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The Four Faces of Introversion

1. Shy-secure people: Don’t have a strong need to be around people, and don’t tend to worry about talking to new people. They can socialise if they need to, but they general prefer to be by themselves and to do things on their own.

2. Shy-withdrawn people: Suffer from social anxiety. They are highly sensitive to perceived rejection, are anxious of negative evaluation, and are afraid of doing something embarrassing. They suffer more anxiety than other types of shy individuals. (nos 1, 3 & 4)

3. Shy-dependent people: Are overly helpful, accommodating, self-effacing and compliant. They have a strong need to be with other people but they feel they are inferior or “not good enough”. They have good social skills and are pleasant company – but they give up their true self in their desire to fit in.

4. Shy-conflicted people: Vacillate between wanting to be around other people and then pulling back (as social situations are a real source of stress). This group of people experience the most stress and anxiety.

For more information see: http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-introverts-corner/200909/all-introversion-is-not-the-same

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As an introvert, you can be your own best friend or your own worst enemy. The good news is, we generally like our own company, a quality that extroverts often envy. We find comfort in solitude and know how to soothe ourselves. Even our willingness to look at ourselves critically is often helpful.
Laurie Helgoe

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Tips for Overcoming Shyness

1. Make a list if the types of situation that trigger feelings of shyness.

2. Think about 4 or 5 specific occasions. Analyse who was there, how they were behaving, what they said, and your own self talk, to try and identify some common shared factors.

3. Based on this, identify what might help (For example, would it help if you stood near a friend and had them talk “just to you” sometimes; or do you need to work on changing the way you think and talk about yourself; or do you need to pace yourself so that you can escape and be by yourself every 10 or 15 minutes?)

4. Keep reminding yourself of your different strengths. They are a central part to who you are - yet we tend to forget all our positives once we feel anxious, self conscious or shy.   

5. Watch the way other people behave - and try and act your way to change. Notice how they tend to behave, interact, and the kind of topics and jokes they use. These are mainly skills that you can copy and acquire. Observe other people – to see if that could help.

6. You may find it helpful to remember that, in most situations, people can’t tell how you feel. That means you can simply pretend that you feel confident – even if you feel shy and anxious inside.

7. Also, most people are too busy thinking of themselves to think about the way you come across to them. Thus, they many not remember you as being very shy, and they may think you’re fun and are great company. It’s just that you remember your powerful emotions, and were judging how you seemed from your point of view.     

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