Though, without a shadow of doubt life experiences and the environment a person was brought up in and currently lives play a very big role in the development of shyness. In fact, when shy people have experiences of some situations, in which they felt uneasy or uncomfortable they will be trying to avoid such situations in the future. Also, when a shy person has had an experience of a grownup or friend teasing him/her for something or hushing when he/she was about to state his/her opinion may cause this shy person to avoid speaking up in the future, it order not to repeat the humiliating experience. Sometimes also the treatment of the family causes a child to develop shyness. In some cases parents or grandparents are overprotective, thus causing the child to back away from situations that are uncomfortable or unfamiliar (Arbelle, Benjamin, Golin, Kremer, and others, 2003, pp. 671-672).
Unaffectionate, cold families - In some families the members do not express their or do so very seldom, especially tender loving care and joy for the accomplishment of their members. Tis can contribute indirectly to Shyness, insofar it does not help develop a personal perception of one's capacity for accomplishmentor feeling of being esteemed and respected by others.
Experiences such as these develop perceptions of the as fragile and subject to criticism from others.
The initial causes of shyness may vary. Today when more research is made about this phenomenon, scientists come up with more and more apparent reasons for shyness. Though, for the convenience of my paper I will concentrate on the two main reasons. First reason being that shyness a result of genes a person has inherited, and second – it is influenced by behaviors they have learned, the ways people have reacted to their shyness, and life experiences they have had. The genetic influence of shyness is the area that has not been decently researched (Kluger, Siegfried, Epbstein, 2007, p. 713). Thus, it is considered that there are genes responsible for shyness as well as there are those responsible for the hair and eye color. In fact, about 20% of people have a genetic tendency to be shy, however not everyone with such a genetic tendency develops a shy temperament (Kluger, Siegfried, Epbstein, 2007, p. 715).
Many people are willing to reduce their shyness, however it is a very long and complicated takes, which takes a lot of effort from the individual. Primarily, reducing shyness means trying to face the situations that may turn to be uncomfortable. Though, as shy people usually avoid such situations, as it has been already said, overcoming shyness may take a very long time. To begin with, in my opinion, overcoming shyness needs practice. Shy people should simply try to be more outgoing, to be more talkative and not to be afraid to attract attention. Everything comes through practice, and shy people simply do not have this practice of being in the centre of attention. Of course, such steps should be taken very slowly and carefully, because overcoming shyness is a very lengthy and delicate process. What is more, is that shy people should understand that it is ok to feel embarrassed and uncomfortable – because all people feel this way sometimes, and they are not the only exception.
Shyness can for sure be regarded as a phenomenon, because it is rooted in fear, usually an irrational fear of speaking up and being humiliated or ignored. In psychology the term shyness, also referred to as diffidence, means the feeling of anxiety, lack of self-confidence, or discomfort experienced when a person is in proximity to, approaching, or being approached by other people, especially in new situations, places or with unfamiliar people. Shyness usually occurs in unfamiliar situations with unfamiliar people, but there are severe cases when an individual suffers from shyness even when being at home with the closest family members. Shy individuals try to avoid situations that make them uncomfortable, thus such situations stay unfamiliar for them, consequently their shyness continues to exist. Shyness can be overgrown by some children, though there are people who stay shy till the end of their lives. What is interesting about the phenomenon of shyness is that it may be experienced in different areas. For example, somebody may be very shy at home, but be a class leader at school. Another example is that some people are easygoing with friends, though experience unbelievable shyness when being around the objects of their attraction. Thus, we see that shyness is indeed a phenomenon, being many-sided and ambiguous.
Personally I have always considered shyness to be one of the particular traits of character some individuals have. Moreover, I could never regard shyness to be an illness. I would rather regard it as a phenomenon, because it is simply amusing how different people are, and how something easy for some people may be a panic and suffering for others. Being shy can be an inconvenience, but by no means would I have considered it a mental disorder, because shyness varies greatly from person to person and situation to situation, just like every other personality trait.
In conclusion I would like to say that shyness is one of many phenomena of human psychology that still has to be studied. Being shy is very complicated, however shy people tend to be very good friends and listeners. Moreover, shy people make very dedicated workers, who are not purely driven by ambitious desire for success, like many outgoing counterparts, but are willing to complete their work diligently and thoroughly.
Accordingly, when answering a question of whether shyness is a mental disease or not one should take into consideration the extent, to which a person is shy and how shyness influences his/her life. There are just people who are willing to stay in the shade, live peaceful lives, and stay out of the attention of other people. I consider that such people do not have a mental illness, while they are simply not outgoing, and there is nothing wrong with that. All in all, not everyone is supposed to be a leader, there is always a need for those who would be eager to follow. Though, when it comes to people who are extremely uncomfortable in groups and being exposed to other people, who tend to get depressed because of such explosion, and who do not live their lives because of shyness – these people have to be treated.
Feeling uncomfortable or anxious in a new social setting is not uncommon or something to be overly concerned about; however, there are many people whose lives suffer because of their shyness.
Moreover, In psychology shyness is defined as the awkwardness or apprehension some people feel when approaching or being approached, shy people most of the time want desperately to socialize but they don't know how, or what should they do.
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When looking at people they all seem to be the same. All of them have two hands, two legs, and one head. All of them have hair, tens fingers, and ten toes. However, when it comes to looking at characters, not only we see that all people are different, but we are simply astonished by the variety of human characters there are. For example, while some people prefer to speak up and think out loud, for others this is the worst fear. Indeed, there are people for who even the smallest extent of public speaking or the merest moment of direct attention is a torture. We all know such people, without a shadow of doubt, every one of us has a friend like this. These people are referred to as “shy” or “inward directed”. In my paper I would like to talk about shyness from the psychological point of view. To begin with I will describe the phenomenon of shyness in detail. Then provide some ways to overcome shyness. Finally, I will try to distinguish whether shyness is a personal trait or a mental disorder. The paper will be based on the vast amount of literature research as well as personal ruminations.