Shyness symptoms and types. Most of the people have been shy or sometimes shy. In that case, social contacts, especially new ones, are difficult to get off the ground.
In a small proportion of these people, about 2 percent, the shyness is so severe that it leads to long-term social problems. There is then a so-called ‘social phobia’. You can read more about this in the information brochure ‘Social phobia‘.
Let’s see more about Shyness symptoms and types.
Shyness can occur at almost any stage of life. Only very young children are not affected yet. Shyness can express itself in many ways. This depends on the age, the environment, but especially the person himself. Everyone deals with shyness differently. Also, Shyness symptoms and types differ with age, gender, and many other factors.
Shyness in Toddlers
Shyness can start in toddlerhood. The children do not feel comfortable in a foreign environment and it takes a long time to get used to a new situation.
For shy toddlers, getting used to a daycare or playgroup can take a lot of time. Another situation that often occurs in shy toddlers is hiding from strangers. For example, if one of the parents bumps into an acquaintance on the street and has a chat with him, the child hides completely behind the parent or in the parent’s jacket or sweater.
He prefers not to be noticed. If he is addressed, he may blush or fail to speak a word.
Shyness in preschoolers and schoolchildren
Suddenly, a lot of changes for a child at kindergarten age. All of a sudden it goes to school all day long and often also to swimming lessons and other associations or clubs. This change can have such an impact on preschoolers that it embarrasses them.
In most cases, this shyness will pass when the child is used to the new rhythm. Children who were shy in toddlerhood can now temporarily become somewhat shy. Shy preschoolers have trouble connecting with their classmates. In the circle discussion, they say as little as possible and preferably nothing at all. These children do not spontaneously agree on something with other children.
This can continue into school age. On the one hand, this is caused by the fact that the child is shy and usually stays. On the other hand, it is becoming increasingly difficult for the child to conquer a place in the increasingly close-knit classroom.
See also, Hip problems in children
Shyness in Adolescents and Adults
During puberty, existing shyness can become somewhat worse. Children who were never shy can suddenly become it in puberty. Adolescents have to deal with many changes, such as their school, their bodies, and their relationship with their parents.
Poor school performance can somewhat reduce children’s self-confidence, which can cause shyness. The changing body can confuse and make a child insecure. It can become ashamed of itself. This is especially the case with children who enter puberty earlier or later than their peers.
Children who have a lot of problems with things like pimples and other appearances that are experienced as annoying can often be more socially reticent. They are then left out even more and that can lead to embarrassment. At this age, shyness can manifest itself in different ways.
Some children try to stand out as little as possible. They wear sober clothes, say little in class and they don’t come to parties or sit in a corner. Others try to cope with their shyness by dressing and behaving prominently. Tough behavior can sometimes be an expression of shyness. In fact, both groups of children are doing the same thing. They distance themselves from others and thereby create a safe distance for them.
About 10% of people who were shy in childhood remain so in later life. The other 90% grows over the shyness, as it were. Especially in adulthood, shyness can manifest itself in several ways. Being shy and acting shy are different concepts at this age. Some people who are very shy and show all of it can appear very confident or tough to others. They know how to disguise their shyness, but do feel shy and suffer from it.
Other people withdraw as much as possible and avoid situations where they come into contact with strangers. When this is accompanied by fear, a social phobia develops. These people constantly think that they will embarrass themselves and that others will judge them negatively. They are hypersensitive to the opinions of others and can interpret looks, statements and actions of others as negative for themselves without the other’s intention.
This is an extreme form of shyness and can have a very negative impact on life, especially because these people often have a need for social contacts.
Most shy adults are somewhere in between these two extremes. They experience their shyness from time to time. Blushing, tremors, palpitations, dizziness, sweat attacks, stuttering and not being able to utter a word are examples of this. These people are often very nervous when they are with others or have to give a presentation, for example. However, they can usually get over it. The impact of shyness on their lives is minor.
How does shyness arise?
It is not exactly clear how shyness arises. It appears to be an interaction or collaboration between a number of factors.
