According to WHO, embarrassment, excessive shyness, timidity, self consciousness and, social-phobia and lack of self-confidence are also symptoms of a disease called erethism. Erethism is a clinical condition in which appears in cases of mercury poisoning. Moreover, shyness is sometimes inappropriately interchanged with introversion, high sensitivity, social phobia and social anxiety disorder but is much related to the said terms in certain cases. According to Whitten (2001), introversion is not similar to shyness because introverts prefer being alone and are energized with that but they are not anxious in social situations. Unlike with them, the shy, because they fear social encounters, thinks that he has no choice but to avoid socializing which sometimes is not really where his heart at. But, there can be cases that a person would be an introvert and shy at the same time, it is when they are very sensitive to the social environment but it doesn’t matter because they get their energy within their selves not on others. Another term, in which shyness is related, is the social anxiety disorder. Its difference with shyness is, its scope is wider and it includes panic attacks. In relation to shyness, it also brings fear, apprehension or worrying about being evaluated by others in social situations that causes depression to the sufferer. Varying degrees of shyness and as to how the shy handles his trait contributes a lot on what can be the impact of shyness on the person. It is considered harmful when it has been controlling people’s lives because it brings incessant negative evaluation of the self, excessive self-consciousness and negative self-preoccupation that inhibit social confidence. In cases like that, the shyness is needed to be cured or if not, lessened because it hinders the disposition in life of some individuals.
Shy people may tend to be unfriendly because they believe they lack social skills and may resort to withdrawal from people. But essentially, they desperately wanted to connect to others and wished to have as many friends as those people who are not shy have. The problem is they appear to be antisocial at times which they do not intend to be. Their socializing attitude might be the root of this one. Carducci (2000) observed that they expect others to get in touch with them and drag...
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