What is shyness?
Most people are slightly apprehensive and self-conscious when they meet people
for the first time. Some are more timid than others however, once they are engaged
in conversation the initial apprehension fades away and they begin to relax
and enjoy themselves.
Sometimes the initial shyness does not fade away and the level of discomfort
increases to the point that the person becomes very anxious. The level of anxiety
can increase to the point that a full-blown panic attack develops. Over time
this can develop into a condition known as social phobia.
How can shyness affect me?
If you are shy you may be a little reluctant to become the centre of attraction
when in company. You may feel uncomfortable when being introduced to people
for the first time or perhaps you are a little embarrassed about eating or drinking
in public. Maybe you are shy about undressing in a team dressing room or putting
on a pair of swimming shorts at the seaside. However shyness does not stop you
from engaging in these activities. You may feel a little uncomfortable at first
but you just get on with it.
Do I need to see a doctor or psychologist?
Shyness is normal and should not require a visit to your GP or a psychologist.
Sometimes a shy person might like to be more confident in a social setting and
could benefit from assertiveness or social skills training. Such training is
often available through night classes or local community based groups. If however
if shyness is stopping you from meeting people or if it appears to be increasing
to a very uncomfortable level then you might like to consider going for professional
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