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Shyness: my definition
January 10, 2012
18:14
bri thought
Tokyo, Japan

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I agree with logie100 and NKellyEmerald. I'm (sometimes) shy because I'm uncertain about how to act around others, and in fact, it's the desire for friendship and closeness that makes me feel so much pressure to be likeable. The running commentary going through my head is centered on how I'm acting (that was too dorky… that didn't even make sense… what should I do with my hands…), not on others. People can be their own harshest critic. To interpret that as a lack of faith in others is a stretch.

 

I think people can learn to be more comfortable in social situations, like Benny did in Brazil (btw, am I the only one who's been seriously wanting to go there for this reason?embarassed), but it's not because they learn empathy, but simply because they learn to get used to and feel comfortable with that type of interaction.

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January 16, 2012
17:48
FunnyDude
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kuikentje Jar-ptitsa said:

In my opinion the shy people are very sensitive, and have much empathy, but shyness is not possible to overcome. 

I don't think that's true. I believe it is possible to overcome. I used to be very shy, anxious in any social situation, couldn't talk a word in presence of new people, etc. I got tired of it. I tried to express myself a little more, and I noticed some progress over time. Then I went to New York and decided shyness would not be welcomed, and indeed it wasn't. Probably for the first time I approached a girl outside a comedy club and made conversation. I talked very easily to the people in my hostel, and wonder if I wasn't even too extroverted at that time. Now, true, the travel gave me the motivation, and it's a little less easier since I got back, even though I thought/knew that it will still be easier anyway. And it is. I don't have any difficulty meeting new people, and I love it. Sure, I still have some anxiety in some situations, don't know how to act, I'm still a bit insecure, etc. But I stopped calling myself shy. Anyway, my life story might not be that interesting, but it's just to say that I made huge progress. And I really did have problems before, some were even worse than simple shyness (mostly related to school), but I think I agree with Benny, we should stop thinking we're shy or considering we're too introverted. Just try not to be. I'm saying this as someone who could be, or could have been considered as suffering from social anxiety, and I still fear eating in public. I understand the feeling that's impossible to beat this kind of anxiety, and I certainly understand not being understood, so I don't mean to upset anyone. I just believe it's possible :)

January 22, 2012
06:38
S2iLviA
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Shyness is related to repression that you have on you, by which you are afraid of -- or suffered. Why are you shy? Afraid of being rejected? Afraid of being criticized? There will always be some criticism for you; that you made ​​it yourself to you or others to you, then it is up to you not to be repressed with these criticisms. You cannot get rid of fear; actually it is good to have it (moderated). Without repression, without suffering, without shyness. :)

January 22, 2012
21:26
hatulz

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jasminetea said:

 

I think people can learn to be more comfortable in social situations, like Benny did in Brazil (btw, am I the only one who's been seriously wanting to go there for this reason?embarassed), 

hehehe, Benny sells Brazil very well. Guys, breaking news: there are just as many shy people in Brazil as in other cultures :)

 

@Randy – I really disagree with you. Shyness has nothing to do with hatred or so. I am sorry to crush your dreams. Shyness is a temporary characteristic of a person regarding a specific context. I have seen many outgoing people go mute during an entire meeting simply because they have no clue what to say. Even though they're generally outgoing during that meeting they were shy. Why? Because they knew nothing to say regarding the meeting subject.

Now we are in the bar they would be chatting endless mostly fluffy talk. Obviously some introverts who often seek objectives on what they do will not feel so comfortable fluffy talking because it's kinda pointless, mostly for icebreaking. I wouldn't fluffy talk until I learned how useful it is for ice breaking!!

I have become 1000% times more outgoing after I realized my shyness was hindering my career advancement and my social life.

 

I also personally hate people who judge others based on shyness, like outgoing people are more trustworthy.

January 23, 2012
19:58
NKellyEmerald
Dublin, Ireland

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flaviopezzini said:

I also personally hate people who judge others.

I think you should have put the full stop about there! :D You're entirely correct though. 

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January 26, 2012
12:47
garyb
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flaviopezzini said:

I have become 1000% times more outgoing after I realized my shyness was hindering my career advancement and my social life.

Amen. I've been working a lot on reducing my shyness and improving my social skills. Have been for years, but I think fully realising and accepting that it is the main thing holding me back in almost every area of life (work, social, language learning, music, you name it) has given me more resolve, made change the only option, and given me the extra encouragement to not only go out lots but also talk more and leave my comfort zone when I do so. Between that and a few interesting experiences and conversations that I've had in the last couple of months, I've been feeling a lot less "blocked" and been having an easier time talking to people and keeping conversations going. I still have a very long way to go, but I certainly feel less shy and more outgoing a lot of the time.

I also personally hate people who judge others based on shyness, like outgoing people are more trustworthy.

