Shyness – Is being introverted the same of being shy? – A lesson from Bernardo Carducci

No, shyness is not the same as introversion. In fact, the motivational nature of shyness has more in common with extroversion than introversion.

ID Articolo: 35374 - Pubblicato il: 15 ottobre 2013
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Bernardo Carducci

Indiana University Southeast Shyness Research Institute

SEE  THE INTERVIEW WITH BERNARDO CARDUCCI 

 

Is being ‘introverted’ the same of being shy?. -Immagine: © Scott Griessel - Fotolia.comAt a party, the shy person is standing by herself but looks uncomfortable (“I wish I had the nerve to talk to somebody.  I wish somebody would come and talk to me.”).  The introvert is standing by herself, but looks content (“Don’t bother me.  I’m happy just standing here holding up this wall.”).

No, shyness is not the same as introversion.  In fact, the motivational nature of shyness has more in common with extroversion than introversion.

An introvert is someone who prefers solitary activities but can be social when the need arises, such as when attending public functions, such as dinner parties and poetry readings. On the other hand, the shy person is someone who truly wants to be with others.

In fact, my own research indicates that one of the most common strategies used by shy individuals to deal with their shyness is what I call “forced extroversion.” With forced extroversion, shy individuals will go voluntarily to a variety of social activities, such as parties, clubs, and shopping centers, with the specific intent of meeting other people.

Messaggio pubblicitario While shy individual go to great lengths to be in those setting where they will have the opportunity to socialize with others, for a variety of reason, they find socializing difficult.  For example, while going to a party with the specific intent of meeting others, a shy person may have trouble talking to someone he or she is attracted to or wants to get to know.

To help clarify this distinction between shyness and introversion, consider this example.  At a party, the shy person is standing by herself but looks uncomfortable (“I wish I had the nerve to talk to somebody.  I wish somebody would come and talk to me.”).  The introvert is standing by herself, but looks content (“Don’t bother me.  I’m happy just standing here holding up this wall.”).

Actually, unlike the shy person who probably went to the party willingly, it is unlikely the introvert would go to a party at all.  Thus, while both the shy individual and the introvert may be standing against the wall at the party, their reason for doing so are totally different: the introvert is there because he prefers to be, whereas the shy individual is there because she feel she has no choice.  As this example illustrates, what shyness really comes down to is a matter of control.  For shy individuals, their shyness controls them.

SEE  THE INTERVIEW WITH BERNARDO CARDUCCI 

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For more information on dealing effectively with your shyness, visit the Indiana University Southeast Shyness Research Institute at www.ius.edu/shyness.

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