First, innate temperament plays a role. Some are more outgoing and active than others.
In addition, the environment probably plays a major role, especially upbringing. For example, children whose parents are very protective of themselves are more likely to become shy later than other children. This also applies to children who are ashamed of their family, because of poverty, family composition, or other problems within their family.
Third, psychological factors seem to play a role. For example, people who have low self-esteem are more likely to be shy.
In any case, shyness is not seen as an abnormality, but as a normal part of human functioning. Only when the shyness leads to social phobia is it considered aberrant.
Is it serious and what can you expect?
Shyness doesn’t have to be a problem. Many people can live with it and do not feel hindered by it. Shyness becomes more serious when it interferes with life. Because of their shyness, these people do different things than they actually wanted to do.
Fortunately, there is often something to be done about shyness. In many cases people can train themselves, in other cases help from an expert may be needed. In the case of social phobia, drugs can sometimes offer a solution.
When to go to the doctor?
It is wise to go to the doctor if the shyness in daily life becomes an obstacle. Together you can analyze the situation and see how it can best be broken.
What can you do about it yourself?
There are a number of things you can do about your shyness or that of your child.
Getting Along With a Shy Child
Many parents, especially those who are not shy, may find it very upsetting when their child is shy around others. They would like to show what the child can already do and how cozy he is already. It is then a disappointment when he crawls away in the company and says nothing. Parents often respond with “Don’t be so bad” or “Don’t be silly”.
Nevertheless, it is best to show understanding for the child by saying, for example, “I understand that you have to get used to it, doesn’t matter”. The child feels understood and has the opportunity to see the cat from the tree. Eventually, even if it is only after several visits, the child will loosen up a bit. It is best to emphasize positively any attempt by the child to do this.
Through this approach, children learn that shyness is not considered deviant and quickly get over their shyness. In this way, they do not have reduced self-confidence. In the case of children who never meet up with friends, you can invite a child to your home. Your child can then get used to playing with a classmate in his own familiar environment. Eventually, it will therefore dare to take the step to play at a friend’s house. You can also join the first time yourself.
Reading and self-treatment for Shyness
There are many books about shyness in the bookstore and library. Some books explain a lot about shyness and provide background information. Treatments depend on Shyness symptoms and types.
Other books explain how you can overcome your shyness. There are even manuals you can use to get started right away.
It can also be very good for children to read books together about good friends. Talking about it with your child afterward can teach him a lot about interacting with others.
Seeking help in time
If you are unable to overcome the shyness yourself, you can turn to various experts. They can guide you and prepare and work through a training program with you. This threshold is often very high, especially for shy people. If you don’t dare to go alone, you can ask your partner or someone else to come with you and do the talking.
In the case of social phobia, you can ask if this person wants to go alone or if the doctor will visit you. Try to take the step, because it will really make your life a lot more fun and easier in the end. You can read more about this in the information brochure ‘Social phobia’.
Now you know about Shyness symptoms and types, Let’s see precautions.
General advice and precautions
Shyness cannot always be prevented. You can reduce the chances of it by paying attention to a number of things during education.
Setting a good example
The saying “Good example is good to follow” certainly applies to children. When they see their parents openly interact with others, be it with someone on the street or in the supermarket, they learn that it is not scary.
Contacts that parents maintain with family and friends can also be a good example for children. If there are tensions in these relationships, it is good to let the child share in them. For the child, this is a way of learning that arguments and differences of opinion are part of it and can be resolved. As a result, children will be less afraid of doing something wrong in their own relationships.
Many parents tend to protect their children from negative experiences. They are actually too protective of their child. As a result, the child misses many experiences. Just as a child learns to cycle through trial and error, so it is with social contacts. He will probably bump his nose but will learn how to interact with others and how not.
In addition, children are still very flexible. Quarrels with friends are settled after a few days, often much sooner. It is best to let your child do more and more by themselves in small steps. Your child can order a sandwich at the bakery and give the money to the teacher himself. If a child is constantly stimulated in social contacts, it will eventually gain self-confidence and will also take initiatives.
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