Shyness is a sense of awkwardness or apprehension that some people consistently feel when approaching or being approached by others.This fear can inhibit a person’s ability to do or say what they want. It can also prevent the formation of healthy relationships.
• One of the first signs that a child’s shyness might be a cause for concern is that they never want to leave their parent’s side.
• Children who do poorly in their studies or who have a difficult time making friends should be evaluated for shyness.
• Those who have been victimized by bullying are at risk for developing this behavior.
• Those who have experienced neglect are at risk as well.
About 15 percent of infants are born with a tendency toward shyness. Research has shown biological differences in the brains of shy people.
Parents who are authoritarian or overprotective can cause their children to be shy. Children who aren’t allowed to experience things may have trouble developing social skills.
Schools, neighborhoods, communities, and culture all shape a child. Connections a child makes within these networks contribute to their development.
In adults, highly critical work environments and public humiliation can lead to shyness.
Unlike many other emotional disorders, shyness often doesn’t result in a child causing problems. Therapists can assess a child for such hesitation by engaging them in activities such as charades and board games. They may also use puppets and dolls to get the child to open up.
Overcoming extreme shyness can be essential for the development of healthy self-esteem. It can result in difficulties at school and difficulties forming relationships.
Psychotherapy can help children cope with shyness. They can be taught social skills, how to be aware of their shyness, and ways to understand when their such hesitation is the result of irrational thinking.
Relaxation techniques such as deep breathing can help children and adults cope with anxiety, which may underlie shyness. Group therapy can also be helpful in children and adults experiencing shyness.
There are effective treatments for adults with anxiety who have difficult completing daily activities. However, severe anxiety often goes untreated.
In rare instances, medication can provide temporary relief for shyness.
To prevent or manage it, parents and guardians can help children develop the following skills –
• coping with change
• managing anger
• using humor
• showing compassion
• being assertive
• being kind
• helping others
• keeping secrets
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