Perhaps one of the most misunderstood social groups is that of the timid. Not wanting to be the focus of attention in a society where what is valued is noted may be presented as a marathon with bound feet.

At school, a shy child may not dare to recognize that it has doubts in front of peers. Once an adult, maybe neither is able to make a presentation to those responsible for granting promotions. Being shy, although it may seem like a minor problem, you can condition a lifetime.

How to Conquer Shyness

Many people confuse shyness with introversion , but they are not the same. Introverts are people who tend to prefer solo activities in the company, but do not fear social encounters.

Shy, meanwhile, they want more social contact yet have an irrational being rejected or judged by others, causing them anxiety and frustration fear.

This article attempts to debunk several myths about shyness, and also give you the keys so you can begin to overcome with guarantees. But remember that there are no magic formulas. At the end you should always arm yourself with courage, count to three, and expose your fears.

You’re not as alone as you think

Traditionally there has been a confrontation between evolutionary theory (a bad opinion of the rest of the tribe could mean banishment) and psychosocial explanation of shyness (more related to self-esteem and the label that we put children). As you’ll see later in the myths exposed, both are probably right.

But regardless of the origin of shyness, it is far more common than you think.

Almost everyone is shy somehow

Numerous studies have quantified that around 50% of people are shy in certain situations. Some have learned to hide better, but the reality is that most of us have the same fears and doubts you.

I know because sometimes I hear that I am good at social relationships and I have a lot of confidence. But the reality is different: I have many insecurities as anyone and just get overcome through willpower.

My case is not unique. Means that many of those you consider most socially determined and experts say the same: that there are situations that are nervous but they get over it.

It assumes that virtually everyone is shy to some degree. The difference is in the intensity. It is tremendously liberating when you finally understand that the person before you can be as nervous as you and probably silent thank you’ve taken the first step.

What is your kind of shyness?

Shyness is not only related to self-esteem. There are people able to give lectures in front of hundreds of people but suffering like lambs in a face to face conversation with a stranger.

This type of situational shyness is very common. There are fears that only appear in certain situations, especially those involving figures we see above us, as teachers and very attractive people.

What triggers your shyness situations? Surely in those where you think there is a risk of being judged or embarrassed. But you must be more specific: in front of new people? With people you attract? When do you have to talk about you?

Knowing what your triggers are is the first step to overcoming it, because only then can identify the thoughts that precede before the emotions of shame and nerves and prevent negative behaviors become.

Remember, everyone doubts himself in certain situations. Even if you think that friend of yours that exudes confidence everywhere knows shyness is not true. People that anyone would describe as the life of the party have been confided with me and all I have recognized that often hesitate, especially when they are ahead even more extroverted than they.

8 Keys to empathize with shyness

To combat shyness is essential to understand. Below is eight characteristics unfamiliar timidity that science has shown and to help you understand it better.

1. Shy and become born …

It argues that many people are born shy, almost as much as the holding is learned in childhood.The reality is that about 15% of children are born with what is called “inhibited temperament”, which means that new experiences cause them undue stress.

Most surprising is that even seems to be a time for timidity. A Harvard scientists found that women who become pregnant around August and September are more likely to give birth to shy children.

The explanation seems to be that during those months the daylight begins to fade and the mother secretes more melatonin, a hormone that has neurological effect on the fetus. Seen this way, you are born shy.

But do not be alarmed yet.

Although there is a clear genetic factor involved in shyness, the accepted view among scientists is that learning has much more influence. Although there is a genetic predisposition, your personal experiences and social environment they are crucial.

2. The greatest responsibility lies with the parents

In a study by Dr. Zimbardo , a renowned social psychologist, found that the incidence of shyness is different in each country. The country with the lowest number is timid Israel (30%), while the one with the highest percentage, with 60%, was Japan.

Zimbardo went to these two countries to investigate more. He realized that the main difference is inthe way parents blame congratulate the successes and failures of their children. When a child tries and fails, who takes the blame? And when it succeeds?

  • In Japan, if a child is successful, parents carry the credit. And not only them, but teachers, grandparents and guardians involved in their education. But if it fails, all sins are for little.
  • In Israel the division of responsibilities is the opposite. If a child tries to fly a kite and get it, people applaud his skill. But if he fails, his parents throw the blame the wind.

3. Shyness and courage are (physiologically) the same

It’s important to be clear that: fear and excitement are caused by the same substance. 

