What’s Bad About Shyness?

Shyness experts vary in their views about whether childhood shyness leads to mental health problems later. However, the practical and emotional problems caused by shyness are apparent. As a practical matter, shy children obtain less practice of social skills and develop
fewer friends. They tend to avoid activities, such as sports, drama, and debate that would put them in the limelight. Shy children tend to be perceived as shy, unfriendly, and untalented, and they tend to feel lonely and have low self-esteem (Jones & Carpenter, 1986) and a higher than average level of gastrointestinal problems (Chung & Evans, 2000). Shy children tend to become anxious teens (Prior, Smart, Sanson, & Oberklaid, 2000). Shy adults tend to have smaller social networks and to feel less satisfied than others with their social support networks (Jones & Carpenter, 1986). I have known shy college students who never graduate because they fear taking a required public speaking class. Many shy individuals think of their shyness as a significant problem that hinders them in myriad ways (Zimbardo, 1986). Fortunately, some individuals act less shy as they become older (Zimbardo, 1986). However, even these individuals may regret their prior shyness, thinking sadly of the social opportunities they missed.

– Excerpt from Helping young children overcome shyness by John Malouff, Ph.D., J.D.
Senior Lecturer in Psychology

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Marty Callahan has spent his life understanding and improving the lives of students both young and old. His passion led to the founding of Shotokan Karate Leadership School in Santa Rosa, CA in 1981 with a dream to awaken the extraordinary leader in his students. Having inspired, taught, coached, supported, and trained over 15,000 students in 40,000 classes in Santa Rosa, Marty has become Sonoma County’s preeminent martial arts leadership instructor. His students, hundreds of whom have gone on to become leaders in their chosen fields, appreciate his engaging, student centered approach to teaching and they believe you will too.