Being shy can be a crippling thing. It can cause us not to venture beyond the bounds of what is totally familiar, to feel inadequate and to never have the opportunity to develop our full potential.
Is shyness due to our genes, or is it learned behavior? It certainly is puzzling to find one shy child amongst gregarious siblings. We have one introverted son and one extroverted daughter. Our son is not shy, however. He just prefers his own company. Our daughter feels starved if she cannot socialize on a regular basis. Anyone who knows me would say I was a total extravert, yet I can be very hesitant and unsure when facing new experiences.
According to Dr Bernado J. Carducci of the Shyness Research Institute, there are three components to shyness:
a) Excessive self-consciousness - overly aware of yourself in social situations.
b) Excessive self-evaluation - tend to see yourself negatively.
c) Excessive self-preoccupation - concentrate on all the things you are doing wrong when around
These would appear to me to be learned rather than innate behaviors.
POSSIBLE CAUSES OF SHYNESS
a) Being overly criticized as a child or young person. When others' expectations of you are too high
you may never feel you can do anything right, and it is natural to give up trying.
b) Having had even one negative experience in social situations, particularly as a child or teen, the
ridicule or shame forces you into your shell.
c) Neglect where parents or those of influence have never trained you and you are left to learn by
your own mistakes. This can be very damaging.
d) Parents who lack confidence can pass this trait onto their children.
HOW CAN WE HELP OUR KIDS FACE THE WORLD WITH CONFIDENCE?
- If you are a shy parent, discover where the shyness has come from and get help to overcome it.
- Refrain from labeling your child as shy. Labels stick and discourage confidence to step out.
- Concentrate on your child's strengths to build their confidence.
- Encourage your child's efforts rather than concentrating only on the results.
- Walk through new situations with your kids.
- Help them build friendships and integrate into larger groups.
For more suggestions on overcoming shyness check out the following source document I have used.
Written by Sally Burgess