Physiologically both emotions may seem different, but biologically your body’s response is identicalThe only difference is your expectations. When you expect something bad happens, you invade fear and anxiety. But when you anticipate a happy ending, smiling with excitement.

  • The reality is that many speakers feel the same tension before you speak in public, but they interpret it as excitement. Fear can be transformed into passion when you change the way you translate that emotion.

Several years ago, while studying in college, I went with my girlfriend to an amusement park. I remember that while I was dying to climb the tallest roller coaster, she was paralyzed at the thought. Both noticed the same nerves, but I interpreted it as positive and as something terrible.

4. It is better to accept your negative thoughts to fight them

The importance of emotions has influenced Western culture that often struggle to change them, when in fact what we should do is accept.

In the case of shyness, one of the most popular therapies is to change the patient’s negative self-talk with positive messages.

But the distance between emotions and behaviors that trigger can be enormous. To overcome this leap, a Japanese researcher (where there may be more patients?), Dr. Morita, he created a therapy that has demonstrated a success rate of between 80 and 90%. Almost nothing.

This therapy does not deny the emotions accepts them as part of life. So try to change behavior rather than emotions. When patients agree that may fail, they feel more confident.

In fact, it is very similar to the Buddhist meditation approach. First acknowledge your fear and then act in spite of it.

5. What it forces you to reduce your perfectionism wrong

It is not uncommon for shy people appear to be quite competent socially. But if you could read your mind you would discover that she does not value it at all well and is extremely self-critical.

Much of the constant self-criticism that shy people are subjected is based on its own unrealistic expectations. They think his jokes should be the funniest, its the most interesting stories and the most accurate feedback; claims are impossible to maintain.

The good news is that the focus of improvisational theater is having very good results in reducing the craving for perfection and understand that it is not necessary to be the soul of every party to be proud of yourself.

Improvisational theater not allow any kind of perfectionism because the scenes are happening so fast that inevitably make mistakes, even the most experienced players. Thus it ensures that participants focus on creating connections with others instead of keeping the focus on themselves.

6. The posture can reduce your stress

If you’re on this blog you probably know that a position of power, head high, shoulders back and arms occupying the greatest extent possible, provide an authoritative and confident image.

But what you might not know is that it can also be useful in combating shyness because it has been shown that, while maintaining that position, reduce your stress level.

The researcher who made the discovery concluded that it is not necessary to adopt this posture for the situation that causes the nerves: do it a few minutes before also effective.

Before you confront a situation that produces anxiety, like going to a party where you do not know anyone or speak in public, keep this position for a couple of minutes. Will reassure.

7. It is better to recognize that you’re shy to hide

If you want a little internet (where anyone can write today) you will find that many tips for overcoming shyness include the classic “Show yourself sure of yourself.”

Nothing further away from reality.

According to a study published in 2012 , recognize a negative emotion in your own words can reduce the intensity of that emotion. Recognize your shyness or nervousness is one of the easiest ways to relax. In fact, it is one of my favorite strategies and land use whenever I have a presentation on important public.

Obviously if you are shy, you better admit that try to hide at all costs. Why? For thus you will no longer strive to hide and that takes away a lot of pressure off me. Moreover, as most people know what is embarrassed because of shyness, they empathize with you. It has even been proven to add that are shy in your social profile can increase the number of people contacting you.

Logically, in specific situations (such as a business meeting, for example), this strategy will not be timely, but generally admit your shyness is a good idea.

8. Social networking is not harmful

With the advancement of social networks some psychologists have dedicated themselves to discredit them. They believe that the fact that the actual contact is no longer necessary to communicate cause a deterioration of social skills that have long-term negative consequences.

However, some recent studies are showing that this is not true. And it may even be beneficial if we focus on its advantages. In an investigation it found that children with very limited social circle, networks enabled them to supplement their lack of interaction and affirmation of identity.

These same studies have shown that Facebook can be a good gateway to the most shy people, a way to initiate contacts that otherwise would not have ever produced.

If you think about it objectively, Facebook can reveal intimate details of our lives and find common topics of conversation, basic pillars to create deeper social connections. Do not forget that its founder, Mark Zuckerberg, was almost pathologically shy.

Obviously, one end use can be detrimental. Facebook can help you better connect with those people you meet online, but does not give you skills to meet new people in the offline environment and even can make you feel uncomfortable if you feel you lack information that person.