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Social Phobia to a Lesser Degree?

Shy Woman

People with social phobia may hold down jobs well beneath their capabilities, possibly due to fears over interviews or dealing with the public. They can be considered quiet, introverted, even obtuse. The same can apply to those who are shy.

As we are grow, we are bombarded by a phenomenal amount of 'don'ts' and 'can'ts', 'mustn'ts' and 'shouldn'ts' – is it any wonder that surveys regularly indicate that a high percentage of the population consider themselves to be shy?


"A state of uneasiness or tension caused by apprehension of possible misfortune, danger etc." and to be anxious is to be "worried and tense."

"Not at ease in the company of others."

"The directing of interest inwards towards one's own thoughts and feelings rather than towards the external world or making social contacts."

(The Collins English Dictionary)


Nervousness, Anxiety, Panic
Panic / Panic Attacks
Social Phobia


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More Resources:
Psychology Today (UK)
American Psychological Assoc.


Shyness involves negative feelings relating to our self and our abilities but, unlike social phobia (social anxiety disorder), it doesn't involve panic. Levels of self-doubt and insecurity appear lower, perhaps due to less conflict and pressure in childhood or possibly due to any conflict being tempered by love from others, extra support or positive life experiences. However, self-doubt still remains, as does the fear over attack from other people, which is clearly demonstrated in the observation that shy people find it difficult to maintain eye contact.

Without the panic-filled phobia brought on by significant threats to our self and security experienced by social phobics, the fears involved in shyness are milder. Eventually we come to accept the reason for our nervousness and fears... we are shy, a shy person, and this is reason enough to confirm and support our inner feelings.

And so we live our life accordingly, lacking in confidence and daring, being safe rather than taking chances simply because we are shy. We avoid 'difficult' situations, though all the time longing not to be shy and wanting to be confident like everyone else.

Social phobia to a lesser degree? Inner self-doubt, insecurity and fear of interacting with other people lie at the heart of shyness.




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