Shy people live with the same symptoms as those who suffer from social anxiety disorder (SAD), but not to such an extensive degree.
Most of them learn to adapt to their surroundings and are able to operate in a world dominated by more outgoing and extroverted types.
It can be easy to get harsh with yourself if you are shy; after all, it could seem like everybody else is doing much better than you socially. In times like these, it is helpful to take into account some of the benefits and advantages of shyness.
These might not be the first things that come to mind, but they are often true for those who are shy.
This list might also be of help to those who are overcoming SAD and still having trouble with shy tendencies.
1. Modesty is attractive
Shy people don’t brag about their accomplishments and success. They may downplay compliments or even their own positive attributes. This can, in turn, be seen as attractive by many.
2. They are cautious
They look both ways before jumping; they plan for the worst outcomes, avoid unnecessary risks and set long-term goals. Instead of being rebellious, they follow a moral code, and therefore rarely find themselves in trouble. Parents, teachers and other figures of authority are more likely to trust them to make the right choices.
3. They are sensitive to detail
They pay strong attention to detail because they are sensitive to stimulation. This can lead to a greater appreciation for finer details. For instance, they might hate bungee jumping (strong stimulation) but they will likely notice all the diverse flavors in a meal.
4. They are approachable
Shyness is rarely something to feel threatened by and it is much easier to approach such a person than it is to approach a social dinosaur. Most shy people are far from being stuck-up.
5. They perform better in social services positions
If you work in a social services position and you are shy, your personality most probably serves you well in terms of being an empathic listener. In addition, being shy makes it easier for others to open up to you.
6. They are seen as more trustworthy
Since shy people don’t blow their own horn and are rarely the first to tell the public about the accomplishments of others, people may find them to be more trustworthy and believable. This can also make them better leaders in some cases.
7. They have a strong ability to overcome
People who have struggled with shyness their whole life know what it means to fight, endure, and overcome crushing situations and feelings. The life-long struggle against shyness helps them develop the ability to cope with life’s harshness.
8. They form deeper bonds
When shy people develop friendships, they are usually long and lasting. Since making friends is not so easy, they place more importance on the friends they already have, and tend to avoid small talk, which means that to them, friendships are unlikely to be superficial.
9. They thrive in solitary work
Many jobs require sharp focus and concentration in isolated environments; these are the fields in which shy people normally flourish. Not having too many social ties means having fewer distractions and less need to justify everything you do in other people’s eyes.
10. They experience rewards more fully
Studies have shown that the brains of people who are shy react more intensely to both positive and negative stimuli. This means that while you may see some social situations as more threatening than your extroverted counterparts, you also may find positive situations much more rewarding. Your heightened levels of sensitivity to reward may mean you find more value and meaning in working toward your life goals.
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