Shyness

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Moth
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Shyness

Post by Moth »

Is there any scripture, teaching, or resource in the context of Theravada Buddhism that address the issue of shyness? I am a very shy person and it creates many difficulties for me.
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Ben
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Re: Shyness

Post by Ben »

Greetings Moth,

I am sorry to learn of, what I assume is, debilitating shyness. If it really is affecting your quality of life - do seek assistance with a psychologist or psychiatrist. Any treatment (including strategies) that help you to overcome an acute phase of your condition in conjunction with your Dhamma practice will be most beneficial. Sometimes we need external help with acute phases of mental health issues - don't be afraid to utilize it.

There are no suttas, that I am aware of, that reference shyness specifically. The Four Noble Truths and the Noble Eightfold Path will, when applied, take us to the end of all dukkha, the end of samsara. Little by little, through walking the Path, our dukkha gets eradicated. But it takes time. Keep practicing and do seek external assistance from a qualified medical health practitioner with regards to your acute shyness.
with metta,

Ben
“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
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Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

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reflection
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Shyness

Post by reflection »

Hi Moth,

I used to be a bit shy as well. In my experience it is based in a conceit, thinking you are not as good as others. (in talking/joking/being interesting for example) I'm not saying it is the magic tric, but what helped me is metta meditation directed towards yourself. It'll give you more self acceptance and through it more confidence. Mindfulness can help also; if you see how the mind works, you'll also learn there is nothing to be shy about, really. Because everybody is the same.

Apart from those specific Buddhist techniques, what helped me also, is to just go and do stuff that challenged me; stepping over the fear of others thinking I'm strange. Being a bit more loose (sometimes a bit too loose :P )

Now I can say there is virtually nothing of that shyness left. I hope you can do the same.


With metta,
Reflection
Yana
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Re: Shyness

Post by Yana »

Hi,

I always think that i am the shyest person on earth but my friends tell me it's all in my head.But the first thing i do when i see someone my first reaction would be shy..because i'm so self conscious..Oh do they like?..DO they think i'm cool?..Do they like my jokes?...but when i look at them as a person..someone worthy of love and attention and friendship..start thinking about them..how they feel..are they having a good time..are they okay..are they hungry..do they know i'm there when they need me?..even with strangers...if i am focused on making them feel better for their benefit the shyness automatically dissapears.
You see shyness is based on conceit.We exaggerate too much of ourselves that the fear of rejection is unbearable..that's why we stay away from others.Or withdraw from things.When we're shy we're not really afraid of other people ..we're afraid of being rejected..this hurts because we think that our Self is Worth more.We are in a way Exaggerating our self.A Self that doesn't even exist to begin with.
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daverupa
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Re: Shyness

Post by daverupa »

There are two psychological measures here which are often confused: low sociability and shyness. Often, an introvert will register low sociability but not consider themselves shy, since shyness is often a feeling of being socially excluded (for internal reasons) while wanting to be included. An introvert is more likely to prefer solitude over social engagements, and they are also more likely to prefer having a few close friends rather than a slew of them.

So, both types of individuals will tend to feel that learning social skills is as difficult as learning a foreign language, and in many cases someone who cares for these sorts of individuals will want to help out. If so, it's helpful to be clear about the precise problem being experienced, since an introvert can experience great difficulty, similar to that experienced by a shy person. However, in the case of the introvert the anguish arises due to misunderstandings and assumptions on the part of others, whereas the anguish of shyness arises from feelings of isolation and exclusion.

For what it's worth.

:heart:
  • "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.

- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]
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Ron-The-Elder
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Re: Shyness

Post by Ron-The-Elder »

Hi, Moth!

Buddha described a prison in which we are kept due to various aspects of our own personalities: Samsara.

Lily de Silva calls it , "A Self-made Prison".:
According to the teachings of the Buddha the human personality comprises five "aggregates of grasping," called in Pali pañc'upadanakkhandha. They are enumerated as:

the aggregate of body;
the aggregate of feelings;
the aggregate of perception;
the aggregate of volitional activities;
the aggregate of consciousness.

