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Creating Waves of Awareness

Construction of Shyness

Shyness or diffidence may be defined experientially as feeling of apprehension, lack of comfort, awkwardness, distress and/or inhibition in public situations that interferes with pursuing one's interpersonal or professional aims. It is a form of extreme self-focus, a preoccupation with one's thoughts, feelings and physical reactions. It is a dispositional tendency to experience feelings of anxiety and to exhibit behavioural inhibition in social situations and may vary from mild social awkwardness to totally inhibiting social phobia.

Synonyms and related words

Afraid, apprehensive, averse, backward, bashful, cautious, chary, circumspect, conscious, coy, demure, diffident, disinclined, distrustful, fearful, hesitant, humble, indisposed, introvert, introverted, loath, loner, modest, nervous, recessive, reluctant, reserved, reticent, retiring, self-effacing, shamefaced, sheepish, shrinking, skittish, suspicious, timid, unassertive, un-assured, un-eager, un-effusive, unresponsive, unsocial, unwilling, wary.

Types of shyness

Shyness may be-

Chronic Shyness

Chronic or dispositional shyness serve as a personality trait.

Situational shyness

Situational shyness involves experiencing the symptoms of shyness in specific social performance situations but not including it into one's self-concept.

Mechanism of Shyness

Shyness reactions can occur at any or all of the following levels-

  • Cognitive
  • Affective
  • Physiological
  • Behavioural

It may be triggered by a wide variety of arousal cues. Among the most typical are-

  • Authorities
  • Private opposite sex interactions
  • Intimacy
  • Strangers
  • Having to take individuating action in a group setting
  • Initiating social actions in unstructured, spontaneous behavioural settings

Symptoms of Shyness





Inhibition and passivity

Accelerated heart rate

Negative thoughts about the self, the situation, and others

Embarrassment and painful self-consciousness

Gaze aversion

Dry mouth

Fear of negative evaluation and looking foolish to others


Avoidance of feared situations

Trembling or shaking

Worry and rumination, perfectionism

Low self-esteem

Low speaking voice


Self-blaming attributions, particularly after social interactions

Dejection and sadness

Little body movement or expression or Excessive nodding or smiling

Feeling faint or dizzy, butterflies in stomach or nausea

Negative beliefs about the self (weak) and others (powerful), often out of awareness


Speech dysfluencies

Experiencing the situation or oneself as unreal or removed

Negative biases in the self-concept, e.g., "I am socially inadequate, unlovable, unattractive."


Nervous behaviours, such as touching one's hair or face

Fear of losing control, going crazy, or having a heart attack

A belief that there is a "correct" protocol that the shy person must guess, rather than mutual definitions of social situations


Everyone feels shy from time to time, but some people are likely to feel shyer than others. Also obviously some people feel shy about certain topics (e.g., discussing sex) but not others (e.g., discussing taste in clothes), whereas some people feel shy about speaking in public when they are the focus of social attention, whatever the topic.



Short Repertory of Shyness

COUGH - TIMIDITY agg. ambr.

FACE - EXPRESSION – shy stram.

MIND - ALCOHOLISM - timidity; from med. merc.

MIND - ANGER - alternating with – timidity ran-b. zinc.

MIND - CHEERFUL - alternating with – timidity m-arct.

MIND - CONFIDENT - alternating with – timidity Alum. falco-pe.

MIND - DELIRIUM - shy, hides himself STRAM.

MIND - ECCENTRICITY - alternating with – timidity sul-ac.

MIND - EXHILARATION - alternating with – timidity petr. sul-ac.

MIND - GESTURES, makes – shy arg-n.

MIND - HOPEFUL - alternating with – timidity kali-c.

MIND - INSANITY – shy agar. Anac.

MIND - IRRITABILITY - alternating with – timidity ran-b. zinc.

MIND - PRAYING – timidly stann.

MIND - QUARRELSOME - alternating with – timidity ran-b.

MIND - SADNESS - alternating with – timidity zinc.

MIND - SADNESS - timidity; with plb.

MIND - SADNESS - work-shy persons; in berb. bov. crot-t. dros. gink-b. laur. mez. prun. zinc.

MIND - TALKING - sleep, in - supplicates timidly stann.

MIND - TIMIDITY – afternoon carb-an. con. ferr-p. ran-b.

MIND - TIMIDITY - alcohol amel. nat-m.

MIND - TIMIDITY - alone, when sil.

MIND - TIMIDITY - alternating with – indifference stram.

MIND - TIMIDITY – bashful aids. aloe alumin-sil. Ambr. anac. Aq-mar. arg-n. ars-s-f. aur. Bar-c. Bar-p. bar-s. bell. boerh-d. bufo calc-br. calc-m. calc-s. calc-sil. Calc. Carb-an. carb-v. carc. caust. Chin. COCA cocc. coff. con. cortico. Cupr. elaps ferr. Germ-met. graph. haliae-lc. hyos. Ign. iod. kali-bi. kali-br. kali-i. Kali-p. lil-t. lyc. manc. mang. meli. merc. mez. Nat-c. nat-m. nat-p. nit-ac. nux-v. olib-sac. olnd. op. Petr. ph-ac. phos. PULS. Rhus-t. sep. sil. Staph. Stram. Sul-ac. Sulph. tab. tarent. thuj. tub. zinc.

