This is an excerpt from my book Building Confidence on how to overcome shyness. If you're struggling with low confidence and shyness, check out this book and learn the evidence-based skills to boost confidence and manage social anxiety and shyness.
Low confidence often is the result of some form of social shyness.
“Shyness,” according to Psychology Today’s definition, “is the awkwardness or apprehension some people feel when approaching or being approached by other people.”
Unlike introverts who feel energized by time alone, shy people often desperately want to connect with others, but don’t know how or can’t tolerate the anxiety that comes with social interaction.
Do you recognize yourself as socially shy?
If so, you aren’t alone. Nearly half of all Americans claim to be shy, and it appears a shyness epidemic is on the rise.
Technology is contributing to this surge in shyness, as more and more people can hide behind their computers and avoid face-to-face interactions.
Even moderately shy people now have an excuse to avoid social interactions and new situations. All they need for company and companionship is at the push of a button.
The diminishing opportunities for face-to-face communication in personal and professional life put shy people at an increasing disadvantage, as they don’t get to practice social skills within the comfort of daily routines.
Even before the popularity of online socializing and cyber connections, shyness was a surprisingly common issue among many Americans, and even more common in other cultures like Japan and Taiwan.
In 1975, Stanford University psychologist Philip Zimbardo, PhD, wrote an article for Psychology Today entitled “The Social Disease Called Shyness.” The article underscored the pervasiveness of shyness, with 40% of the 800 people questioned stating they were shy.
What’s even more surprising? (more…)