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Thread: Shy People

  1. #11
    Senior Member Shimmy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlackCat View Post
    How did you overcome it (for the sake of the shy people here)?

    I overcame my shyness by getting more outgoing with people that I was secure with. I got more confident and just basically didn't care about how I was perceived when I took the effort to stop being shy. It didn't take long for this to ooze over into all of my interactions. Most people see me as an extrovert, but I'm clearly introverted.
    I overcame my shyness because I realized I wasn't ever going to make new friends and get a girlfriend if I avoided people in general or only talked to the people I already knew. I also realized that self-presentation is a HUGH deal in all aspects of this world and that being shy (not presenting at all) would hold me back. After realizing this I took some debating and public speaking lessons at my high school which helped me develop my presentation (and with that self-presentation) skills. At first it was basically just 'fake it till you make it', and I'd still feel very anxious in public, but I noticed that people were responding overall positive to my attitude and I grew more confident. Nowadays I still have a fair amount of stage fright, but I'm no longer overwhelmed by it to the extent where I would be unable to speak. The biggest thing in public speaking is that due to a physical condition I have I'm always shaking and trembling a bit, it's nothing bad, but small anxieties and stage fright make this worse, meaning I can look more anxious then I actually am when I'm physically handling things, like drinking from a glass of water, or pointing something out with a laser pen.

    After these lessons I got better in public speaking, but I still wasn't very good in talking one-on-one. I decided this should change as well. I looked online on some articles that might help me increase my self confidence in this area. At first all I found were some crappy articles, a friend recommended me a book called "the game", you may have heard of it. It's an autobiographical work of a nerd-gone-player. I figured, if somebody else can do it so can I. I started going out with my extroverted friends more. Told them about the book as well, they were intrigued. At first I kind of forced myself to talk to strangers, using again the 'fake it till you make it' principle. I paid active attention to the feedback I got, like if I would tell a story or make a joke I'd notice how people reacted. One particular thing I did was that I remembered a lot of things that I did or that happened to me when I was younger so I could tell them to others at appropriate times. People in social situations react well to stories and surprisingly bad to diagrams and reasoning. After a while I actually knew how not to appear shy, and following that confidence replaced my shyness.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kai View Post
    I do think someone mentioned that shy people are less intimidating and therefore serve a purpose in society. It's a social reasons based on 'evolution'
    I once saw a documentary on the animal planet about chimps. Chimps that are lower in the social ranking of the group try to avoid the alpha male, or at least not act out when he's around. This could be a form of shyness I think, it's a natural defensive behaviour to avoid fights by showing submissive behaviour.

  2. #12
    Senior Member bighairything's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlackCat View Post
    How did you overcome it (for the sake of the shy people here)?
    I had to think about that a bit, because I don't think I ever consciously did anything to overcome it, it just sort of happened. But the conclusion of my rather undeveloped thoughts about this is that the main way in which I overcame it (without realising at the time that this is what I was doing), in terms of Jungian personality theory, was by developing my extraverted sensing function to the point that I'm pretty good with it.

    Although I couldn't say if there's any empirical truth to this, I would hazard a guess that the MBTI grouping least prone shyness is SP, which of course has extroverted sensing as the preferred information gathering function. in Buddhism, great importance is attached to the concept of acting "skillfully". Very simply put, what this means is focussing entirely on the present moment of the act that you are carrying out. I've always felt that SPs are the most natural at doing this.

    So as a practical point of advice, people could learn a little about some of these ideas in Eastern Philosophy, learn how to put the philosophy into practice by meditating. I think shyness is related anxiety, and by focussing your mind in the present moment, meditation relieves this. I am also a massive fan of yoga, which really helps connect mind and body (which certain types of meditation do also), and also martial arts, which are fun, get you fit, and can also give you physical confidence if that is something you are lacking.

    Quickest starting point for an introduction to some of these themes: 'Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance', by Robert Pirsig.

    This is all a bit roundabout and indirect, plus which I am sure there are plenty of shy SPs out there. Well, one key point is that everything requires "skillfulness", including social interactions. Another is that even if there is no direct causal relationship, improving your confidence in one aspect of life will often have positive knock on effects on others.

    Aside from all this though, I do believe that there is a natural tendency for people to overcome shyness as they get older regardless of where they stand with extroverted sensing. It's a byproduct of accumulating life experience. I've been quite lucky, as an EP, in that I've probably done this at a faster pace than most. But everyone is accumulating experience all the time.

  3. #13
    Senior Member BlahBlahNounBlah's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlackCat View Post
    It seems like it would work in the reverse. Realizing that others didn't have all of the answers, so that's an excuse to not interact with them.