MIND - TIMIDITY - business; in transacting op. opun-s. opun-v.

MIND - TIMIDITY - children; in - children; towards other ars-i. ars. calc-p. carc. phos. sil.

MIND - TIMIDITY - children; in bar-c. borx. bufo calc-s. carb-v. carc. chin. cupr. graph. iod. kali-c. kali-sil. moni. naja nat-m. phos. puls. sacch. sep. sil. staph. sulph. tarent. tub. zinc.

MIND - TIMIDITY - company, in Ambr. carb-v. chin. cortico. falco-pe. hep. morg. ph-ac. phos. staph.

MIND - TIMIDITY – daytime carb-an. nat-m. pip-m. verb.

MIND - TIMIDITY - evening - bed - going to bed; about acon. ars. bapt. camph. cann-i. Caust. cench. lach. lyc. nat-c. squil.

MIND - TIMIDITY - evening - bed – in kali-c.

MIND - TIMIDITY – evening ant-t. nat-c. ran-b.

MIND - TIMIDITY - forenoon - 9 h carl.

MIND - TIMIDITY - fright, after Acon.

MIND - TIMIDITY – night Caust. Kali-c. RHUS-T.

MIND - TIMIDITY - public; about appearing in - talk in public; to Carb-v. cupr. lach. lachn. Lyc. med. petr. phos. plac. Sil. tritic-vg.

MIND - TIMIDITY - public; about appearing in - talk in public; to - capable to; but lyc.

MIND - TIMIDITY - public; about appearing in - talk in public; to - inapt to talk petr.

MIND - TIMIDITY - public; about appearing in aeth. AMBR. anac. anthraq. arg-n. aur-m-n. bamb-a. bar-s. Carb-v. chin. cocc. cortico. cupr. dys. GELS. graph. kali-p. lach. Lyc. Med. petr-ra. petr. Ph-ac. phos. plac. PLB. SIL. staph. symph. thuj. Tritic-vg.

MIND - TIMIDITY - sleeplessness, during graph.

MIND - TIMIDITY - strangers; in presence of bar-c. dys.

MIND - TIMIDITY - talking; when - sexual desire; about her galeoc-c-h.

MIND - TIMIDITY - twilight; in the phos.

MIND – TIMIDITY abies-c. Acon. adam. agar. Aids. aloe alum-p. alum-sil. Alum. Alumn. Am-br. am-c. am-caust. Am-m. ambr. Ammc. anac. ang. anh. ant-t. arb-m. arg-n. arn. ars-i. ars-s-f. Ars. asar. aur-ar. aur-i. Aur-m-n. aur-s. Aur. bac. BAR-C. bar-i. bar-m. bell. boerh-d. Borx. brass-n-o. BRY. calc-ar. calc-s. calc-sil. CALC. canth. carb-an. Carb-v. Carbn-s. carc. carl. Caust. Chin. chinin-ar. cic. Coca cocc. coff. Coli. Con. cortico. croc. Crot-h. Cupr. cypra-eg. cystein-l. daph. dat-m. dys. elaps elec. falco-pe. ferr-p. ferr. galla-q-r. gard-j. GELS. germ-met. Graph. hep. hydr-ac. hydrog. hyos. Ign. iod. ip. Kali-ar. kali-bi. kali-br. KALI-C. kali-n. Kali-p. Kali-s. Kali-sil. ketogl-ac. Lac-c. lac-e. lac-h. lac-leo. lach. laur. lil-t. LYC. M-arct. m-aust. mag-c. manc. Med. meli-xyz. meli. Merc. Moni. mosch. mur-ac. naja Nat-ar. NAT-C. Nat-m. nat-p. nat-s. nit-ac. Nux-v. op. PETR. PHOS. pin-con. pip-m. plat. PLB. PULS. ran-b. rhod. rhus-g. Rhus-t. ribo. ruta sabad. sacch. sec. sel. SEP. SIL. spig. Spong. stann. staph. Stram. sul-ac. sul-i. SULPH. syc. symph. tab. tarent. tax-br. thuj. Tritic-vg. tub. vanil. verat. verb. zinc-p. zinc.

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Comment by Dr Rajneesh Kumar Sharma MD(Hom) on November 13, 2013 at 2:44am

Too difficult... But true cure needs these studies...

Comment by Debby Bruck on November 13, 2013 at 2:17am

Thank you for that differential. I was just wondering how we use this information when scanning rubrics and then confirming with the materia medica.  

Comment by Dr Rajneesh Kumar Sharma MD(Hom) on November 10, 2013 at 10:30pm

Situational shyness involves experiencing the symptoms of shyness in specific social performance situations but not including it into one's self-concept. Timidity is a broad term and covers performance anxiety.

Comment by Debby Bruck on November 9, 2013 at 7:40pm

Is there overlap between timidity and performance anxiety?  Is it the same thing or different?

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