Shy + Introverted: Overcoming This Most Challenging Of Combinations

by - January 23, 2019

The terms “shy” and “introverted” are often used interchangeably, as if they mean the same thing - but this isn’t technically the case. A person can be introverted without being shy, and vice versa. Shyness is related to how a person interacts with others, often characterized by anxiety in social settings. In contrast, introversion relates to how people feel about those interactions - introverts feel their energy is drained by interacting with others, while extroverts feel their energy is boosted when around others.

Admittedly, given the above outline, it’s easy to see why shyness and introversion may often be seen as going hand-in-hand with one another. While the two character traits do not describe the same experience, many people experience both - and that makes modern life somewhat challenging.

The issues experienced by shy introverts

If someone is shy, but also an extrovert, overcoming their shyness is relatively simple: they can simply spend more time around people, build their energy, and eventually their shyness will begin to dissipate as their experience of positive encounters with others begins to increase.

For introverts, however, any efforts related to overcoming shyness will always be especially challenging. The “best” way to overcome shyness - spending time with others and overcoming anxiety about social occasions via positive reinforcement - is inherently troubling for introverts, whose energies will be sapped by social interaction. If energy is sapped, the positive reinforcement necessary to overcome shyness is far more difficult to achieve.

How can a combination of shyness and introversion be overcome?

First and foremost, it’s helpful to understand that shyness and introversion are not the same thing. If you’re an introvert, you will always be an introvert; it’s somewhat ingrained.

Shyness, however, can be overcome, and this is where your focus should lie. It’s advisable to focus primarily on overcoming your shyness; you can seek therapy for any anxiety issues, read up on the law of attraction in order to bolster your self-esteem, and reduce patterns of negative thinking to assist in this regard. When shy people build their sense of self-worth, they tend to feel stronger in themselves, which in turn reduces their shyness.

You then, however, have to be cautious: overcoming the shyness will not overcome your natural introversion. It’s therefore incredibly important to limit the amount of time you seek to spend with others; short, half-hour social visits are preferable to begin with, giving you the time to increase your social activities with the help of a newly-fostered sense of confidence, but without spending so long with others that it has negative repercussions on your energy levels.

In conclusion

Shyness and introversion are distant cousins, but they are not completely connected. As a result, you can seek to overcome your shyness using tried-and-tested techniques, then simply modify your social behavior in order to ensure your introverted side does not become overloaded. With the right balance, you should find you that you can significantly bolster your overall well-being and subsequently your enjoyment of life as a whole - good luck!

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