Painfully Shy

We're all a little shy at times when meeting other people.   It's hardly surprising that shyness can often interfere with how we interact in social situations.    For some people however, shyness can lead to social anxiety and a crippling fear that results in deliberate isolation to avoid associating with others.    Extremely shy individuals are typically low in self-esteem and largely preoccupied with what others think of them.    Driven by a fear of rejection, shy people often engage in self-sabotage to prevent themselves from growing closer to others and avoid social situations when possible.  

Research into shyness has suggested different causes including genetic influences,  prenatal influences, environmental factors (including the effects of emotional abuse in childhood), or as the result of a traumatic social episode.   While usually not severe enough to merit a diagnosis of social phobia or social anxiety, shyness can have a powerful effect on a person's sense of well-being along with being linked to depression or other emotional problems due to isolation.    To read more, check out my new Psychology Today post.                

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