We may wonder why the Buddha mentions only five aggregates, no more and no less. We can attempt to answer this question by analyzing any unit of experience in our day-to-day life. Suppose, for instance, we hear a big noise on the road, and we rush to the spot and recognize that a motorcycle accident has taken place; we feel sorry for the victim and want to rush him to the hospital. If we look at this experience and analyze the physical and mental phenomena involved, we will notice that they can be accommodated within the five aggregates of grasping.

Of course, we all know the body or the material aspect of our personality. It is this body which approached the site of the accident. We heard the noise and saw the scene of the accident, that means we have had auditory and visual consciousness. We recognized that it is a motorcycle accident, that is the aggregate of perception and ideation. We felt sorry for the victim, and our sorrow is the feeling aspect of our personality. We wanted to take the victim to hospital, and that is the volitional aspect. Thus we have found all five aggregates of grasping in this unit of experience. The physical and mental phenomena involved in all our varied experiences can be included within these five aggregates. It is very likely that the Buddha too discovered these five aggregates of grasping by analyzing experience through objective awareness (sati) and intuitive wisdom (pañña ).

Why are they called aggregates, khandha ? Khandha means "heap" or "accumulation." It is easy to understand that the body is a heap of material elements. We maintain its process of growth by heaping it up with gross material food. In the mental sphere, too, through our experiences we accumulate feelings, perceptions and ideas, volitions, and consciousness. Therefore all five aspects of the personality are called heaps, accumulations, or aggregates. Since they are intimately interconnected and act on one another, the processes are extremely complex and complicated. According to one commentarial simile they are like the waters at a confluence where five rivers meet. One cannot take a handful of water and say that it came from such and such a river. The aggregates are ever-changing and are constantly in a state of flux. They are so volatile and dynamic that they give rise to the notion of "I" and "mine." Just as a fast revolving firebrand gives the illusion of a circle of fire, these dynamic processes of physical and mental energy give rise to the illusion of I, self, ego, soul.

They are called aggregates of grasping because we cling to them passionately as "I" and "mine." Just as an animal tied with a strap to a firm post runs round and round the post, stands, sits, and lies down beside the post, so the person who regards the five aggregates as his self cannot escape from the aggregates and the suffering, disappointment, and anxiety which invariably accompany them (SN XXII.99; S iii.150).

The five aggregates constitute a real private prison for us. We suffer a great deal due to our attachment to this prison and our expectations of what the prison should be. As our perception of the external world and our relations with our fellow human beings are conditioned by the nature of this prison, interpersonal relations and communication become extremely complex, tricky, and problematic. Problems become more and more complicated to the extent that we identify ourselves with this private prison.

read more at: http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... bl120.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Shyness is nothing but a feeling, as is shame, anxiety, and concern about being left out of activities, which others seem to be enjoying. As you read and learn more about The Five Khandas (aggregates) you will discover that attachment to any and all forms of sensory inputs, those feelings that constantly rush into and plague our minds, is a constant source of suffering.

Perhaps it will give you some comfort to know that everyone suffers from this malady. If we don't suffer from a sense of shyness, then we suffer from senses of loneliness, insecurity, a longing be noticed or popular, or simply an emotional need to be appreciated for our accomplishments. There are thousands of such depressing feelings, scary feelings, and worrisome feelings to which we can cling, perseverate and become addicted.

Even more so there are myriad senses of sight, sound, taste, smell, and perceptions of mind that leave us addicted to them even more so, and eventually disappointed when they inevitably subside or are shutdown due to life's unexpected occurrences. Consider the rude awakening suffered by all those in Japan, whose lives were turned upside down by an unexpected tsunami. Consider the awakening of citizens of Syria, Egypt, Iraq, Pakistan, and Afghanistan as their family members are ripped from them by acts of war and violence.

This and much, much more is Buddha's main point in his teachings provided to us: "Nothing impermanent, or dependently arisen is ever going to leave us permanently satisfied." He speaks clearly and concisely of it in his Four Noble Truths. He describes it. He points out its effects and its origins. He let's us know that we each have the power to defeat it, and he gives us a precise description of a means to do so: The Noble Eight Fold Path, which he advises should be the focus of all our concentration and energy.

