We all remember high school. Classmates cheering as that really loud kid who sat at the back of the classroom just cracked a joke about farts while the teacher was talking. It seemed like he was living the high life, going out with the pretty girls and making everyone laugh. You wished that for once your crippling shyness didn’t hold you back from the things you wanted in life.
But being shy as a kid wasn’t actually a bad thing as it helped you to develop into the person you are today. According to Bernardo J Carducci there is no possible way that humans are born shy. In Psychology Today he writes, “The principal reason you cannot be born shy is that shyness is characterized by three major features: excessive self-consciousness, excessive negative self-evaluation, and excessive negative self-preoccupation.” Carducci adds that since we don’t have a “sense of self” until we are about 18 months old it’s impossible for us to be born shy.
So that means that shyness develops over time. However, there is a trait that can heighten the chances of a person becoming shy when they grow up. Live Science reports that about 20 per cent of people have SPS or Sensory Perception Sensitivity. Now they claim that this trait can cause you to be neurotic or shy. If you need alone time, hate small talk and think things through before making a final decision then you might have SPS. As a young child you liked being by yourself more than you liked being in a crowd and you hated presenting in front of the class. The other kids might have called you “weird” on occasion, but in truth you just prefer to sit back and watch the world unfold around you.
Growing up shy can be hard as a child or teenager, but as you get older it actually works for you, not against you. People who tend to stray from large groups can really succeed on their own. Being shy at a younger age teaches you how to work and live by yourself. You learn to become dependent on only one person – yourself.
VeryWell.com says that shy people work better alone because “Not having a lot of social ties means that you have less interruptions and less need to validate what you are doing in the eyes of others.” Growing up I was very shy, and therefore didn’t have the biggest friends circle, but that meant that the friends I did have were some of the strongest friendships. With my lack of courage at a young age I spent a lot of my time alone. This alone time gave me the chance to find out who I was as a person and pushed me to go forward and learn on my own.
One of the biggest obstacles surrounding shyness is that you are too often afraid to speak up for what you want. The older you get the more and more you have to fight to let your voice be heard. This teaches you when to use your voice and when to sit back and let things go. One of the greatest things you learn growing up as a shy person is to listen. The less you talk the more you hear around you. You truly learn about others, the world and yourself at the same time.
So if your younger brother or sister would rather be by themselves drawing and writing don’t push them into situations where they have to break free from their shyness or feel uncomfortable. Let them find themselves through their own solitude.