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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
In my case anyway.

I was born shy and introverted. I remember at a very early age my mother always covering up for me by saying "he's just shy". I still remember the perplexed looks on the faces of people. At that time, I was just being myself. I was a happy kid, and had a good childhood. It was not until my teen years that I noticed I was "different" than most other kids, or rather, they weren't like me. This confused me. Was I different, or were they? After I realized that it was me that was in the vast minority, is when I started to go into my shell. I didn't want to be different, but I was just being myself. My intense anxiety stemmed from never coming to terms with the fact that, yes, I was different, and I had to force myself to be like the others, not like the real me. Society told us we had to be outgoing and sociable. If this wasn't a recipe for disaster, then I don't know what was. It sounds like a cop-out but I kind of blame society for not accepting me for being myself.
 

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I agree. The books are careful to distinguish between introversion and social anxiety, but I think there's a mutual influence between the two. I wonder how many of us would still be unusually quiet even if we were to fully recover from SA. I would--I just don't have the innate need to broadcast every thought that comes into my head.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I agree. The books are careful to distinguish between introversion and social anxiety, but I think there's a mutual influence between the two. I wonder how many of us would still be unusually quiet even if we were to fully recover from SA. I would--I just don't have the innate need to broadcast every thought that comes into my head.
I agree.
 

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I don't think social anxiety stems from introversion or shyness. I've always felt deep down that I'm an outgoing person. It's just hidden by my social anxiety. When I'm around people I've known for a while, with whom I'm very comfortable (not many people), I really enjoy myself.

I think there's a BIG difference between someone who's shy/introverted and someone who has SA. It's hard to compare the two.
 

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I don't think social anxiety stems from introversion or shyness. I've always felt deep down that I'm an outgoing person. It's just hidden by my social anxiety. When I'm around people I've known for a while, with whom I'm very comfortable (not many people), I really enjoy myself.

I think there's a BIG difference between someone who's shy/introverted and someone who has SA. It's hard to compare the two.
:yes
 

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I don't think social anxiety stems from introversion or shyness. I've always felt deep down that I'm an outgoing person. It's just hidden by my social anxiety. When I'm around people I've known for a while, with whom I'm very comfortable (not many people), I really enjoy myself.

I think there's a BIG difference between someone who's shy/introverted and someone who has SA. It's hard to compare the two.
I agree, I also feel that the fun, loud, and outgoing me, is trapped inside and wants to come out but SAD is blocking the way..
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Social anxiety, shyness and introversion are among some of the most complex and misunderstood social conditions currently being researched. If you look up the "definitions" of all these, there is most certainly a very common thread among all of them.

It's naive to think that all social anxiety is caused by the same thing, everybody is as different as their own anxieties.

Just my opinion.
 

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Although related, psychologists differentiate between introversion and shyness/SA because there are differences. Choice is a huge one. The introverted person can interact in social situations but chooses not to do so whereas the shy/SA person can't due to his fear. The most introverted person I know is also the best schmoozer and mingler I know. Like a few above and many other shy/SA people, I'm actually an extrovert at heart. I want to and like to be around people but my SA makes me go all b-line for the panic room.
 

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I think there are certain personality characteristic / styles that predispose you to developing SA. Two personality characteristics, Introversion and Neuroticism as well as using a passive communication style have been associated with SA. Maybe people that consider themselves extroverted may have more of a problem with Neoroticism or Emotional Stability then anything else. I have problems with all three of these areas, so my chances of developing SA over time was probably very high.


Neuroticism (Emotional Stability) is a fundamental personality trait in the study of psychology. It can be defined as an enduring tendency to experience negative emotional states. Individuals who score high on neuroticism are more likely than the average to experience such feelings as anxiety, anger, guilt, and clinical depression. They respond more poorly to environmental stress, and are more likely to interpret ordinary situations as threatening, and minor frustrations as hopelessly difficult. They are often self-conscious and shy, and they may have trouble controlling urges and delaying gratification. Neuroticism is related to emotional intelligence, which involves emotional regulation, motivation, and interpersonal skills.
 

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Im not introverted at all. Im a complete loud mouth around my family. Just gets covered by SA. sometimes i wish i was an introvert. That way, maybe i wouldnt care about having no friends as much
 

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I've been shy and introverted for as long as i can remember, i was never a very outgoing person. Growing up i had trouble speaking in groups and forming close friendships, and sometimes felt left out. I believe strongly that this is one of the main reasons i developed SA.
 

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I agree. The books are careful to distinguish between introversion and social anxiety, but I think there's a mutual influence between the two. I wonder how many of us would still be unusually quiet even if we were to fully recover from SA. I would--I just don't have the innate need to broadcast every thought that comes into my head.
EXACTLY. I'm just a quiet person by nature. I personally have a hard time being around people who broadcast every thought that comes into their head. Even with people that I'm incredibly comfortable around, I don't say out loud every thought that comes into my head. I actually have a friend who doesn't have SA and the other day we went out to eat and before going into the restaurant, she asked me if I could do all the talking when the hostess asks how many people are in our party, etc. I asked why and she said that she just didn't feel like talking. I'm exactly like that. There are times where I just don't want to talk. Not because I'm anxious. But just because I don't want to. I think it's important for SAers to realize that our anxiety isn't always the cause of our problems.
 

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Although related, psychologists differentiate between introversion and shyness/SA because there are differences. Choice is a huge one. The introverted person can interact in social situations but chooses not to do so whereas the shy/SA person can't due to his fear. The most introverted person I know is also the best schmoozer and mingler I know. Like a few above and many other shy/SA people, I'm actually an extrovert at heart. I want to and like to be around people but my SA makes me go all b-line for the panic room.
Good point. I get so offended when people refer to me as a loner, or introverted. I even had a boss tell me I wasn't a teamplayer, because I didn't interact enough. These types of assumptions really hurt, because I don't choose to be this way. I'm no more comfortable being quiet and alone than I am trying to interact at a party.

I also know people who are true introverts, they enjoy working and doing things by themselves and having just a couple of friends. Yet they can be as outgoing as the next butterfly when they choose. That's the difference.

I have a group of about 7 people in my part of the office that I work with. When I first met them I was very withdrawn, careful, and it took me well over a year to really warm up to them. But after I did, I was as outgoing as they were. I even enjoy joking around and being the center of attention with them. To me, my interactions with them are the best part of that job, I look forward to it. But you bring someone new into that group, or go out into a social setting with that group, and my anxiety shuts me down. And its unbelievably fustrating! Because I just want to be myself, the outgoing person I know I really am. If I was loner, I wouldn't care, I wouldn't be here writing this post.
 

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Social anxiety, shyness and introversion are among some of the most complex and misunderstood social conditions currently being researched. If you look up the "definitions" of all these, there is most certainly a very common thread among all of them.

It's naive to think that all social anxiety is caused by the same thing, everybody is as different as their own anxieties.

Just my opinion.
Awesome post!

sometimes i wish i was an introvert. That way, maybe i wouldnt care about having no friends as much
The desire to NOT caring about having friends eats at you after awhile. It maybe easier for the introvert to deal with, but it's definitly takes its toll on a persons' "sense of well-being", "sense of self-worth", and "self esteem"
.
 

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Maybe in your case but mine and a lot of others it stems from many negative experiences ingrained in you, such as bullying.. making you fear people and leading to social phobia (a full blown disorder).. the fear of being judged negatively.

I wasn't shy before getting social phobia.. my personality is pretty energetic and imposing.
 
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