Shyness Essay

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In a world where 84% of people have reported feeling shy (Zimbardo, 2016), it is easy to understand the fear of potentially being laughed at or at times the easier option is to withdraw into the background. Coon and Mitterer (2014) defines shyness as “tendency to avoid others, accompanied by feelings of anxiety, preoccupation, and social inhibition”. Most people can relate to the characteristic of shyness at one point or another, but for 15 to 20% (as cited in Theall-Honey & Schmidt, 2006) shyness is a constant daily trait. Temperament is used to help differentiate between the two which describe it as being apparent in early age, it is a stable over time, predictable mode of response (Crozier, 2000). Shyness can impact someone from meeting…show more content…
In a sense avoidance is a coping mechanism which happens to create stress, anxiety and reduces self-confidence (Boyes, 2013). Fortunately, for students with temperament shyness this avoidance coping mechanism can be overcome once recognized. However, it is important to first question why there is a difference between shy and non-shy students. One approach to this question is the labeling theory which is the idea that if given a label and accepted that it will affect how they see themselves and how other perceive them. For example, “ ‘teachers in one classic study were told to watch normal elementary school children who had been labeled (for the study) as ‘learning disabled,’ ‘mentally retarded,’ ‘emotionally disturbed,’ or ‘normal’ Sadly, teachers gave the children very different ratings, depending on the labels used,’” (as cited in Coon & Mitterer, 2014, page 46). This concept is similar to that of shyness. Once a student is label as “shy” in the classroom it effects the student’s self-esteem. If the student is willing to change attitude toward shyness and interacting with other in social situations, they can overcome avoidance approach by practicing. Dr. Henderson and Dr. Zimbardo developed a program called “Social Fitness Training” where the idea is that someone can improve their social skills through practice the same way someone would train their physical fitness ("Social Fitness Training Model"). For example, instead on not answering a question due to the fear of being made fun off or being judge by their class mates, a student would deliberately try to raise their hand to overcome shyness. This should serve as a reminder for teachers to seek out shy students and guide them to overcome shyness in hopes that it could prevent it from deepening into
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