Why Shy?

“The brains of shy or introverted individuals might actually process the world differently than their more extroverted counterparts, a new study suggests,” according to a recent article on the LiveScience Web site.

It is unclear whether the study, which was conducted by researchers at Stony Brook University in New York and Southwest University and the Chinese Academy of Sciences, both in China, makes a distinction between shyness (social anxiety) and introversion (recharging your energy during your quiet time).

The study focuses on highly sensitive individuals, who “take longer to make decisions, are more conscientious, need more time to themselves in order to reflect, and are more easily bored with small talk,” according to LiveScience. This brings to mind the body of work by Elaine Aron, Ph.D., author of books dedicated to better understanding the highly sensitive person (HSP). She says that being highly sensitive is a trait that is found in 15 to 20 percent of the population and occurs in most or all animals. She also points out that 30% of HSPs are extroverts. For Aron’s quick self-test to determine whether you’re an HSP, click here.

According to LiveScience, “Biologists are beginning to agree that within one species there can be two equally successful ‘personalities.’” The article continues, “The sensitive type, always a minority, chooses to observe longer before acting, as if doing their exploring with their brains rather than their limbs. The other type ‘boldly goes where no one has gone before.’”

I’ll let you know if I learn more about this. Meanwhile, click here for the LiveScience article.

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