In this regard there is an old saying from self help groups valued as wisdom around the world:

"If we focus on the problem, the problem gets larger."

"If we focus on the solution, the solution becomes the larger."

Buddha gave us the solution: The Noble Eight Fold Path. We are promised not only by Buddha's words, but by his life's example, that if we make that the focus of our efforts and concerns no problem will be too difficult for us personally to overcome. It is the greatest vehicle of them all for unbinding and release. The Middle Way: The Noble Eight Fold Path. :thumbsup:

Guaranteed to cure "shyness"! :twothumbsup:
Last edited by Ron-The-Elder on Thu Apr 12, 2012 2:11 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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-Dhammpada, 19, translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.
santa100
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Re: Shyness

Post by santa100 »

Do more physical exercises, especially outdoor exercises like running, jogging, biking...They'll boost both your energy and your confidence level..
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kirk5a
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Re: Shyness

Post by kirk5a »

Yana wrote:Hi,

I always think that i am the shyest person on earth but my friends tell me it's all in my head.But the first thing i do when i see someone my first reaction would be shy..because i'm so self conscious..Oh do they like?..DO they think i'm cool?..Do they like my jokes?...but when i look at them as a person..someone worthy of love and attention and friendship..start thinking about them..how they feel..are they having a good time..are they okay..are they hungry..do they know i'm there when they need me?..even with strangers...if i am focused on making them feel better for their benefit the shyness automatically dissapears.
You see shyness is based on conceit.We exaggerate too much of ourselves that the fear of rejection is unbearable..that's why we stay away from others.Or withdraw from things.When we're shy we're not really afraid of other people ..we're afraid of being rejected..this hurts because we think that our Self is Worth more.We are in a way Exaggerating our self.A Self that doesn't even exist to begin with.
:thumbsup: I think you're really onto something here. This brings up the avenue of metta as an antidote for shyness.
"When one thing is practiced & pursued, ignorance is abandoned, clear knowing arises, the conceit 'I am' is abandoned, latent tendencies are uprooted, fetters are abandoned. Which one thing? Mindfulness immersed in the body." -AN 1.230
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retrofuturist
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Re: Shyness

Post by retrofuturist »

Greetings,
daverupa wrote:There are two psychological measures here which are often confused: low sociability and shyness. Often, an introvert will register low sociability but not consider themselves shy, since shyness is often a feeling of being socially excluded (for internal reasons) while wanting to be included. An introvert is more likely to prefer solitude over social engagements, and they are also more likely to prefer having a few close friends rather than a slew of them.

So, both types of individuals will tend to feel that learning social skills is as difficult as learning a foreign language, and in many cases someone who cares for these sorts of individuals will want to help out. If so, it's helpful to be clear about the precise problem being experienced, since an introvert can experience great difficulty, similar to that experienced by a shy person. However, in the case of the introvert the anguish arises due to misunderstandings and assumptions on the part of others, whereas the anguish of shyness arises from feelings of isolation and exclusion.
Falling into the "low sociability" and "introvert" category, but not so much the "shyness" one, I think Dave's words are very pertinent to the topic.

Metta,
Retro. :)
"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"Why now do you assume 'a being'? Mara, have you grasped a view?" (SN 5.10)

"Overcome the liar by truth." (Dhp 223)
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cooran
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Re: Shyness

Post by cooran »

Hello all,

This might be of interest:

The Mindful Society - Overcoming Shyness
http://www.stumbleupon.com/su/2QksEQ/:1 ... &Itemid=0/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

The Shyness Project - blog
http://theshynessproject.wordpress.com/about/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

with metta
Chris
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---Worry is the Interest, paid in advance, on a debt you may never owe---
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Moth
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Re: Shyness

Post by Moth »

Thank you everyone, this is all very helpful.
May you be happy. May you be a peace. May you be free from suffering.
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