Can People with Extreme Shyness Have Romantic Relationships?

Divine Magazine
Divine Magazine 6 Min Read

People who have extreme shyness tend to live lonely and isolated lives. However, they can benefit from having healthy and stable relationships.

Everyone gets a little shy every once in a while. It is a trait that often is associated with young people. However, adults sometimes get nervous when they have to interact with a stranger or are thrown into an unfamiliar situation.

But, to some, shyness is crippling.

When Shyness Is Extreme?

The fear of meeting other people can lead to social anxiety, a mental health disorder characterized by an intense worry over being judged, rejected, or negatively evaluated by their peers. It is also called social phobia because people who have the condition tend to avoid social situations as much as possible.

Timid people typically have low self-esteem. They are often preoccupied with what other people think of them. They also tend to engage in self-sabotaging behaviors to escape social situations and avoid being close to another person.

It is a Lonely Life

Being shy, therefore, can be isolating. People who have extreme shyness and social anxiety tend to be lonely.

Shy children are at a greater risk of being bullied or rejected by their peers. The friendships that succeed in making are often of lower quality than those made by more confident children.

In adulthood, people who have extreme shyness tend to have anxiety, depression, and poor relationship quality. They are reluctant to try new things, such as applying for a new job or pursuing higher learning.

Moreover, they are less likely to date and get married later in life. Because they did not learn the social skills needed to form intimate connections in their young adult years, some of them find it a challenge to maintain a stable relationship.

Two studies investigated the impact of shyness on romantic relationships. For the first study, researchers from the University of Wollongong (Australia) and Carleton University (Canada) recruited over a thousand undergraduates, almost 800 of whom were female while the rest were male. They were made to answer questionnaires about their shyness, relationship status, and quality of the relationship. Half of all the participants were in a relationship at the time of the study.

The first study found that people who were in relationships were less shy than those who were single. Moreover, shy people had poorer quality romantic relationships.

The second study assessed the possible link between shyness, well-being, and relationship quality. For this research, they recruited 400 undergraduates, the majority of whom were female, who went through a battery of psychometric tests.

The researchers found that shyness was linked to insecure romantic attachments such as attachment anxiety and attachment avoidance. Shyness also negatively affected psychological well-being, especially among male participants.

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Image by StockSnap from Pixabay

Finding Love as an Extremely Shy Person

Obviously, love can be elusive to extremely shy people. Yet, they can benefit from having a stable relationship. A supportive romantic partner can increase a shy person’s self-worth.

There are easy ways to meet a potential romantic partner as a shy person. They can ask for the help of a matchmaker who will introduce them to someone who has the same interests and who has a similar or complementing personality. There is a higher chance that the date will go well because the two already are a good match.

However, timid people will still need to work on themselves to establish a strong connection with another person. They need to learn how to open up and disclose details upon themselves. It can be difficult for them to share details about their lives because of fear of judgment or rejection.

They need to reframe their negative thoughts. Shyness can make a person assume the worst-case scenario. They think that they will be rejected, or they will never find someone interested in them.

They will also blame themselves if anything goes wrong or even if nothing goes wrong. Timid people tend to over-analyze the situation and criticize themselves for their mistakes, even if it is not a big deal.

All these factors prevent them from establishing a connection with another person.

People who are experiencing extreme shyness should speak to a mental health professional. A therapist can find the root cause of extreme shyness and help the person understand that the condition results from irrational thinking. A therapist can also teach the person to cope with the negative emotions that come with shyness.

Shyness is not necessarily bad but, in excess, it can negatively affect your quality of life. Timid people are at risk of loneliness and isolation.

They can benefit from having stable relationships. However, for them, it can be difficult to meet new people. They need to first address their extreme shyness to find success in dating.

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