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

New Research Reveals Neural Roots of Social Anxiety

People with social anxiety disorder have an extreme fear of new social objects or situations. New neuroscience research shows how observational learning plays into this fear.

A Game of Lunch and Love

By Joachim I Krueger Ph.D. on December 05, 2016 in One Among Many
When your joy of consumption depends on the other person’s wishes, you better get to know him (or her).

Social Anxiety: A Single-Session Cure

My patient never returned. Her father called four days later, delighted to report that I had “worked a miracle.” Yet I see what happened as a failure on my part.

In What Ways Do Socially Anxious Adults Suffer?

By Todd B. Kashdan Ph.D. on November 22, 2016 in Curious?
New research on touch as a neglected emotional experience that offers insights into the difficulties of individuals suffering from social anxiety problems.
By Nogas1974 (Own work), via Wikimedia Commons This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license.

Biology Determines Every Thought, Feeling, and Behavior

By John A. Johnson Ph.D. on October 20, 2016 in Cui Bono
Psychologists say behavior results from the interaction of biology and environment, yet argue about their relative importance. Read why the importance of biology is always 100%.

Understanding and Treating Selective Mutism

By Barbara Markway Ph.D. on October 13, 2016 in Shyness Is Nice
Does your child speak freely and easily at home, but not at school or other public places? Find out if your child has selective mutism, a childhood anxiety disorder.

Ten Tips for Happiness

By Barton Goldsmith Ph.D. on October 07, 2016 in Emotional Fitness
Happiness can be hard to feel at times, so don’t think there is something wrong with you if you don’t feel it.

17 Ways to Fix this Common Type of Social Anxiety

Extreme fear of public speaking is one of the most prevalent form of anxiety disorders. New research shows how you can test, and overcome yours.

A Productive Way to Think About Social Anxiety

By Joel Minden, PhD on September 09, 2016 in CBT and Me
Most concerns about social anxiety are unproductive. Here's what to do instead.

Social Anxiety and Internet Use: What We Know

By Jennifer Golbeck Ph.D. on August 05, 2016 in Your Online Secrets
A review of 26 years of research on social anxiety and the internet show beneficial aspects but also ties to problematic behavior. Here's an overview of what we know.

What Your Voice Reveals About You

Do you like the sound of your speaking voice? Our voices often reveal much about our life experience in general, and social conditioning in particular.

The Psychological Pros and Cons of Pokémon Go

By Marlynn Wei M.D., J.D. on July 12, 2016 in Urban Survival
Could the new game craze help social anxiety and depression? Catching Pokémon might have more rewards than you think.

How Macy Gray Settled Her Heart and Mind

By Michael Friedman Ph.D. on July 06, 2016 in Brick by Brick
Grammy Award-winning singer Macy Gray overcame multiple hurdles, including mental illness and racism, as she built a dynamic and creative career.

Helping Your Shy Child

When they’re around other kids, shy children feel like outsiders looking in. Here are ways to help your child feel more comfortable and confident in social situations.

Screentime and Arrested Social Development

Millennials can have a hard time conversing and making eye contact when face-to-face. How will this affect them when it comes time to be an adult in the real world?

Lessons From the Past

During the Stanford Prison Experiment I unwittingly became my own research "subject.” But the SPE drove me to extensively pursue the question: Why do good people do evil things?

I’m Not Rude, I’m Anxious

People who struggle with social anxiety are often misperceived as being arrogant or rude. Keeping this in mind can help one feel less irritated and more willing to keep trying.

Is "Be Yourself" Bad Advice?

Should we stop telling people to "be yourself"? Wharton professor Adam Grant thinks so.

6 Ways to Ease Shyness and Get Yourself Out There

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 Who Have Social Anxiety Commonly Do

If you or someone you know does these things, it could be a sign of social anxiety.
Pixabay/Free to Reuse

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.