Overcoming Detrimental Shyness

By Staff Writer Published on July 17, 2016

Most of us are aware of the two major personality types: extroverts and introverts. Each have unique ways for interacting with the world around them. And the population of the world seems to be split, with introverts making up about 50 percent of the population. In theory, that means that every other person in a classroom at California College San Diego is likely to have introverted personalities or characteristics while the other half will lean more towards an extroverted personality.

One can see that simply being an introvert is not a detrimental problem, as some professionals of decades past have implied, but rather that more withdrawn or introspective people are more common in society than previously thought.  The real detriment to some individuals, and to some students at California College San Diego, is the unrelated characteristic of being shy.

Shyness isn't always a bad thing

Shyness is not, by its nature, a detrimental quality in any individual, nor is it only found in introverted people.  In fact, a common misconception about introverted individuals is that they are all shy.

The reality of the matter is that all personality types have the ability to house the occasional shy individual, and among those individuals there is a lesser portion that are so effected by their shyness as to cause them potential problems in school and in the work place.  But there is still the possibility that this is the case; that a shy person can allow their shyness to become detrimental to them.

Examples of a person’s shyness interfering with their scholastic studies may include a business student who is too shy to ask their peers for help on a topic they do not understand or an accounting student who is struggling with a concept but is too shy to raise their hand in class to inquire on the matter or approach their professor following class to receive clarification.

When shyness inhibits learning, as is the case for the above examples, it then becomes a determent to the individual and they may wish to begin applying a few strategies for overcoming this disadvantageous shyness.

The first step

The first thing that person can do to overcome their shyness is to strive to find out the source of their shyness.  Often, things such as a low self-image, a fear that others are always watching every action, or inaccurate labeling of oneself as a shy person can lead to feelings of shyness.

Once the root cause or causes of the feelings of shyness have been identified and evaluated, a person can begin to plan how they will overcome their effects.  A few ideas to overcome detrimental shyness include:

-Find personal strengths and exercise them

-Become self-aware, not self-conscious with the understanding that others aren’t constantly judging

-Dispel negative thoughts and replace them with positive affirmations of your strengths

-Control breathing when faced with a situation that would typically lead one to feel shy as a slower breathing rate slows the heart and calms the nerves

-Give positive affirmation to both yourself and to others

There are other ideas and suggestions for how to control the feelings of shyness that many people feel.  Finding the right techniques to calm themselves so that they can perform well socially in school when needed will help these students find the success they desire both in school and beyond.