Can a Guy Be Shy With Some People and Not With Others?

by Jason

shy with some people and not with others

Is it possible to be shy some of the time? Can shyness seem to turn itself on and off like a light switch?

Can a guy be shy with some people and not with others?

Yes, to all of these questions. Being shy in only certain situations has been called “situational shyness” by Philip Zimbardo, one of the world’s foremost shyness researchers. In fact, situational shyness is one of the most common forms of shyness.

It is unusual for someone to be equally shy in all situations. Almost always, certain situations tend to bring out shyness more than others.

In almost any group of people you’ll have what is known as a “bell curve.” That is, a relatively small number of people at either of the two extremes and the greatest number of people in the middle.

At one extreme, you’ll find people who are almost always shy, in almost all situations.

At the other extreme, you’ll find people who call themselves shy but who feel shyness only in rare situations, such as speaking to an important person.

This variance, if plotted out on a graph, gives the curve its “bell” shape

An informal survey of the various shyness forums will indicate that the most common type of situational shyness is shyness around the opposite sex. Many people who have no trouble making friends or talking to total strangers of the same sex may find it difficult to talk to someone of the opposite sex.

This is perhaps because there is a lot of pressure on people, especially young people, to “fit in.” One of the signs of fitting in is going out on dates, dances, and other places with someone of the opposite sex. More pressure equals a greater tendency to be shy.

Perhaps the best way to deal with this kind of situational shyness is to remind yourself that if you can make conversation and form friendships with members of the same sex, then you can theoretically do the same with someone of the opposite sex.

Putting too much pressure on yourself, like finding that special someone within a certain amount of time, will only increase your anxiety. View everyone you meet and talk to as a potential friend, and accept the possibility that something more may come of it in the future, but don’t overwhelm yourself with so much accountability to make it work.

Can a guy be shy with some people and not with others? Absolutely, but a mature attitude will help him make the best of it.


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