Posted in Psychology

The difference between introversion and shyness

“shyness is a characteristic of social anxiety which in extreme cases is in fact a social disorder in that it prevents the individual from effective social functioning. Most introverts are not, in fact, shy, and are perfectly capable of interacting at a social level, they simply do not seek it out as their primary focus.”

(From “Secrets of Introverts“)

Yes, I have come to learn that introversion is simply a personality in which the person is capable of interacting at a social level and do not seek it as a primary focus, whereas shyness in extreme cases is considered a social disorder since it prevents the individual from effective social functioning, as described in the blog. I had experienced this form of acute shyness in my school days such that I dared not even look at people in the eye most of the time. Over time, this form of shyness lessened as self acceptance and confidence is gradually built up, to the extent I can talk to colleagues, friends, neighbours and strangers while making eye contact. Speaking in front of a group of people is slightly more tricky as I would usually be collecting my thoughts and considering the best response and how best to communicate ideas in a way that would engage the specific audience according to their needs, as the blog noted:

“It is, in other words, a mark of respect that values the substance of the communication over the speed of the communication, and respects the recipient’s time…introverts tend to be more cautious and aware of the risk side of any equation.”

(From “Secrets of Introverts“)

Speaking too fast may cause an introvert to miss the subtleties and nuances he or she has sensed from the audience and may not be able to make meaningful connections and/or offer balanced viewpoints as much as he or she would like to. It comes with practice, and I would usually spend a few moments of self reflection and evaluation after each time I speak to a person or a group, reviewing what has been said and the responses I received as a form of feedback to see how I may improve or improvise my interactions with people in future. It is an ongoing learning journey, and going on my personal retreats regularly to the natural habitats of an introvert is helpful for refreshment, reflection and recharging.

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I am a beloved child of Divine Love/Great Spirit, and so are you. We are spiritual beings on a human journey. My main interests in life include Nature, music, spirituality, inspiration, philosophy, sports, reading and photography.

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