What Is Extreme Shyness Disorder?

We have all felt shy from time to time and if you start to tremble a little bit right before you have to get on stage and give a speech or a toast at a party, then you are just a normal person. But, if you go out of your way to avoid any social situations or particular situations make you do unusual things to get out of them, then you may be suffering from extreme shyness disorder.

Some people will see a person they know at the supermarket and quickly back-track to avoid being seen, just so that they don’t have to face the other person and have to talk to them. This kind of behavior doesn’t make any sense other than to the person who is afflicted with it and it may come across as being aloof or rude when really it is just a case of extreme shyness disorder.

Is Shyness Really a Disorder?

Less than ten percent of the population says that they never feel shy at all, and they usually have put themselves in positions where the spotlight is always on them – they love it! But for the rest of us, there will always be a time when we are a little shy. We may be shy around people we don’t know, people we look up to or admire, or in large crowds.

But, extreme shyness disorder is something altogether different. People who suffer from this are clinically diagnosed with “social anxiety disorder”, where certain social situations may cause them to have physical symptoms such as sweating, shaking, or full blown anxiety attacks. People who suffer from this usually go out of their way to avoid situations where they could be found out, so they often end up missing out on much of what life has to offer.

Why Are You Shy?

Many people can put a finger on exactly why they are shy. For some people, they may be shy because their family was anti-social, or never had people over to their house, and probably weren’t taught how to be social. A negative self-image probably won’t help matters either.

There are many reasons why people are shy and one of them is upbringing, but how you feel about yourself is also part of the puzzle. If you don’t think that you are worthy or you feel you will be criticized or evaluated by others, then you could turn out shy. If you don’t think that you are worthy or as good as other people in some way, then you will tend to be shy.

But, when it comes down to it, why you are shy isn’t really as important as trying to find a way to either live with it or to overcome it, both of which you can do if you are dedicated.

Martin King makes a good point in his post 11 Simple Ways to Become Confident Like a Rap Star. In this article he says…

“Do you know why you’re shy? Because you simply don’t dare to be confident. I can assure you of one thing, if you’re going to avoid every situation that makes you feel uncomfortable, you’ll never become confident. This is extremely important, so please burn it into your brain.”

What Can You Do?

The first option that most people with extreme shyness disorder take is avoiding social situations. While that may make you feel better in the short term, it only makes the problem worse. Eventually, you will need to overcome your fears, but there are ways of doing it gradually so that the feelings of anxiety are not so intense.

In the article Real Solutions For Combatting Extreme Shyness, the author says…

“Psychologists who specialize in the treatment of shyness disorders have discovered that avoiding social situations can actually make the problem worse. Many psychologists who treat people afflicted by shyness recommend a program of repeated and gradually increasing exposure to the feared situation, combined with helping the client learn new ways of thinking.”

Another good article that you may want to read is How to Cope With Extreme Shyness

“Probably the most important thing you can learn is small-talk. Pay attention to what people say and how they say it, and imitate them. If you’re at a loss for words, ask a question. Most people love to talk about themselves, so it’s hard to go wrong this way.”

Some people also choose to self-medicate, in the form of alcohol or drugs as a way to make themselves feel more social and less shy, and again that may open the door for you, but in the long term getting yourself plastered in order to have a conversation with a stranger probably isn’t a good way to stop shyness.

Thankfully, medicine is taking this issue much more seriously and there are new and innovative techniques being tried all the time. Whether you choose an anti-anxiety medication that can help you feel a little calmer in uncomfortable situations, or you choose to try a system like EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique), you should know that there is a cure out there for you.

Perhaps the one thing that can help people with extreme shyness disorder is simply knowing that they are part of a large group of people already – those with the same problem. You are never alone when you are shy.