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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been thinking about this recently after noticing how many people on the board consider themselves shy and how accurate that actually is.

I've generally always thought of myself as shy and introverted but I think it is more likely just the later. I'll stand up for myself, talk with people if prompted (and sometimes start conversations), participate in classes, and I enjoy being in new places to name a few things. All of those aren't really characteristically "shy".

Now, at the same time I have pretty bad SAD and was a near hermit for many years. I don't have friendships or a partner and I actively avoid making any sort of relationship. Is that "shy" or is that SAD? I don't think they are synonymous. Shy to me is a personality while SAD is a dysfunction.

I'll have periods where I seem shy, but it correlates with my SAD being at its worst. When I'm not anxious, I'll be more "outgoing" but still introverted.

I didn't really develop this idea a great deal as I've just been thinking about it a day or so, but I'm interested to see what you all think.
 

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I'm much the same. I'm not shy. I hate being called shy. Yes, I deal with anxiety, sometimes to the point of being unable to go outside or meet specific people, but I'm not shy. I've had many times to prove I'm not shy by doing completely stupid things in front of people in public. I participate in classes and do well with presentations. I've joined a rugby team on a whim, simply because someone thought I couldn't. I loved it. I'm not outspoken, but I speak up for myself. I'm the quiet guy in class until someone says something completely outrageous and everyone else sits silent with complacency.

Although I can have a conversation, the level of awkwardness depends on how I'm feeling atm. Small talk kills me. I'd rather just skip it. I think that's more to do with my personality rather than anxiety or any shyness though. I'm just not a talkative person and my conversation skills have taken a massive blow because of it. But I always make a note of that before I open my mouth. Knowing how poorly I speak has helped me in developing better speech patterns.

When it comes to relationships, my friends probably think I hate them. Which couldn't be further from the truth. The majority of the time I just don't know what to say or how to say what I'm thinking. The longer I keep from talking to them, the more that inability to actually speak cements itself as a form of anxiety. It sucks. I also have a problem with actually developing any form of closeness with anyone. I can be polite and friendly, but close? Not in person at least.

When it comes to my anxiety, over the years I've learnt to simply ignore everything. In a sense to completely shutdown and allow myself a brief moment to reboot and recollect. I'm not entirely sure how to describe it, but it has more to do with ignoring everything that goes on around me, just to be able to function. It doesn't always work when other factors are in play, but it's been helping me for some time.

Anyway, I agree that shy doesn't always equate to introverted. An introverted person simply enjoys the company of fewer people and appears as the distant and uninterested person in large gatherings. Whereas a shy person might actually want to enjoy the party, but is unable to. As the introverted person with anxiety, I'd probably be the weird guy standing outside on the balcony, venting to the pigeons as to why I bothered coming to a party where no one wants to speak to me, while formulating a plan to zigzag my way past the crowd, to the coats, and to the door, without being noticed.
 

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Stan the Man
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Social Anxiety Disorder or Social Phobia are like an extreme shyness, the way I see it. I think most people with social anxiety are introverts, but not all introverts have Social Anxiety Disorder, if that makes sense.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I'm much the same. I'm not shy. I hate being called shy. Yes, I deal with anxiety, sometimes to the point of being unable to go outside or meet specific people, but I'm not shy. I've had many times to prove I'm not shy by doing completely stupid things in front of people in public. I participate in classes and do well with presentations. I've joined a rugby team on a whim, simply because someone thought I couldn't. I loved it. I'm not outspoken, but I speak up for myself. I'm the quiet guy in class until someone says something completely outrageous and everyone else sits silent with complacency.

Although I can have a conversation, the level of awkwardness depends on how I'm feeling atm. Small talk kills me. I'd rather just skip it. I think that's more to do with my personality rather than anxiety or any shyness though. I'm just not a talkative person and my conversation skills have taken a massive blow because of it. But I always make a note of that before I open my mouth. Knowing how poorly I speak has helped me in developing better speech patterns.

When it comes to relationships, my friends probably think I hate them. Which couldn't be further from the truth. The majority of the time I just don't know what to say or how to say what I'm thinking. The longer I keep from talking to them, the more that inability to actually speak cements itself as a form of anxiety. It sucks. I also have a problem with actually developing any form of closeness with anyone. I can be polite and friendly, but close? Not in person at least.

When it comes to my anxiety, over the years I've learnt to simply ignore everything. In a sense to completely shutdown and allow myself a brief moment to reboot and recollect. I'm not entirely sure how to describe it, but it has more to do with ignoring everything that goes on around me, just to be able to function. It doesn't always work when other factors are in play, but it's been helping me for some time.

Anyway, I agree that shy doesn't always equate to introverted. An introverted person simply enjoys the company of fewer people and appears as the distant and uninterested person in large gatherings. Whereas a shy person might actually want to enjoy the party, but is unable to. As the introverted person with anxiety, I'd probably be the weird guy standing outside on the balcony, venting to the pigeons as to why I bothered coming to a party where no one wants to speak to me, while formulating a plan to zigzag my way past the crowd, to the coats, and to the door, without being noticed.
I'm going to take back a bit from the OP. I do seem "shy", but I think it is entirely due to my SA because I'm not shy due to my personality. I act shy because my SA is active.

Regarding some of the stuff you said in your post. I hate presentations and struggle with them all the time (being the sole focus of a large group makes me anxious). I am terrible at small talk but still attempt it, which makes me come off as boring or just crazy as I just trot out the tropes (SO HOW IS THAT WEATHER). I'd rather talk about something interesting or weird, but people don't seem to want to do that. Closeness is definitely something I struggle with even with my family. The only things I am freely close with are pets.

Social Anxiety Disorder or Social Phobia are like an extreme shyness, the way I see it. I think most people with social anxiety are introverts, but not all introverts have Social Anxiety Disorder, if that makes sense.
I didn't really mean to bring the whole introvert vs extrovert thing into it, I just used the terms because they are easy and I don't really buy into them being binary (that you either one or the other).

I guess what I'm trying to get it is that shyness isn't SA and SA isn't shyness. They can exist side by side or lead to each other, but not always.

(I hope these responses make sense.)
 

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Stan the Man
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I guess what I'm trying to get it is that shyness isn't SA and SA isn't shyness. They can exist side by side or lead to each other, but not always.

(I hope these responses make sense.)
That that makes total sense, I agree.
 

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I'm shy, but I do almost all of the things that you said (participate in class, have conversations with people, etc.). I think I'm shy, but I'm forcing myself not to be because as long as I give in to my shy nature I won't get any friends or get out of my SAD. So, I think you can be shy and do all of the things that you said. The question I have is do you do it because you naturally want to or always have wanted to, or is it because you're trying to get out of your SAD and be comfortable? Or both? If it's the latter (like me) then you probably are shy, you're just making an effort to change. If it's the former, then you're probably not shy and you just suffer from SAD.
 

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this too shall pass
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I'm an extrovert in that I would happily be out with friends most nights, but as I have SA I can't really make friends very well.
 

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I would say I'm naturally introverted and a bit shy anyway. But the SA makes it harder to reach out to people or do things when I want to.
 

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J. Alfred Prufrock
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I find that I'm both. D:
Growing up I was shy, and that only worsened. My introversion started manifesting around that time, as well.
 
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