I disagree with the hate; I think people will always judge and categorise to an extent, it's one of our brain's ways of making sense of the enormous amount of information it receives, so we have to accept it and work with it. And sadly, being shy does often make people come across as weird or uninteresting, and people are more likely to trust an outgoing person with whom they feel they can connect than a shy person who they struggle to talk to. Another point that I hadn't given much thought to before, but a friend mentioned in a recent conversation, is that if you're shy and don't talk much, people often interpret that as a lack of interest. A lot of people seem to dislike me or at least seem completely uninterested in me, and I think part of that could just be because they don't feel that I'm taking an interest or a liking towards them, not because they think I'm weird or unlikeable. That idea that a lot of the problem is what I do (or don't do) rather than who I am has helped my self-confidence.

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January 26, 2012
14:09
hatulz

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garyb said:

I also personally hate people who judge others based on shyness, like outgoing people are more trustworthy.

I disagree with the hate; I think people will always judge and categorise to an extent, it's one of our brain's ways of making sense of the enormous amount of information it receives, so we have to accept it and work with it. And sadly, being shy does often make people come across as weird or uninteresting, and people are more likely to trust an outgoing person with whom they feel they can connect than a shy person who they struggle to talk to. Another point that I hadn't given much thought to before, but a friend mentioned in a recent conversation, is that if you're shy and don't talk much, people often interpret that as a lack of interest. A lot of people seem to dislike me or at least seem completely uninterested in me, and I think part of that could just be because they don't feel that I'm taking an interest or a liking towards them, not because they think I'm weird or unlikeable. That idea that a lot of the problem is what I do (or don't do) rather than who I am has helped my self-confidence.

Yes, it's around those lines. When you're introvert, you don't talk much and listen a lot. Then people tend to think you are not interested in them and find them boring OR you are too arrogant and find them inferior thus don't talk to them. It's our job to try and educate people but that's human nature, it's not changing anytime soon.

As you mentioned the only way to fix it is to get out our little bubble and talk as much as possible. As awkward as it seems people don't really process much what we say, and if they do and dislike you all you need to do is ignore them. There are other 6999999999 people in the world, that's how extroverts think. Thinking like this also helps you blend in as many times people will say serious things to your face as jokes, thus giving you proper feedback. When you're too shy people rarely talk to you never mind give you feedback.

January 26, 2012
15:44
NKellyEmerald
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Actually, I disagree, actually people don't need to talk very much at all for people to find them interesting or at least very likeable. It's quite common for people to enjoy a conversation more when THEY'RE talking (about themselves and their interests, mostly)! Even if you're shy or quiet does not mean you look uninterested or bored, a lot of conversations involve one person genuinely interested and asking questions occasionally, whilst the other person does 90% of the talking! And if you're really shy, just nodding your head and giving a smile now and then will be enough to stop you from looking bored and/or weird! :)

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January 26, 2012
16:55
hatulz

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NKellyEmerald said:

Actually, I disagree, actually people don't need to talk very much at all for people to find them interesting or at least very likeable. It's quite common for people to enjoy a conversation more when THEY'RE talking (about themselves and their interests, mostly)! Even if you're shy or quiet does not mean you look uninterested or bored, a lot of conversations involve one person genuinely interested and asking questions occasionally, whilst the other person does 90% of the talking! And if you're really shy, just nodding your head and giving a smile now and then will be enough to stop you from looking bored and/or weird! :)

You're right, I didn't express myself clearly. When I say to talk a lot I mean to interact a lot with people. Start conversations, do fluffy talk, talk about the weather, soccer, mma, soap operas, trips, babies, family, whatever. I mean break the ice with everyone. It pays back huge dividends later. One day you ask a guy how's his kid doing. 1 year later he still remembers that, thinks you're cool and hires you to a very nice job.

January 26, 2012
20:08
Randybvain
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Thank you all very much for interesting comments. I think I have made a mistake with not exact wording. I don't regard introvert people as shy. Introverts prefer their internal world and feel better alone, but the difference is that they aren't aggresive towards others. Writing about "shyness" I meant this attitude when a person treats everybody as their enemies and talked to behaves wildly, hysterically, aggresively, with panic in eyes etc.

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March 24, 2013
21:13
worldtraveller321
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Well I am a traveller as well and yes I am guilty of this shy thing as well. I am good if people start the conversation first. Then it all works out better.

April 11, 2013
04:44
Stephanie S
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Lol, Randy, that definition of shy sounds more like a definition of mild insanity. XD But even if you're dealing with mildly insane people, I don't think you can draw the lines of good and bad based on the level of a person's social interaction. Usually people who behave as you've described have suffered deeply in one way or another, and their reaction to society is continually on survival mode. Maybe it's wrong, and certainly not a normal ideal, but we don't really have a right to judge people without knowing where they're coming from. Compare it to your attitude towards someone who steals food when they are starving. 

I have a lot of interaction with travellers, on this forum and in my own networks and in real life, living in an international town. I think it's great that young people these days backpack and travel around the world and stuff, but there's also this kind of attitude of somewhat unfounded pride on the one hand, and optimism on the other, because they have very short-term contact with the people they meet, and then think they know about the world. You can't really know about people, much less about the world, unless you actually get to know people on a deeper level than just staying in the same hostel for a couple of nights. 

Stephanie

St. Julian's, Malta

 

 

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