This article will discuss what causes a person to be shy and how to overcome shyness the right way.
Shyness is a personality disorder because a shy person has problems dealing with the people they want to interact with. Shyness makes a person uncomfortable around others. Shy people find it difficult to express themselves freely and start conversations with people.
What causes a person to be shy?
Shyness is a symptom of some underlying psychological problem such as inferiority, self-consciousness, perfectionism, lack of self-confidence, low self-esteem, or a fear of rejection.
One or more of these underlying problems may be causing a person’s shyness. So if these underlying problems dealt with then shyness can be easily prevented.
Our mind develops a behaviour only when it finds that it is useful for achieving some kind of an important goal.
We may or may not be conscious of that goal. So, even if you logically consider a behaviour such as shyness unwanted, your subconscious mind will have its own, apparently illogical reason for developing it.
The subconscious mind makes a person feel shy to ensure that they avoid social situations. The shy person believes that there’s something wrong with him or her that other people aren’t supposed to know about.
This ‘wrong’ may be the feelings of inferiority, shame or simply a lack of confidence and experience.
At the root of shyness is fear- a fear that people will get to know your flaws. Shyness motivates you to avoid social interactions so that your flaws remain hidden.
When you feel shy, you find yourself unable to interact with others. This negative experience only reinforces your belief that you’re better off staying aloof from others.
Therefore, the belief that ‘there’s something wrong with you’ gets reinforced and you get trapped in a vicious, self-reinforcing cycle.
Your subconscious mind thinks, “Success! I’ve helped you hide your flaws from others.”
When you’re in a situation where you know that everyone loves and accepts you (in your home, for example), you’re unlikely to feel shy.
The degree to which you feel shy in any given situation depends on how comfortable you are in the situation. That, in turn, will depend on how you think others perceive you.
So all you got to do is to fix your own perception of how others perceive you. You need to prove to your subconscious mind that you aren’t actually as negatively perceived by people as you may have imagined.
Also, you’ll need to drop the belief that one can be perfect, without any flaws. So what if you have flaws. Don’t they have their own flaws too? We’re all imperfect in our own ways.
How to overcome shyness the right way
The best way to overcome shyness is to deal with the real reason that is causing your shyness.
Is it inferiority? Is it low self-esteem? Or is it lack of self-confidence?
Once you figure it out then you won’t have any problems in getting over your shyness.
Ultimately, it’s all about how you think and that depends on the type of beliefs that you have about yourself.
Practice talking to people, force yourself to start conversations and never avoid situations that you know have the potential to make you feel shy. But don’t force yourself into conversations you aren’t interested in just for the sake of fitting in.
Like I said before, behind shyness there is always some kind of fear. and all fears grow when they’re avoided.
Prove to yourself that the fear that was responsible for your shyness was irrational and then your mind will drop your shyness like a heavy load.
You won’t become a charming social magnet when you first set out to practice but never let mistakes hold you back. Know that they’re indispensable whenever you’re learning anything new.
As time passes, you’ll make fewer mistakes and a day will come when you’ll find that you have absolutely no problems talking to anyone.
The important thing to remember is to always be on the lookout for situations that can trigger your shyness.
Make a mental note of those situations and then go all in. Face those situations again and again till you prove to your mind that there’s nothing to hide. Eventually, you’ll find you rarely experience shyness.
Hi, I’m Hanan Parvez (MBA, MA Psychology), founder and author of PsychMechanics. I’ve published one book and authored 400+ articles on this blog (started in 2014) that have garnered over 4.5 million views. PsychMechanics has been featured in Forbes, Business Insider, Reader’s Digest, and Entrepreneur. Feel free to contact me if you have a query.