Understanding Shyness

Shyness is the awkwardness or apprehension some people feel when approaching or being approached by other people. Unlike introverts, who feel energized by time alone, shy people often desperately want to connect with others, but don't know how or can't tolerate the anxiety that comes with human interaction.

Recent posts on Shyness

What Do You Think of Online Therapy?

By Joseph Burgo Ph.D. on December 05, 2017 in Shame
A request for volunteers to complete an anonymous online survey regarding their first-hand experience of therapy online.

When Thanksgiving Comes with a Helping of Social Anxiety

By Dawn Kingston Ph.D. on November 21, 2017 in The Pregnant Pause
Holidays can be especially challenging for pregnant women who have social anxiety. Here are seven tips that can help.

Measurement Validity Explained in Simple Language

By John A. Johnson Ph.D. on November 17, 2017 in Cui Bono
How do we know that a test that allegedly measures shyness actually measures shyness?

The Rise of Cyber-Victimization

By Graham C.L. Davey Ph.D. on November 16, 2017 in Why We Worry
Being bullied is a significant risk factor for subsequent social anxiety but bullying is changing. It’s moving from the schoolyard to the Internet.

How To Approach Anxiety with Cleverness, Part 2

By Reid Wilson Ph.D. on October 06, 2017 in All about Anxiety
We “act as though” all day long—that the coffee we purchased is uncontaminated, and that gravity will keep our feet planted to the ground. When stuck, let it help you take action.

How Can a Teacher Help a Shy Child?

By Barbara Markway Ph.D. on September 21, 2017 in Shyness Is Nice
Do you worry about your quiet child? Following these tips can help a shy child shine.
DepositPhotos/VIA Institute

A Brand New Way to Understand Social Anxiety

By Ryan M. Niemiec Psy.D. on September 12, 2017 in What Matters Most?
Think you know what social anxiety is? This post proves you do not. You'll see social anxiety in an new, helpful way...actually in 6 new and helpful ways.

Social Anxiety and Alcohol Use: A Complex Relationship

By Barbara Markway Ph.D. on September 06, 2017 in Shyness Is Nice
Using alcohol to self-medicate social anxiety can backfire.

Heroism and the Heroic Imagination Project

What are the forces in our lives that make us shy away from offering help, standing up for ourselves or others, and acting wisely on our heartfelt values?
Ryan McGuire/Gratisography

Stripping Bare (Annie-1)

By Elizabeth Young on August 25, 2017 in Adaptations
"I loved the eyes on me," she said at last, quietly.

Top Networking Tips for the Shy, Awkward, and Introverted

By Andy Molinsky Ph.D. on August 05, 2017 in Adaptation
Top Networking Tips for the Shy, Awkward, and Introverted

7 Ways to Say “No” if You're Introverted or Shy

Often there’s a fear of rejection or a desire to avoid confrontation.

Five Common Friendship Challenges for Children

By Andrea Bonior Ph.D. on June 30, 2017 in Friendship 2.0
No child's social life is perfect, and friendship dilemmas are common. Navigating them healthily can make the difference in your child's long-term happiness. Here's how to help.

Six Ways to Help Your Child Shift from Shyness to Confidence

By Suzanne Gelb Ph.D., JD on June 30, 2017 in All Grown Up
Parents! Here are 6 simple ways to help your child shift from shyness to confidence.

Loving Someone with an Anxiety Disorder

By Barbara Markway Ph.D. on June 29, 2017 in Shyness Is Nice
Here's a to-do list for when you love someone with an anxiety disorder.

8 Signs That Someone May Be Living With Social Anxiety

One of the most common forms of anxiety people experience involves an extreme fear of being judged by others. Find out how you can identify and cope with social anxiety’s symptoms.

What Older Dads Need To Know

Are geeks taking over the world? The sons of older fathers are more geeky, and do better academically in success-predicting academics. The "Geek Index" helps us study geekiness.

What's Really Going on When Someone Stares at You

Perceiving ourselves to be higher in status can buffer us from feeling intimidated.

Why Is ASD Often Associated with Social Anxiety?

By Ugo Uche on June 19, 2017 in Promoting Empathy With Your Teen
"We can say that all, if not most people diagnosed with ASD have remarkable issues with social interactions, however not all people on the spectrum end up with social anxiety."

5 Best Topics for Polite Conversation (and Bonus Tips!)

With a few questions, you can learn something significant about a person's life.

Social Anxiety in Toddlers

Social confidence varies from one child to another, and across time and situations. Parents can help their kids cope with social anxiety, and enjoy social interactions.

Can Social Skills Be Taught?

By Joe Moran, Ph.D. on April 24, 2017 in The Secret Life of Shyness
Can social skills be taught? We can learn how to communicate with each other better, but shyness is often very persistent.

Genetics Play a Role in Social Anxiety Disorder, Study Finds

A new study has pinpointed a genetic link between social anxiety disorder (SAD) and a serotonin transporter gene called "SLC6A4."

Avoidant Personality Disorder

By Adrian Furnham Ph.D. on March 08, 2017 in A Sideways View
How can you best help and understand those with Avoidant Personality Disorder?

The Shy Child

Do not force your child to speak.

The Power of Small Talk

By Joe Moran, Ph.D. on February 26, 2017 in The Secret Life of Shyness
Small talk is not an empty ritual: it's a vital life skill that even the shy have to learn.
Iryna Inshyna/Shutterstock

The Etiquette of Hugging

By Joe Moran, Ph.D. on January 25, 2017 in The Secret Life of Shyness
Shy people struggle with the etiquette of hugging, but it may not always be a route to greater intimacy, empathy, and understanding.

Barriers to Applied Evolutionary Psychology

Applied evolutionary psychologists run the risk of being accused of making the naturalistic fallacy or of doing agenda-driven research. Here is how to smile at the critics.

4 Ways to Overcome Shyness

By Jennice Vilhauer Ph.D. on December 31, 2016 in Living Forward
Shyness can sabotage your personal and professional life. These strategies will help you reduce your anxiety and improve your social skills.
LuckyImages/Shutterstock

The Secrets of Shyness

By Joe Moran, Ph.D. on December 20, 2016 in The Secret Life of Shyness
Being shy is not just about being fearful or timid. Shyness takes many forms, and is part of what makes us human.