Monday, March 20, 2006

How to Overcome Shyness for Positive Life?

Shyness, or social anxiety, is now recognized as the third most prevalent psychological disorder in the world, and the most misdiagnosed.

Shyness is a form of extreme consciousness about one's own thoughts, feelings and emotions. It swings from a timid social uncomfortability to a completely inhibiting social phobia.

Consequences of Shyness
Shy persons are extremely negative, tend to underestimate themselves, feel uncomfortable in a social setting, focus on themselves while interacting with confident people. They talk less, do not initiate conversations, turn fidgety, have low self-esteem and avoid gazing into the eyes of people. Shy people tend to underperform, achieve less and even marry late.

Culture and Shyness.
Studies report a higher percentage of shyness in Asians, as compared to the US or France. One plausible reason being the way each culture deals with success and achievements. Most Asian cultures attribute success to parents, teachers, elders and institutions. Schooling, careers, or wedding decisions are always taken after discussion with family, friends and relatives. Hence the individual restrains expression on vital issues, resulting in shyness. Asian cultures also foster shyness as a social control mechanism or a desired form of modesty. While people the advanced western nations are highly individualistic, expressive, shoulder responsibilities and face the consequences themselves.

Pain Attacks
The extreme form of social anxiety results in panic attacks. Interacting with the opposite sex, speaking at a social gathering, fear of being watched and facing a more confident person are some situations that can set off a panic attack.

In such situations, the shy person blushes, the pulse rises, sweat trickles down the face, hands tremble, knees turn weak and the head goes into a tizzy. This is a result of repression of emotions.

Controlling Panic Attacks
Accepting the truth helps. The moment you realize, you tend to find a way to get over it. If you deny or withdraw into a shell, things are bound to go from bad to worse.

Speak to Someone You Trust
This results in relieving the pressure. It also facilitates discussion of one's problem, possibly leading to a solution.

Take a few deep breaths to soothen your tense nerves. Yoga, meditation, exercises or some regular outdoor activity definitely helps in overcoming the handicap.

Treatment for Shyness
While extreme cases of social phobia need a visit to behavioural therapist, milder ones can be handled effectively by individuals.

Work on Social Skills
Begin to attend smaller parties, join discussion groups or neighbourhood clubs. Such socializing will slowly lead to better interaction with others. Initially, it may be quite discomforting and sometimes fearful, but persist and you can get over it.

Join a Public Speaking Class
Take courage friend, join a session. You'll feel comfortable on seeing many with similar problems. Better public speaking skills mean confidence, which will lead to overcoming shyness.

Learn to be Assertive
Begin at home. Speak up and be heard. Get things done your way. Get family's confidence to improve social skills.

Group Sessions
Share problem with pals. Get together on Sunday afternoons or hit the beach in the evenings. Initiate a discussion, participate, comment, joke, listen and voice your opinion. A session a week will help you overcome the handicap.

Relax. Go out for evening walks. Join the gym. Try meditation, self-hypnosis, yoga or badminton. Keeping the body fit helps one to fight shyness, which often manifests in visible bodily reactions.
Most shy people think they'll grow out of it, many don't and suffer all through life with a negative image of themselves. Act now. Save further embarrassment.

No comments:

Post a Comment