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Discussion Starter #1
I am so abnormally shy it's disgusting. When "talking" to people I'm intimidated by it's like I can feel all of my insides shriveling up and I literally cannot force any words out of my mouth. Anything I actually do manage to say comes out so softly that people tend to get an expression on their face that makes me feel even more shy. I've had people say things to me and I would literally just stare or look around in complete silence. I must come across as either a snob or a mental case of epic proportions. I sometimes sense that people are disgusted with me but are too polite to say anything. After certain social situations I just want to curl up into a ball and die. I feel so ashamed of myself.

I would be absolutely amazed if there is anyone on Earth as shy as me. I don't know how many times I've been told "You are the shyest person I have ever met in my life."
 

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wtf
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I used to be that way but not so much anymore.

When I was 5 and started kindergarden, i did not talk to ANY of my classmates. They said things to me and I was completely mute. As I got older, I started saying a few words here and there. In high school, I didn't have ANY friends and especially if guys talked to me, I would try to avoid talking/interacting at all costs. I blushed considerably. Usually if someone made a joke, I couldn't even process what they were saying and I would just give them a polite courtesy laugh and then try to get away as fast as possible. I would be so embarrassed and ashamed that I wouldn't ever want to see those people ever again.

I too have been told that I am the quietest/shyest person someone's ever met. You are not alone. Many people on this site have gone through these things. We can relate to you :)
 

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Losing Ground
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I'm really not shy- extreme anxiety is my issue. I think people think I'm shy because I will avoid them and not talk to them but it's because I'm anxious out of my mind and can't think straight or talk right (i.e. slur, trip over words, blank mind etc) I don't know about the shyness but I become so anxious I am almost incapable of performing the simplest tasks or just being in the situation. I also experience a lot of side effects from my anxiety like muscle spasms in my digestive tract that can become excruciatingly painful and uncomfortable and even blurry vision. I know it's because of anxiety because it never happens when I'm at home alone, only when I am in a state of increased anxiety, mainly at work. I go through this every day at my job- by the end of the day I have been through so much stress and anxiety that I literally become almost incapable of speech or thought and sometimes even just walking straight without losing my balance becomes tough. I was a lot more shy and a lot less anxious in HS and I can honestly say the shyness was a lot easier to deal with. Do you also suffer from anxiety or just shyness?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I have anxiety as well. The reason I asked if anyone here is shy is because there's a difference between shyness and social anxiety. Some social anxiety sufferers can still talk to people, perform jobs that deal with the public, etc. If I worked in a store I literally could not walk up to a customer and ask if I could help them. If I ever need help I cannot ask anyone.

I have found myself screwed on a number of occassions simply because I could not speak up. I was once mistakenly marked absent at a class in college and could not say something as simple as "I'm here." I remember the girl sitting next to me gave me a strange look because I didn't say anything. Not even after class when everyone was leaving could I go let the professor know what happened. There have been times when papers would be passed out and I wouldn't get one and could not say so. Someone would say that I need one and then I'd get a strange look for not saying so myself.

I would come to tears if a teacher ever asked to speak to me after class.

Last year I was at a dinner theater and a server walked by with a plate and asked if anyone at the table was having it. I said me but she didn't hear me and walked away. When she walked by again a complete stranger at the table actually spoke for me, and the people I went there with were like 'What the hell? You need to speak up.'

There was once a time when I was sick and felt like I needed medical care but I was too shy to call any doctor or go to the hospital. I'm so pathetic I'd probably let myself drop dead on my kitchen floor before I'd ever pick up the phone and call 911.

I could be doped up on benzos and feel calm in the sense that I'm not having a massive panic attack, but I would still be incapable of talking. I suppose the thing to do would be to at least ask my shrink if there is any medication that actually reduces shyness... but I'm too shy to ask. Sometimes I have to laugh inside at suggestions he makes to me regarding other things because I'm thinking, 'Have you noticed that I DON'T TALK?!'

Sorry for such a long post.
 

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I have anxiety as well. The reason I asked if anyone here is shy is because there's a difference between shyness and social anxiety.
I personally don't think there is any difference, except in degree. I think my username of UltraShy is quite accurate for one with severe SA such as myself. I view SA as just shyness in the extreme, though it's impossible to draw any clear line where shyness ends and SA begins. One could simply say SA = a score of X or higher on the Liebowitz Social Anxiety Scale, but X would just be some arbitrary number and it would seem silly to say one who scores one point under X is OK, but an extra point means you have a mental disorder.

