People who are shy can be either introvert or extrovert. So much research points to this. And one researcher, Bernardo Carducci, psychology professor and director of the Shyness Research Institute at Indiana University Southeast in New Albany, finds there are far more shy people than introverts. It’s estimated to be as high as 40 percent of Americans who are shy!
How do you know the difference between shy and introvert?
- People who are shy often feel anxious or nervous around other people – it’s a reaction to what’s going on outside the person who could be either an introvert or extrovert.
- People who are more introverted, aren’t shy or nervous they just choose when to be around other people and how much. It’s because their internal energy setting controls an actual need to be alone.
- Carducci has an everyday example of how to know the difference: at a party or business networking event you notice people standing on the edges of the group of people. The introvert is there because they are contemplating when to choose to enter the conversations, any of them. It’s a choice they are making. The shy is around the edges because they have to be; their anxiousness is keeping them there.
To be clear, you can find introverts who are shy and extroverts who are shy. It’s important to both make that distinction as well as drop that assumption.
If you are an introvert it’s important that you know this because the label will keep you believing that you are shy when in reality, your very innate strength as an analyzer and planner, can help you manage the situations where you want to have your confidence shine through.
With people who have more of an introvert preference, their energy must be charged fully to be able to manage the situations that are going to draw energy out of them. People who are shy, can benefit from some of the introvert strategies that manage their energy. But shy does NOT equal introvert.