Wednesday, February 01, 2006


Since I'm not that familiar with just being shy, I've relied here on The Health Center website for this blog. All information comes from an article called Shyness: An Introduction to symptoms byFrank J. Bruno Ph.D, professor of psychology.

The social psychologist Philip O. Zimbardo has given the Stanford Shyness Survey to more than 5,000 persons worldwide. His results suggest, as indicated above, that shyness is a common problem. Approximately 80 percent of his subjects said that they experienced shyness some of the time. About 25 percent reported that they were shy in almost all social situations.

The common experience of being shy in a few social situations is called situational shyness and is not considered to be a behavioral problem. Feeling shy in almost all situations is called chronic shyness, and it is, of course, a problem. This kind of shyness can also be called dispositional shyness because it is a personality trait. The two terms can be used interchangeably with little or no loss of meaning.

It is possible to extend the trait of shyness into a more abnormal realm. Pathological shyness is the kind of shyness exhibited by a person who becomes very withdrawn from others and avoids all unnecessary contact with other persons. Also, the term social introversion is sometimes used to label the tendency to move away from people and into one’s own private psychological world.

The Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI), a personality test widely used in psychiatry and clinical psychology to measure pathological traits, has on it a set of clinical scales, scales of measurement that report the degree of disturbance an individual has in given personality areas. One of these scales is a measure of social introversion. A high level of social introversion suggests that an individual suffers from either chronic or pathological shyness.

This is a brief intro to the subject. I wasn't aware that there was so much involved in defining shyness! Nor that there were so many forms of the condition. Tomorrow we'll talk about chronic shyness.

Have a great day folks!


Anonymous Bebo said...

Ok - I don't think anyone who knows me would say I'm "shy" - but I get situational shyness. Like I have horrific stage fright, and that includes the beginning-of-semester introductions, name-rank-serial-number stuff & it still freaks me out. And I'm shy when it comes to one-on-one w/ someone I consider a superior, whether that's a professor or the CEO of the company - I'm afraid of opening my mouth & gibberish coming out. The fear of making an ass of myself that way will keep my mouth SHUT for a long time. Although I'm better now that I've been in school for a while. And I'm okay if I'm speaking/singing as part of a group. But I've learned the hard way - please don't make me do a solo in front of the whole church! Aaaccckkk!

February 02, 2006 8:08 AM  
Blogger Bailey Stewart said...

I think a lot of us have had situational shyness - I don't find anything wrong with it as long as it doesn't interfere with functioning.

February 02, 2006 8:13 AM  
Anonymous Jennifer said...

I've always known I was shy. Yikes. Didn't know there were so many degrees. I'll stay away from the psychological tests, thank you very much. :)

February 03, 2006 5:30 PM  
Blogger Bailey Stewart said...

But Jennifer - we have you lined up for them *g*

I know I was going to do the definition of Chronic shyness this week - but there's so much research involved in this stuff. Anyway, two more definitions: Chronic and situational shyness and then we're done with that stuff. I think after I do that and my own background re: agoraphobia, this will become a weekly post not daily. More later.

February 03, 2006 5:37 PM  
Blogger Brandy said...

Meant to stop by the other day. I definately fit the pathological shyness thingie. Except I don't slip into my own little world. Just step back emotionally from where I'm at at the time. Seriously though, whats the major difference between social phobia and pthological shyness?
Eve, I have a question for you. After these group meetings on Fridays I am exhausted. I never sleep well the night before and the stress of being there leave me soooo tired. Is this normal? I try explaining all this to my Dh but he just doesn't seem to get it!

February 04, 2006 1:15 PM  
Blogger Bailey Stewart said...

Oooh, I'm at work right now - but I'll give you a long detailed answer later. Good questions and I have the answer to the tired one and I'll have to look up the other answer.

February 04, 2006 1:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Chronic, bordering on pathological for me. I have panic attacks even thinking about social interaction.

September 10, 2009 3:59 PM  

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