Some social anxiety sufferers can still talk to people, perform jobs that deal with the public, etc. If I worked in a store I literally could not walk up to a customer and ask if I could help them. If I ever need help I cannot ask anyone.
I literally could not work in a store. Actually, my job history or lack thereof strongly suggests that I couldn't work anywhere period. I literally am not even qualified to work at McDonald's because there is no way I could possibly tolerate the social interaction required. That's a rather depressing thought. I'm 36 and a college grad, yet I couldn't handle a job that is frequently held by teens who have parents about my age.

I was once mistakenly marked absent at a class in college and could not say something as simple as "I'm here."
That's hardly shocking by SAS standards. You've surely read the numerous posts by those who dropped out of HS because they couldn't take the social stuff or avoided college due to SA. There is no end to the things people around here have done to avoid social situations and I'm not shocked by any of them since I think I've heard them all before and done many of them myself.

There was once a time when I was sick and felt like I needed medical care but I was too shy to call any doctor or go to the hospital. I'm so pathetic I'd probably let myself drop dead on my kitchen floor before I'd ever pick up the phone and call 911.
That sounds like something I'd do. I'd feel like an idiot calling 911 even for a valid reason, even though Jay Leno has played tapes of real 911 calls made by morons who will call to ask how to cook a turkey and other equally insane things. Though in my case it would be more than just SA stopping me. At this point I'm not at all certain that I'd want to be saved from a natural death. It would finally put an end to my hell. I've gone so far as to tell my mother that if she ever finds my collapsed on the floor she should not call 911, but instead wait to make absolutely certain that I'm dead before reporting my death as I have no desire to be saved when this would finally give me a way out.

I suppose the thing to do would be to at least ask my shrink if there is any medication that actually reduces shyness...
There is, but not a chance in hell that you're getting it. You can send a thank you note to the DEA for making certain of that. If you consumed enough amphetamines odds are you wouldn't be able to shut up. Others have told me they have this reaction and in my very limited experience amphetamines will make me talk in situations where I'd otherwise never say a thing.
 

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Just tonight, I went out with some people I know from the course I'm doing and my shyness became a topic of discussion. One person stated, in front of everyone else, "you're always so quiet, why?" I just said "I don't know, I've always been this way." Ten mintutes later the same person exclaims "she's still being quiet!" :p I just didn't have anything on my mind to say!
 

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I am so abnormally shy it's disgusting. When "talking" to people I'm intimidated by it's like I can feel all of my insides shriveling up and I literally cannot force any words out of my mouth. Anything I actually do manage to say comes out so softly that people tend to get an expression on their face that makes me feel even more shy. I've had people say things to me and I would literally just stare or look around in complete silence. I must come across as either a snob or a mental case of epic proportions. I sometimes sense that people are disgusted with me but are too polite to say anything. After certain social situations I just want to curl up into a ball and die. I feel so ashamed of myself.

I would be absolutely amazed if there is anyone on Earth as shy as me. I don't know how many times I've been told "You are the shyest person I have ever met in my life."
I'm that shy so your not the only one. Also I think most of the people on here can relate to alot of the stuff you just wrote. I would defiently see a therapist and consider medication to help you. Because being painfully shy is SA.
 

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I have found myself screwed on a number of occassions simply because I could not speak up. I was once mistakenly marked absent at a class in college and could not say something as simple as "I'm here." I remember the girl sitting next to me gave me a strange look because I didn't say anything. Not even after class when everyone was leaving could I go let the professor know what happened.
same happened to me

There was once a time when I was sick and felt like I needed medical care but I was too shy to call any doctor or go to the hospital. I'm so pathetic I'd probably let myself drop dead on my kitchen floor before I'd ever pick up the phone and call 911.
When I was 16 I became ill due to food poisoning.
I layed in bed with pains in the stomach for on week and did not call 911.
 

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I am so abnormally shy it's disgusting. When "talking" to people I'm intimidated by it's like I can feel all of my insides shriveling up and I literally cannot force any words out of my mouth. Anything I actually do manage to say comes out so softly that people tend to get an expression on their face that makes me feel even more shy. I've had people say things to me and I would literally just stare or look around in complete silence. I must come across as either a snob or a mental case of epic proportions. I sometimes sense that people are disgusted with me but are too polite to say anything. After certain social situations I just want to curl up into a ball and die. I feel so ashamed of myself.

I would be absolutely amazed if there is anyone on Earth as shy as me. I don't know how many times I've been told "You are the shyest person I have ever met in my life."
trust me you are not alone. im so shy that after every conversation i have im covinced i have some sort of disability like autism.

its nothing to be ashamed of. its a very hard thing to deal with
 

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I have anxiety as well. The reason I asked if anyone here is shy is because there's a difference between shyness and social anxiety. Some social anxiety sufferers can still talk to people, perform jobs that deal with the public, etc. If I worked in a store I literally could not walk up to a customer and ask if I could help them. If I ever need help I cannot ask anyone.