    I think it just changed the way I interact with them. When I was shy, I was a student treating everyone else as a teacher. Then I realized that I was a teacher too. I have more to learn from some people than others, but I don't just assume that someone understands (or misunderstands) more about the world simply because we don't see things the same way.


    This new perspective made everything much more interesting.
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  4. #14
    Strongly Ambivalent Ivy's Avatar
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    In 1998 I participated in a study at Duke University on treating social phobia. Not sure if this is the exact study I was in since the article was published in '04, but the details of this study are exactly the same as mine. Fluoxetine, comprehensive cognitive behavioral the...[Arch Gen Psychiatry. 2004] - PubMed Result I was in the group that got the cognitive/behavioral group therapy, plus either Prozac or a placebo.

    It helped a lot. The most important thing that I learned in the study is that feeling anxiety sucks, but it won't really harm me. Desensitizing myself to the discomfort over the course of almost 3 months made it possible for me to relax a bit more in social situations. I'm never going to be a social butterfly (and part of the process for me was forgiving myself for that and embracing my introversion rather than fighting it) but I can interact when I WANT to and enjoy it.
    The one who buggers a fire burns his penis
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  5. #15
    Senior Member Kangol's Avatar
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    Sometimes you just have to find the right book.
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  6. #16
    libtard SJW chickpea's Avatar
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    it's just anxiety and low self-esteem for me. and i haven't figured out how to overcome it yet. i'm not even sure if i'm an introvert or just a shy extrovert.

  7. #17
    Ruler of the Stars Asterion's Avatar
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    I got over my shyness pretty quick, I think it mostly comes from dependence upon others, once you become independent, you loose the shyness. It's probably the parents fault really, if they go about treating their kids like a dog*, their kids gonna grow up addicted to praise. It's probably hard to avoid, especially since that style of parenting is encouraged and just about drilled into our heads.

    You really need to greet people with excitement too, even if they don't know you at all, they'll usually respond as if you were best friends. I don't know if this is just an introvert/extravert thing though... ahhh, I'm getting slightly offtopic lol.

    Well, anyway, as someone said above, once you shed that shyness, everything tastes better

    *by dog, I mean telling them what to do and praising 'good' behavior, rather than feeding them dogfood...
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  8. #18
    Mud and rain and chaos... TickTock's Avatar
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    Hmmm... Hard to give a clear answer about this. I don't think I am shy but have always had shy moments... As a kid I remember at my school on our birthdays we'd have to get up in front of the school and talk about it and I just had my head down the whole time. But I am a good public speaker and have given successful training sessions. The difference might well be that I can be shy when I talk about certain things about myself, that is until someone has drawn I out of me. I also don't say much in groups of two others (when I am not close to them). Unless I feel like it doesn't matter, e.g. I've only just met them so I don't care what they think of me. And unless I'm on the spot, like in school once I grew up a bit I was often loud because I didn't care what anyone thought.

    That might not make much sense... It's helped me understand better anyway.
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  9. #19
    Senior Member Synapse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OrangeAppled View Post
    Interesting discussion here, started by Synapse:
    http://www.typologycentral.com/forum...-stressed.html
    Thanks, when I talk about some issues gets my speculation hat going.

    Quote Originally Posted by BlackCat View Post
    I tried to read that thread but it basically blew over my head.
    My thread is a bit messy, focused more on exploring health and stress and being shy rather than being totally specific and easy going.

    I think that once shy always shy, just different gears switch on. When trades people did some work for us they said, oh yeah I used to be like that but somehow grew out of it. Focus, work related as a role play rather than removing the shy state, you adapt. Like acting, you go on stage and transform and act. Like a comedian or singer, you blot out the anxiety, nerves, that anyone else is there and just perform and then fall apart after.

    Practicing to get used to the idea of being around people and situations to be less shy. Learning how to adapt and cope with situations that deem it necessary to do so. Like a switch at the back of the mind that says, I know my instincts tell me to shy away from this because its fearful, but I'll force myself to do it anyway in the hopes it gets easier next time. But it doesn't it just gets familiar and I get used to it in theory and have an easier time of doing it because its out of necessity.

    Much like introversion, you know interacting with a vast amount of people depletes our energy so dealing with a few is much better.

    Extroverts might say you can grow out of being shy though that is unlikely. Just like some people might say are you sure your an introvert, you sure don't act like an introvert...and there in lies the key.

  10. #20
    Don't Judge Me! Haphazard's Avatar
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    I only get shy if I already know the people I'm talking to, and they already know me.
    -Carefully taking sips from the Fire Hose of Knowledge

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