“As a child, I was very shy. Painfully, excruciatingly shy. I hid a lot in my room. I was so terrified to read out loud in school that I had to have my mother ask my reading teacher not to call on me in class.” – Kim Basinger
Many of us were shy as children, and continue to be. In more extreme versions, it may be labeled social phobia or social anxiety disorder.
But the label “shy” can refer to a personality trait, such as introversion or high sensitivity. A number of psychologists and others argue that shyness can be viewed as an ordinary variation in personality, and should not be pathologized or treated as a medical condition to be overcome.
Actor Sigourney Weaver has commented, “Sometimes because I am very shy, when I meet a director and they are shy too, we just sort of sit there.”
Many other actors describe themselves as shy.
Nicole Kidman has said she is “very shy – really shy – I even had a stutter as a kid, which I slowly got over, but I still regress into that shyness. So I don’t like walking into a crowded restaurant by myself; I don’t like going to a party by myself.”
Many of us avoid crowds or social contacts that are too anxiety producing. But if this kind of anxiety and protective behavior gets to be overly self-limiting, holding us back from expressing our talents, there are ways to deal with it.
Continued on the Highly Sensitive and Creative site.