I have found myself screwed on a number of occassions simply because I could not speak up. I was once mistakenly marked absent at a class in college and could not say something as simple as "I'm here." I remember the girl sitting next to me gave me a strange look because I didn't say anything. Not even after class when everyone was leaving could I go let the professor know what happened. There have been times when papers would be passed out and I wouldn't get one and could not say so. Someone would say that I need one and then I'd get a strange look for not saying so myself.

I would come to tears if a teacher ever asked to speak to me after class.

Last year I was at a dinner theater and a server walked by with a plate and asked if anyone at the table was having it. I said me but she didn't hear me and walked away. When she walked by again a complete stranger at the table actually spoke for me, and the people I went there with were like 'What the hell? You need to speak up.'

There was once a time when I was sick and felt like I needed medical care but I was too shy to call any doctor or go to the hospital. I'm so pathetic I'd probably let myself drop dead on my kitchen floor before I'd ever pick up the phone and call 911.

I could be doped up on benzos and feel calm in the sense that I'm not having a massive panic attack, but I would still be incapable of talking. I suppose the thing to do would be to at least ask my shrink if there is any medication that actually reduces shyness... but I'm too shy to ask. Sometimes I have to laugh inside at suggestions he makes to me regarding other things because I'm thinking, 'Have you noticed that I DON'T TALK?!'

Sorry for such a long post.
I can relate to what you're saying- I was like this a long time ago through middle and high school. It's been a while but I do remember how agonizing it can be to not be able to speak your mind or just take part in conversation. How does your anxiety affect your shyness? Do you have a harder time dealing with the shyness than the anxiety? I think we are both going through the same thing for different reasons- wanting to talk but just can't. Have you have tried Ritalin? That can make you talkative. It has some crappy side effects tho. Do you feel like you can't work because of your shyness? I feel like I won't be able to continue working because of my SA. It's really starting to take a toll on me and it's becoming harder and harder every day to get by at my job.
 

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I was voted quietest girl in Jr. High, and I was so embarassed. One girl remarked on it, a girl who never talked to me, and of course I clammed up. She tried to make it seem like wow, how cool I got some recognition, but I was just traumatized. Then, another year I was jealous that I wasn't voted shyest, a sweet, coy, beloved shy girl who was shy but somehow slightly popular got the vote. That's the difference between shy ans SA. Shy is cute and timid and delightful, Sa is creepy. My opinion only as to how I think they're perceived.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I don't know, I read that shy people don't necessarily have social anxiety, and in contrast people who have social anxiety aren't necessarily shy. I won't state it as fact.

For me the anxiety is more uncomfortable but the shyness is definitely more embarrassing. People can't always tell I'm freaking out inside just by looking at me, but when I fail at talking to them the shyness is quite obvious.

A shyness reducing medication would be great, but it's no surprise if it's impossible to get it. It sucks that the medications that work the best are the ones that are the hardest to get. Maybe I should start drinking. I remember senior week at college I got a little tipsy and I was actually more social. I think I surprised quite a few people.
 

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I don't know, I read that shy people don't necessarily have social anxiety, and in contrast people who have social anxiety aren't necessarily shy. I won't state it as fact.
Have you ever heard of selective mutism? Since you seem so concerned about the differences between anxiety and being unable to approach people, I would definitely do some research on selective mutism. I KNOW I had selective mutism for a while.

In fact, I used to think I didn't actually have social anxiety at all. I STILL think social anxiety is not the heart of my social problems. I think my social anxiety is actually a RESULT of my selective mutism. I thought I was different because I didn't necessarily have anxiety around people. I never had a panic attack before. I didn't necessarily feel any physical symptoms like racing heart beat, sweating, etc. What I DID feel however was complete and utter PARALYSIS. I would just completely freeze when I was put in an unknown situation. This paralysis was not painful at all. I COULD technically move and talk. I just had no "trigger" or synapse action going on between my motor neurons and my muscles. It's like the light switch wouldn't turn on, or there was no key to light up the ignition. I HAD thoughts in my brain, but it's like those thoughts would not get channeled to the "action" brain center that would get me to talk. They just cycled through my brain and stayed there without sending signals to my vocal cord-associated motor neurons.

Edit: On the other hand I wonder if my feeling of paralysis might have been an alternative way to channel my anxious energy. But I didn't alway feel nervous! Also, I think that I was perhaps ADDICTED to not approaching people.

Anyhow, I hope this is enlightening to you and other people on this site. Thanks for starting this thread ShyViolet. It reminded me of how my social problems began in the first place.
 

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Hmm I think I might have selective mutism but of course I dont know and not want to self diagnose but could be a possibility. Ever since I started school I felt extremely different from those around me and didnt talk at all like I couldnt physically say anything. Could be shyness or just anxiety.
 
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