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Defeating Shyness

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Reader’s Question

Is it normal to be painfully shy at almost forty? I have very few friends and experience my two kids. At work many of the colleagues have very little to do with me personally, and I tend to keep to myself a great deal, as I get really nervous whenever I’m around too many of them at the same time. I avoid meetings and interpersonal gatherings in general since I sometimes simply don’t know how to make small speak (which I also find to be a waste materials of time anyway). I’m also a little bit boring, as I have no social existence, and I’m also aware which i generally look very nervous, uncomfortable and stupid. I sometimes obtain very depressed and anxious upon Sunday afternoons as I know that upon Monday it’s back to work once again.

I would also like to satisfy someone new and start a relationship, yet I have no idea how to go about performing it. I feel like I’m emotionally underdeveloped; I think I act like a college girl. I also feel very inferior to a peers who have well-adjusted families plus active social lives. I frequently wish that I could be more like all of them. I feel really lonely sometimes. I simply don’t know what to do with myself at this time in my life, and I feel me personally becoming more and more reclusive and depressed. I realize that I need to get out and connect to people, but I don’t know how/where to start and how to do it without showing up fake and nervous and ridiculous. I simply don’t know what to do.

Psychologist’s Reply

In order to answer your first question, yes, apprehension is a common personality trait and it is normal, no matter what age. In some civilizations, shyness is seen as a positive trait — but because Western culture is extremely outgoing, it can be difficult to feel as if other people experience shyness as well. It’s very normal to want to have one or two good friends, or to have deeper conversation along with one person rather than making small talk to acquaintances. Some individuals find it helpful to understand that others are like this, and that a create called Introversion (from the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, MBTI ) exists. Individuals who rating higher on the Introversion (rather than Extraversion ) finish of the scale often feel exhausted if they have to interact with many people or even make small talk — they have a tendency to get their energy from their very own thoughts and ideas and can turn out to be easily overwhelmed at parties or even other large social gatherings. Several introverted individuals are also very sensitive, and locate support in books such as The Highly Sensitive Individual [ Amazon-US | Amazon-UK ] simply by Elaine Aron, PhD.

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Through what you’ve described, it sounds just like you have some successful relationships — having two children, having some buddies, and being able to work in an office atmosphere. You were able to form those interactions before, and I wonder whether something may have changed in your life since then.

I can understand how difficult it could feel when the dread and concern set in when approaching situations that creates worry and nervousness. If the be concerned is significantly interfering with your interpersonal, work, and other important areas, it may be helpful to find a licensed psychological health professional to rule out Social Anxiety Disorder and to help with increasing your relaxation reaction in social situations. They can furthermore help explore the thoughts which are creating more worry (such since “I look anxious, awkward and stupid” ) and the ideas that follow (which, for instance , might be, “no a single wants to be friends with me, ” “others are just being nice to me simply because they have to be, ” or even “everyone’s looking at me personally and judging me” ). A psychologist or other certified mental health professional can help to better evaluate these thoughts and feelings and help you find methods to reach your goals for reference to others.

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All medical material on this site is peer evaluated by one or more clinical psychologists or even other qualified mental health professionals. Initially published by Dr Elizabeth Chamberlain, PhD on and last evaluated or updated by Dr Greg Mulhauser, Managing Editor upon.

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