Shyness and Social Anxiety
Many of us feel nervous if we have to make a speech in public. But for the more than 40% of Americans who are chronically shy, even ordering food in a restaurant can cause deep anxiety. Their palms sweat, their hearts race, and their faces grow flush. Medical treatment and therapy is widely available for social anxiety, but some argue that shyness is not a sickness. They say shy people listen better and have higher levels of empathy. A look at shyness, its evolutionary basis, and why it might be an asset.
Distinguished Professor of Biology and Anthropology at the State University of New York (SUNY) in Binghamton; director of The Evolution Institute;
Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Georgetown University Medical Center
Associate Professor of Psychology and Senior Scientist at George Mason University
author of the forthcoming book, "Quiet" (2012) and The Power of Introverts blog