So I was just doing some research on Western and Eastern ideas on “shyness”. Although the terms “Western” and “Eastern” might be a bit reductive, as no doubt individual countries and even regions have slightly different ideas about things, the impression I’m getting is that in Western cultures we usually see shyness as anti-social or rude, whereas Eastern cultures tend to see it as thoughtf Continue reading “Thoughts about this Culture and Shyness”
Apologies, I’m back a day later than promised to carry on describing my two years of college and social anxiety.
At college I became an expert at avoiding people- not out of dislike for them at all, but because I was afraid of being at a loss for words in conversation or of getting tongue-tied. And I do get tongue-twisted regularly; I stutter and string hopelessly incoherent sentences together when nerves overcome me. Fear of this became more and more intense, especially in 2nd year. There were several ways in which I would avoid people. I would mentally map my routes walking through college to avoid any potentially awkward encounters. I’d strategically determine whether to walk slow or fast, would stall for time in the bogs at Breaks sometimes, all sorts… Avoidance skill level = genius, Social confidence level = rock bottom
In first year I’d meet my friendship group most break times in the hall, and I was pretty good at coming to sit with them at Lunch. Some lunches I’d come out of my shell and talk more than usual. On a Thursday everyone else was attending societies or subject support sessions and I had no one to sit with. I tried just sitting in the main hall by myself to eat lunch, but I became hyper-aware of those around me who might think I was anti-soc Continue reading “College Days (Part 2)”
I feel like some background is probably required.
According to http://www.webmd.com/anxiety-panic/guide/mental-health-social-anxiety-disorder?page=2 there are a possible mix of causes for the development of Social Anxiety Disorder. These are biological, psychological, and environmental.
- I’m not sure if biological factors are that responsible for mine, if at all. I mean, my mum was extremely shy growing up, but that was kind of due to her family and school environment. On both sides of my family there’s a strong pattern of introversion, but I’m not sure if any research shows a link between this and social anxiety. Introversion is seen as a negative trait in Western society, when it actually has many benefits and doesn’t mean a person is excessively shy or retiring. Dictionary.com shamefully defines an introvert as “a shy person” when this simply isn’t accurate or backed up by scientific evidence. I’ve written to them at length a Continue reading “Some Background”