It is estimated that more than 50 percent adults identify themselves as shy. Being a shy person is not as bad as it seems, even having a shy behavior is considered a virtue when shyness is moderate. In general, shy people tend to be more respectful, trustworthy and protocolar people in social interaction.

Sometimes and in some situations, many people are shy and under-confident, but not in all facets of their lives. They would like to feel more at ease and would wish to welcome having more people in their lives, but have a hard time making those things happen.

extremely shy adults

Moderate shyness does not prevent the person from enjoying life and moving towards their goals, nor does it have to lack self-esteem. However, if your shyness becomes extreme to the extent of preventing yourself from having a good quality of life, and isolating yourself from others, it can be an alarming situation that you might have a psychological disorder, knows as social phobia.

In this article, we will let you know the symptoms of extreme shyness in adults, its causes and some tips to overcome it, so read the article till the end.

Symptoms Of Extreme Shyness In Adults

the symptom of shyness

The adults with extreme shyness or social phobia have several common symptoms when they are interacting with others. Some of them are described below.

Emotional symptoms

  • Intense worry for days, weeks, or even months before an upcoming social situation.
  • They have negative thoughts and beliefs about themselves.
  • Extreme fear of being watched or judged by others, especially people you don’t know.
  • Fear that you’ll act in ways that will embarrass or humiliate yourself.
  • They focus a lot on themselves..
  • Fear that others will notice that you’re nervous.
  • Excessive self-consciousness and anxiety in everyday social situations.
  • They become obsessed with the possible consequences that their behavior may have and consider them catastrophic.

Physical  symptoms

  • Gastrointestinal discomfort.
  • Racing heart or tightness in chest.
  • Muscle tension..
  • Shortness of breath.
  • Red face, or blushing.
  • Feeling dizzy or faint.
  • Trembling or shaking (including shaky voice).
  • Upset stomach or nausea.
  • Sweating or hot flashes.

Behavioral  symptoms

  • They avoid social interaction to a degree that limits their activities or disrupts their lives because they think that they can make a fool of themselves or be mocked.
  • In order to escape notice and embarrassment, they stay quiet or hide in the background. They tend to let other people talk more than they do, plan ahead of time what they are going to say or do in a certain situation.
  • Drinking alcohol or misuse of drugs in order to soothe their nerves and to run away from the reality.
  • A need to always bring someone along with you wherever they go.
  • They tend to adopt security measures to protect themselves from any possible social embarrassment. For instance, they may wear dark clothes so that they do not notice sweating, writing in front of other people, does not talk on the phone in front of other people.

Causes Of Extreme Shyness In Adults

The cause of shyness

Extreme shyness or social phobia can be developed due to the frequent moments in the childhood or adolescence stage in a sudden way which was a cause of humiliating or extremely stressful experience for the person. For a person’s shyness to get extreme and social phobia to occur, given below are some factors which could be a reason.

  • Hereditary: According to a scientific research it has been found that this disorder can be hereditary.
  • Psychological vulnerability: it refers to everything the person has learned throughout life. From childhood whatever the person has learnt, determines the way in which he perceives difficult situations and the way to face them. His way of perceiving life and personality is mostly based on the parenting style that has been received and the life experiences he has been gone through, etc.

If a person throughout his life has experienced frequently negative social situations such as teasing, rejection, intimidation, marginalization, etc., is more likely to become a shy and embarrassed person. If it is not corrected in time, in the future, it can turn out to be extreme shyness.

Consequences Of Being Extremely Shy

The Consequences Of Being Extremely Shy

Shyness can cause problems that reach far beyond social discomfort. The following are additional problems that can be connected to shyness:

  • Substance abuse: Extremely shy people are at risk of falling into substance abuse. They can misuse drugs and can be dependent on alcohol as a social lubricant, or as a relief from reality and isolation.
  • Damaging relationships: Shy people often let others choose them, rather than risk rejection by trying to connect with the people they truly want in their lives.  They might not have the self-esteem to step away even if they know they should. Hence, increasing the risk of being used by others, and can find themselves embroiled in bad relationships.

Treatment For Extreme Shyness In Adults

Treatment For Shyness In Adults

  • Extreme shyness in adults or social phobia should be treated by a mental health professional. The person who suffers it, must be valued so that the treatment that best suits their individual needs is applied.
  • In most cases only psychotherapy is necessary , however, it can sometimes be combined with the use of drugs such as antidepressants or anxiolytics, which are only to alleviate the symptoms, by themselves they do not solve the problem.
  • A skilled cognitive behavior therapist can help in overcoming extreme shyness in adults with cognitive-behavioral therapy. The main objective of this therapy is to inform the patient through psycho education all about this type of phobia. They tend to modify their beliefs and irrational thoughts.
  • It is often enough for someone who is shy to realize that shyness is simply one aspect of their personality and that it’s not something they need to feel ashamed of or a characteristic they should feel obliged to change. Once they feel able to accept all about themselves, any anxiety about their shyness tends to disappear as well.

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