When do you think shyness becomes social anxiety? - Social Anxiety Forum
 
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-19-2009, 12:49 PM Thread Starter
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When do you think shyness becomes social anxiety?


I always wondered this as i know some shy people who are ok with it and live their life without thinking much about it. Are we socially anxious cause we hate being shy?? Or we have more problems than a normal "shy" person? Just wondering would like to hear opinions..
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-19-2009, 12:59 PM
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To me, shyness is a personality trait. Its someone who prefers to listen rather than speak because they are slightly unsure of themselves. They might get a flutter of a butterfly in their stomach when they are the center of attention. Given the choice, they will stay out of the spotlight. But shy people are still capable of living a normal life. They can still 'survive' social interaction. I was shy when I was a child. At one point in middle school, I believe my shyness developed into something much worse... Social Anxiety Disorder.

SAD, in my opinion, develops usually from naturally shy people, who undergo and experience traumatizing situations (concerning social interaction) and then the brain, either gradually or abruptly, conditions itself into fearing social interaction, intensly. Its a protection mechanism. The brain (or mind) doesn't want to get hurt as it has in the past. Over years I believe the conditioning can get worse if not dealt with, and the fears and self-consciousness will get more and more irrational and intense. Another thing that defines SAD from shyness is avoidance. That is a big defining trait. Shy people are uncomfortable, but they still manage to accomplish things in life that require social interaction. Such as school, jobs, making friends.. People with SAD tend to avoid these situations, to the point where it can become a phobia. I avoid phones and ordering food like the plague, its developed into a phobia. I will suffer full fledged panic when introduced into these situations. A shy person will not, they will only get slightly uncomfortable.

I apologize if my theory is a little long, but I spend a lot of time trying to verbalize the difference, as most normal people can't grasp the difference. And still don't.
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-19-2009, 01:04 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Homersxchild View Post
To me, shyness is a personality trait. Its someone who prefers to listen rather than speak because they are slightly unsure of themselves. They might get a flutter of a butterfly in their stomach when they are the center of attention. Given the choice, they will stay out of the spotlight. But shy people are still capable of living a normal life. They can still 'survive' social interaction. I was shy when I was a child. At one point in middle school, I believe my shyness developed into something much worse... Social Anxiety Disorder.

SAD, in my opinion, develops usually from naturally shy people, who undergo and experience traumatizing situations (concerning social interaction) and then the brain, either gradually or abruptly, conditions itself into fearing social interaction, intensly. Its a protection mechanism. The brain (or mind) doesn't want to get hurt as it has in the past. Over years I believe the conditioning can get worse if not dealt with, and the fears and self-consciousness will get more and more irrational and intense. Another thing that defines SAD from shyness is avoidance. That is a big defining trait. Shy people are uncomfortable, but they still manage to accomplish things in life that require social interaction. Such as school, jobs, making friends.. People with SAD tend to avoid these situations, to the point where it can become a phobia. I avoid phones and ordering food like the plague, its developed into a phobia. I will suffer full fledged panic when introduced into these situations. A shy person will not, they will only get slightly uncomfortable.

I apologize if my theory is a little long, but I spend a lot of time trying to verbalize the difference, as most normal people can't grasp the difference. And still don't.
actually you explained it gorgeously. wow.
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-19-2009, 01:06 PM
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I think it becomes social anxiety when it becomes a problem that stops you enjoying life and functioning properly.
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-19-2009, 01:11 PM
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I don't entirely understand this myself...I know homersxchild explained the difference between shyness and SAD but what about the difference between just social anxiety (not the disorder) and shyness? From reading other people's views on it, it seems the cut off point is alot more blurry.
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-19-2009, 01:22 PM Thread Starter
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I don't entirely understand this myself...I know homersxchild explained the difference between shyness and SAD but what about just social anxiety (not the disorder)? From reading other people's views on it, it seems the cut off point is alot more blurry.
yea..i sometimes wonder if i'm just shy and taking it a lot more seriously and paying it too much attention? or i have a disorder ?? it's confusing for sure.
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-19-2009, 01:24 PM
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To me, I think being shy is a fear of talking to other people, I think being socially anxious is fear of other people talking to you. I don't believe there is a black and white line that separates shyness from social anxiety, the two are very closely related.

People who are shy often like social situations, they just don't like the center of attention to be on them, they just prefer to do more listening in the conversation than talking. Socially anxious people are those who have a fear of being in these situations.



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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-19-2009, 01:27 PM
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Quote:
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actually you explained it gorgeously. wow.
Thank you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Banzai View Post
I don't entirely understand this myself...I know homersxchild explained the difference between shyness and SAD but what about just social anxiety (not the disorder)? From reading other people's views on it, it seems the cut off point is alot more blurry.
It is a lot more blurry. If we talk about just social anxiety, almost everyone has it to some degree, its natural. I'm going to stick to shyness being a personality trait, just like outgoing is a trait. But, even people we would deem 'outgoing' can experience social anxiety. The easiest example would be giving a presentation. I remember in school, even the outgoing, popular kids would be more quiet and nervous when giving a presentation. They had social anxiety in that specific situation.

I would say, if you wanted a clear difference between shyness and social anxiety, the main word would be 'anxiety'. It all depends on whether there is anxiety caused by the social situation. Theres shy people that don't have too much anxiety, they just prefer to be out of the spotlight. Granted, most shy people experience social anxiety, hence their shyness.

Its all a kind of muchness, but there is a difference.
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-20-2009, 04:48 PM
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I agree with Homersxchild. Shyness is a trait. A part of your personality. As a shy person, I'm more comfortable being alone than someone who's very outgoing and needs to be around people.

Social Anxiety is a disorder. You don't necessarily need to be shy to develop social anxiety. There are people who were once outgoing that have a traumatic experience and develop social anxiety. It's not something that -only- happens to shy people.

Of course, shy people are more prone to developing it. Most people who are shy, are more sensitive and we're more tuned into what other people are thinking or feeling. This can backfire, and help develop anxiety because often we only -imagine- what they're thinking. Of course we don't know! That doesn't stop you from imagining all the terrible thoughts coursing through the brain of that the person who just gave you a friendly smile.
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-20-2009, 04:57 PM
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shy people function. people with social phobia may struggle to.

All you need in this life is ignorance and confidence and than success is sure," Mark Twain

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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-20-2009, 08:08 PM
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That's a good question. That's why I've been wanting to go to the doctor so they can tell me for sure.
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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-20-2009, 08:52 PM
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I would have to say when it starts controlling your life.
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