“Many great ideas have been lost because the people who had them could not stand being laughed at.” – Author Unknown
Psychologist Jonathan Creek of Wellesley College says that “situational shyness, such as feeling shy around a new co-worker or person of the opposite sex to whom we’re attracted to, can help to facilitate cooperative living; it inhibits behaviors that are socially unacceptable.” In this case, shyness can be a good thing; it prevents us from making fools of ourselves, or from hurting others’ feelings.
Are you afraid to take a risk? Perhaps you always anticipate the worst and fearing the outcome; you avoid the pain by avoiding the situation altogether. It could be simply fear of the unknown. Sometimes a single bad experience can grow into a habit as you continue to choose to flee or avoid any situation in which you feel uncertain.
The shy person can actually handicap themselves with negative thoughts and wind up using their shyness as a crutch and an excuse for not pursuing more social occasions, “I can’t handle these kinds of situations because I’m so shy.” Of course the more they tell themselves things like this, the harder it becomes to socialize, make friends, and establish relationships, both personal and professional. It becomes a self-defeating behavior.
Rather than dwell on the negative part of being shy, try seeing yourself in a more positive way. Shy people are less likely to gossip or brag; they are generally not overbearing or pushy, and definitely not aggressive or antagonistic. Once the shy person makes a friend, they are very loyal and dependable. They are more discreet than the more outgoing kind of personality. They tend to be much less controlling in most circumstances, and very willing to let others do what they want.
Let’s face it, some people are born talkers who can get along with just about anyone and everyone, and some people are not. More evidence is showing shyness to be an inborn trait or distinguishing quality. Shy people have difficulty making conversation and become very nervous when they feel they have to be congenial with strangers; they simply do not know what to say.
So, ask yourself these questions:
• Does the thought of meeting new people make you uneasy?
• Do you find it a struggle to come up with something to say to new acquaintances?
• Do you sometimes become tongue-tied around strangers?
• Do you avoid social gatherings where you’re certain to get left on your own?
• Do you have trouble speaking in large groups?
• Do you have trouble making eye contact when meeting someone new?
• Do you find it difficult to make new friends?
• Does talking to a member of the opposite sex make you nervous?
• Is dating nerve wracking to you?
• Are you at a loss for a retort when someone makes a wisecrack at your expense?
• When people take advantage of you, do you find it difficult to be assertive with them?
• Do you have trouble saying no to people?
• Do you fail to take compliments graciously?
Do you think you’re shy?
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