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

6 Quick Ways to Ease Your Social Anxiety

The good news? Social anxiety is changeable. With time, practice, and a willingness to push yourself, you can achieve the ultimate: being comfortable in your own skin.

Socially Anxious? Eating Probiotic-Rich Foods Can Help

Does going to parties, public speaking, eating in front of others, or using public bathrooms make you sweat? Probiotics and fermented foods (like kimchi, yogurt, or miso) can help.

Social Anxiety: Mapping Its 7 Key Components

These key elements help us understand social anxiety.

The Value of Complaining

By Hank Davis on April 23, 2016 in Caveman Logic
Forget that old edict "Say nothing if you have nothing nice to say." Complaining may provide real benefit to the individual and to the group.

Sad Day When Your Prince Dies

Prince's death has shocked us all. When I was Prince's opening act, I learned firsthand why Prince was such a prince. Here's the story ...

Socially Anxious? Beware Where You Look

By Denise Cummins Ph.D. on April 11, 2016 in Good Thinking
People who suffer from social anxiety tend to focus on negative social stimuli (like angry faces) when in a group. This habit can have devastating consequences.

Laws Governing the Use of Public Bathrooms

By Fredric Neuman M.D. on April 05, 2016 in Fighting Fear
The "shy bladder," paruresis, is explained. An examination of the implications of the North Carolina law barring LGBT individuals from public bathrooms.

The New Shyness

By Philip Zimbardo Ph.D. on March 31, 2016 in Hero
The new shyness is about not wanting to make social contact because of not knowing how to, and then further distancing oneself from others the more out of practice one gets.

7 Things People With Social Anxiety Do

If you or someone you know does these things, it could be a sign of social anxiety.
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How To Manage Your Social Anxiety

How To Manage Your Social Anxiety. Examining your thoughts and feelings can offer relief. By Max Belkin, Ph.D.

"He's a Really Good Kisser."

By Fredric Neuman M.D. on February 21, 2016 in Fighting Fear
I've been a therapist for a long time, and I have spoken to many women; but no one has explained to me what goes into being "a really good kisser." Can someone help?
J.K. Califf via Flickr (Creative Commons)

Teen Asks: Am I an Introvert?

By Sophia Dembling on February 11, 2016 in The Introvert's Corner
A teen wonders if she' s naturally introverted or if she's an extrovert who's lost her edge.
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Why Do I Feel So Awkward?

The hit show 'Hamilton' reminds us that “awkward” can be an opportunity.

Should You Feel or Flee Your Emotions?

By Lisa Firestone Ph.D. on January 25, 2016 in Compassion Matters
When we avoid our feelings, we tune out important clues as to who we are. We limit our capacity for self-understanding and fail to fully experience or shape our lives.

The Problem with Heroizing Robert Spitzer

By Christopher Lane Ph.D. on January 22, 2016 in Side Effects
One of the most influential psychiatrists of the twentieth century leaves a complex legacy.

When Holidays Hurt

By Barton Goldsmith Ph.D. on December 18, 2015 in Emotional Fitness
Your friends and family may not be perfect, but it’s better to be with others than to wallow in self-pity. Or you can volunteer to help strangers who need you. Either one works.

3 Ways to Tackle Telephone Phobia

By Jean Kim M.D. on December 15, 2015 in Culture Shrink
Are you afraid of using the phone to call people? You are not alone. Here are some simple strategies to tackle this not uncommon form of social phobia.

How to Make a Great First Impression at Family Get-Togethers

By Keith Rollag Ph.D. on November 22, 2015 in Being Good at Being New
Been invited to attend a family gathering by your "significant other" or boss? Here are 11 ways to "wow the relatives" when you're the newcomer to Thanksgiving dinners, family reunions, and other special occasions.

When Children Are Afraid

By Kyle D. Pruett M.D. on October 28, 2015 in Once Upon a Child
The research on what helps temperamentally shy children may surprise. Parents who coddle have more comfortable children in the short run, but by the time they get to kindergarten, their children are more shy, not less. These lessons can help parents of kids with more flexible or feisty temperaments manage their inevitable fear as wells.
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How We Keep People Away Without Words

By Brad Stennerson Ph.D. on October 13, 2015 in Creative Counseling
Recovering from social anxiety can be a frustrating process. You take social risks, you strike up conversations, you try to connect — but it's not working and you don't know why. Often the culprit is hidden in plain sight.

Subdue Sadness With Mindfulness and Positive Thinking

By Barton Goldsmith Ph.D. on October 12, 2015 in Emotional Fitness
Keeping your thoughts moving in a positive direction not only makes you feel good in the moment but can also considerably reduce your sadness factor. In addition, it can give you the one thing that we all need to keep our lives moving forward: hope. The more you employ positive thinking, the longer the effects last.

Inside the Mind of a School Shooter, Part 2

By Mark Goulston M.D., F.A.P.A. on October 08, 2015 in Just Listen
My very smart and astute friend, Peter Winick, founder of Thought Leadership Leverage shared with me a conversation he had with a doctor who hypothesized that the present day rampage shooters were often the disenfranchised oddballs that have always been part of school, college and community populations. But they didn't commit violence.

Becoming The Person I Drank to Be

By Anna David on October 06, 2015 in After Party Chat
Everything I know how to do I learned in recovery. Through that, the personality I craved as a kid has revealed itself to be a part of me.

The Redemption of Lou Barlow

By Michael Friedman Ph.D. on September 22, 2015 in Brick by Brick
Lou Barlow shares his battle with social anxiety and how he has been able to use music to cope.

Overcoming Social Anxiety in a Social Media World

By Shimi Kang M.D. on September 14, 2015 in The Dolphin Way
It’s that time of year again. Now that you are back in school, thinking about all the classes you’ve signed up for and what your schedule looks like, and feeling stressed about upcoming exams this semester, your phone vibrates. You’ve just received a Facebook notification that shows a group of your friends at a party you were not invited to. Your heart drops...

Putting Your Feelings Where They Belong

By Barton Goldsmith Ph.D. on September 08, 2015 in Emotional Fitness
When something gets stuck in your brain and you find yourself obsessing, you need to clear a path for your mind and body to function properly. If you continue to ruminate, you may damage your physical and mental health. Regardless of your condition or situation, this is something you can do. Really.

Why a New Partner Boosts Your Sex Life

The review reports a recent British survey which found women recorded an average of eight opposite sex sexual partners over their lifetime, while men reported 12. But the survey also found 22% of women and 14% of men reported having only one sexual partner in their lifetime.

The Blessings of Shyness

Shyness is often criticized by our society. But if we distinguish shyness from social anxiety, we might honor being shy as a tender and positive part of ourselves. If we can become more empowered in our shyness rather than feel shame, it can be a doorway to connecting with people in a more deep, sweet, and tender way.

Shy, Sensitive, Introverted…and Narcissistic?

By Linda Esposito LCSW on August 24, 2015 in From Anxiety to Zen
The Shy/Covert Narcissistic personality is overcome with worry, ineffective functioning, unfulfilled expectations, and hypersensitivity to stress.

10 Techniques For Overcoming Speaker's Anxiety

By Joe Navarro M.A. on August 17, 2015 in Spycatcher
We have all experienced the nervousness and anxiety of having to speak in public. Here are ten easy ways professional speakers overcome the jitters.