Shyness and Self-Consciousness

Shyness is often called self-consciousness for a very good reason. Many people who are shy have developed shyness after having to deal with something that makes them feel like everyone must be just as aware, or conscious of, the thing they have become acutely aware of themselves. Often, this is something that, although it is glaringly obvious to the person involved, may not even be noticed by people around them.

Humans are social creatures. We want to be part of the pack. We long to be accepted or at least not feel like we stick out too much. Even the most confident people, who seem to have it all put together, have a level of self-consciousness that becomes quite obvious once you know what to look for. The woman you work with who always looks impeccable and has a wonderful, friendly personality? Those trends she follows are the way she fits in with the rest of the world. Most likely, she will be able to keep up with the trends and dress nicely forever, which will make her feel included and secure, allowing her outgoing personality to shine through. However, if she is ever faced with a change in her appearance or an extended time of financial hardship that makes it impossible to keep up with the trends, her self-confidence will probably suffer quite a bit. If this change goes on long enough, she may become withdrawn and shy. Her friends and family may not even realize that this personality change has anything to do with her appearance because all they see is the lovely person that she is.

Someone once said that people wouldn’t worry so much about what others thought of them if they realized how rarely they did. This can be a profound realization for anyone who is shy, whether they are naturally shy or developed shyness somewhere along the way. Think about it this way: The last time you ran errands, how often did you even have a thought about anyone else or their appearance? Probably not at all. You were most likely just getting your list of things done, without even a thought of the people around you. Not in a self-absorbed way. You were just going about your business, getting things done like everyone else. If you thought about it for a while, you probably even noticed several things about people that may be sources of great embarrassment or worry for them.

When you consider those things that you noticed, you will probably realize that although you noticed them, you didn’t judge them, or even think about them once they were out of your line of sight. You noticed the kid having a fit in the cereal aisle just like you noticed the store clerk putting up a sign. The mom of that kid was probably horrified and embarrassed at every glance she got while she was trying to calm her child down. She may have thought that everyone in the store was thinking badly of her, when in fact most people simply noticed the situation and went on about their day.

The next time you notice yourself blushing while out in public, keeping this in mind may be helpful to you. Even if people do look at you when you blush, they are probably simply noticing you and then don’t have a second thought about it.

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