What is Shyness?
Shyness is a label placed on us by others or ourselves. Labels do not explain a person, they place a person in a category and it is important to remember that labels and categories are not the person. An important principle is that “Shyness is not the complete you.” The point of this site is that regardless of how you define yourself or others define you, you are more than that and regardless of any label, you can take action and become whole and happy.
Shyness can be also viewed as caring too much what others think of us. What is the difference between shyness, social anxiety, and insecurity? In reality, these terms are artificially created categories which help to understand behavior — the similarities between the categories are more important than the differences. The term shyness is used on this web site as a broad category covering being shy, quiet, insecure, and/or socially anxious.
Moving Toward Happiness
Moving toward something will bring you success and happiness. Trying to get rid of something only keeps you stuck. You could spend a lifetime answering the questions “How can I overcome my shyness?” and “What causes shyness?” While this would be an interesting exploration, nothing would change.
What part of you wants to change? It can’t be shy part because its purpose is to protect you. If it is not the shy part that wants to change, then there must be others parts of you yearning to be set free.
Change occurs when you can recognize the shy part of you and, at the same time, the other parts. Being totally identified with the shy part is extremely painful. The shy part can’t see how not to be shy, only the other parts of yourself can.
The more you try to change or get rid of your shyness, the more your shyness is reinforced. This is why approaches for “conquering” shyness tend to fail. Shy and Free™ was the first site to outline a different approach, one based on transformation. The more you are in touch with other parts or yourself, the freer you are to express the whole you and experience changes in your life.
The Many Parts of You
We all are made up of many parts (sub-personalities, tendencies, gifts, talents, potentials, etc.) Shyness is just one part of you. While shyness may be leading you now, what about all the other parts? Do you remember moments of adventure, curiosity, courageousness, creativity, or joy? These memories could be recent or from childhood and show that you are much more than your shyness.
Good and Bad Parts?
There are not good and bad parts of you, all parts of you are acting in your best interest. Part of your journey is to discover what good each part is trying to do for you. Understanding the shy part can direct you to happiness and finding your true purpose in life once you truly learn to listen non-judgmentally.
Finding the Real You
What is the real you? How many of your thoughts, feelings, and beliefs come from your parents, your culture, and your past experience? What beliefs do you hold that are self and life affirming? What beliefs do you hold that are judgmental and critical?
What would happen if the real you were in touch with all the parts of yourself? Ideas on this site will help you explore the other parts of yourself, the parts that are not shy and this will lead to finding the real you, the center of all the parts. After all, you are here searching for an answer which shows that you are more than your shyness. The foundation of the idea that we are made up from many parts comes from the transpersonal psychologists, psychotherapist and philosopher Dr. Piero Ferrucci who wrote “What We May Be” which is about psychosynthesis from the work of Dr. Roberto Assagioli.
Extraordinary Effort is Required by You
Ordinary effort alone is not enough to transform shyness. Ordinary effort gives you ordinary results. Gurdjieff said that unless we take extraordinary effort, we will quickly return to a robot-like self. Following the ideas presented here is not easy but through making every possible effort, success can be achieved.
EXPERT EXTERNAL LINKS by Shyness Experts
Dr. Carducci PhD Shyness Research Institute
Dr. Alex Avila PhD Author, Educator & Researcher
Dr. Renée Gilbert PhD Shake Your Shyness
Dr. Henderson PhD The Shyness Institute
Dr. Elaine Aron PhD Highly Sensitive Person
Susan Cain Quiet: The Power of Introverts
Dr. Tucker-Ladd PhD Psychological Self-Help
PsychCentral Community Bulletin Boards
Psychology Today on Shyness
Personality Test Site
Dealing with Loneliness and Shyness (Harvard)
How to Know What to Do?
The next section on the Process of Transforming Shyness will help you understand yourself and determine areas to work on that will help you address shyness.
How to use the Principles that Transform Shyness
While studying the principles that transform shyness, notice when you feel “Sure, I know that”, “I have heard that before”, and also notice where you strongly disagree. These principles are all truths that can be proven by you in your own life.
Sometimes we hold beliefs that are not really ours, and that are in other people’s best interest. Sometimes we hold on to beliefs from childhood which go unquestioned and for which we are not aware.
Question any belief that is not positive and life affirming . . . including beliefs about shyness.
Understanding the following principles is the first step in becoming Shy and Free™ which means being free to be your true self. After learning the principles, the next step is the process of understanding and transforming shyness.
You are on a personal quest and do not need to understand every principle, only the one(s) which you are drawn to at this point in your unique journey.
List of Principles that Transform Shyness
The following is a list of principles that transform shyness. Click here to view all these principles that transform shyness.
- You are not like everyone else.
- You are more than your shyness.
- Shyness is serving you.
- You are responsible for your actions, not your feelings.
- When you feel safe you do not feel shy.
- Balancing the Mind, Body, and Spirit leads to transformation.
- Success is available every moment.
- Shyness is an inner guide.
- The answer is within.
- Trusting the universe instead of attempting control brings success.
- Not everyone was meant to be your friend or partner.
- Obsession is a sign telling you to let go.
- Your beliefs create your reality.
- Nothing is wrong with you.
- You are loved for your flaws.
- You are shy because you have important lessons ahead.
- Lessons will be repeated until you understand and learn.
- Extraordinary effort is required.
- Now is the best time to begin your transformation.
- Those who know you as shy limit your freedom.
- Addictions deplete your transformative energy.
- Being shy is not better or worse than being outgoing.
- Shyness exists within, not without.
- You are as important as anyone else.
- Your past was pre-destined, your future is not.
- Manipulation will not get you what you really want.
- Help others, help self.