Is there a reason for my shyness?

I’m shy. I can’t go up and say “Hi” to someone I never met before. I went to 12 different schools when I was kid. I’m 28 years old. I took a shyness quiz and it said I’m moderately shy. I’m not shy over the computer at all. I know it is different than the real thing. Can you give some suggestions how to get out of this shyness?

I’m a Christian and my mom said that it is part me because God made me this way for a reason.

K. F. 02-28-99

1 Comment

  1. Thanks for writing and for asking such deep and meaningful questions. What do you think of your shyness?

    You indicate that your mom said that being shy is part of you and that God made you this way for a reason. It is important for you to know what you think of your shyness.

    I wanted to get rid of my shyness.

    I can give you my understanding of shyness from my own experience. Although it was extremely difficult for me to accept my shyness, I now feel that shyness is an important part of me that I cannot change. I now see my shyness more as sensitivity as described by Elaine Aron in “The Highly Sensitive Person”. You should know however, that I did spend years and years trying to overcome/get rid of my shyness and I learned a lot about myself and others during this time as I was driven to do anything that would help me be less shy.

    Eventually I was forced to accept my shyness because I tried everything (moving away from my parents, therapy, relationship classes, meditation, hypnosis, spiritual teachers, personal growth retreats, dating services, blind dates, personal ads, singles parties, dance classes, etc. etc. etc.) and while I made some process, I would usually fall back on old shy ways.

    Now I know that my shyness is an important part of me and that SHYNESS IS ONLY ONE PART OF ME. In the past my shyness lead me and controlled all my decisions and actions, I faced the world only through my shyness. Now, other parts of me (courageous, creative, romantic, etc.) are freer to express myself due to allowing myself new experiences.

    Am I shy for a reason? I think so as I met a married a wonderful, smart, beautiful,and sensitive woman later in life. Through my shyness and sensitivity and through working on myself I created the possibility of finding the perfect person for me.

    Was I meant to suffer and be unhappy due to my shyness? Perhaps shyness was the best tool to direct me toward happiness. Perhaps I would have more unhappy with the wrong person. Perhaps my shyness gave me a better appreciation of friendship and love, and a greater understanding of myself.

    Like you I went to more schools than I can count because my Dad was in the service. It was always hard being the new kid and painful to say goodbye to friends when we moved. While this may have contributed to my shyness, my parents were also shy and afraid of people. My experiences, my role-models, plus my inborn nature made me very shy as I got older. As you can tell, despite this seemingly huge mountain to climb, I did it and am now happy (and still shy/sensitive).

    The point of the Shy and Free site is to show that you can be Shy, and at the same time Free to express other non-shy parts of yourself. Many people have the mistaken idea that they need to wait until they no longer feel shy before approaching someone, asking for what they want, and being happy.

    You wrote “I can’t go up and say “Hi” to someone I never met before.” This was true in the past. This is not true today, tomorrow and in the future. By saying “I can’t” to yourself you create this reality. Say “I can, when I am ready”; “I can, when I feel safe”; “I CAN!”. Create a new reality where you are both Shy and Free.

    My advice is to accept your shyness while not allowing it to lead your entire life. Use shyness/sensitivity as a guide when it is appropriate and allow other parts of you to lead when they are more appropriate in the situation. For example, when you want to go up and talk to someone, listen to the shy part’s fears and reservations, then find a way to make the shy part feel safer in the situation — then go up and talk to the person despite the fear.

    It is great that you are not shy over the computer as this shows you have parts of you that are not shy. How can you create enough safety to allow these parts to show themselves in person?

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