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Is shyness the same as being an introvert/HSP?

    Door Femke de Grijs

    Shyness means that someone is anxious about specific social situations, such as meeting a group of relatively unknown people who are far away from you (and they are not your partner or something like that).

    Shy people can struggle with approaching and avoiding. For example, a shy person may be afraid to call another unknown person or take a long time to get used to new stimuli such as people or locations. The exact situation in which someone becomes shy can vary from person to person.

    A synonym for shyness is: timid.

    Characteristics of shyness

    Shyness can manifest itself physically and, for example, lead to blushing, becoming shaky, not looking at someone or stammering. A shy person cannot dare to express himself and do what he considers as ‘good’.

    Shyness can also lead to feelings of tension, insecurity, discomfort or ‘not being good enough’. For example, someone may be afraid of not being liked or accepted.

    Furthermore, it can lead to negative thoughts. For example, someone can be constantly afraid of what others will think about him/her and no longer know how to behave best. It is thought that about 40% of the population is shy.

    The exact expression of shyness varies from person to person. It can be experienced as taboo.

    Social phobia

    Shyness can limit daily functioning; for example, some people are so afraid that they can become shy that they avoid situations. In very extreme cases, this is also referred to as social avoidance, social anxiety or social phobia.

    Introverted vs shy and HSP

    Approximately 15-20% of the population is a highly sensitive person (HSP) and recognizes themselves in these HSP characteristics. Shyness is sometimes confused with (high) sensitivity or introversion  However, sensitivity and introversion are character traits and shyness is a reaction to stimuli that take place in the environment. Someone who is sensitive or introverted can act shy, but they don’t have to.

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    About Femke de Grijs and Mathijs van der Beek

    We are Femke and Mathijs: a Dutch couple and we are both highly sensitive and highly intuitive/paranormal. We feel a non-physical presence beyond the visible site and we are very interested in spirituality and sacred places.

    We love to travel the world with our dog Juultje (born in 2022).

    We like helping highly sensitive and paranormal persons to discover their divine calling and soul purpose and live it, so they can feel alive too.

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