Low Self-Confidence vs. Shyness: What's the Difference?

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    Nov 15, 2010 9:50 PM GMT
    Yeah, this is my second thread about shy guys, but I'm just confused about some of the conflicting things I've read from other posters about the subject. For starters, a lot of guys in the first topic I posted say they like shy guys and that they find shyness endearing. And in a couple of other topics about self-esteem and confidence, most guys are turned off by guys with no or little confidence/self-esteem.

    But isn't shyness directly related to one's level of self-esteem and self-confidence?

    What's the difference (for those of you who can tell) between a guy who is just shy and a guy with no self-esteem? And what makes both attractive or unattractive?

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    Nov 15, 2010 10:29 PM GMT
    Being shy is more related to being introverted, some examples would be wanting to stay in and watch a movie, read a book, play video games, etc. Someone who is outgoing is more extroverted, such as wanting to go out to parties, meet people, network and so forth.

    Shy guys can be hot and fun, especially to settle down with, etc.

    Low confidence would include things like always feeling inferior, thinking you cant do anything, and not realizing one's own self worth.

    Confidence would be the opposite of that.

    Does this help?
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    Nov 15, 2010 10:36 PM GMT
    Chainers saidBeing shy is more related to being introverted, some examples would be wanting to stay in and watch a movie, read a book, play video games, etc. Someone who is outgoing is more extroverted, such as wanting to go out to parties, meet people, network and so forth.

    Shy guys can be hot and fun, especially to settle down with, etc.

    Low confidence would include things like always feeling inferior, thinking you cant do anything, and not realizing one's own self worth.

    Confidence would be the opposite of that.

    Does this help?


    Sort of. But I'm introverted and outgoing, so I don't think shyness and introversion necessarily have to go together. I can talk to pretty much anyone and am not shy... but I need and crave my alone time. At the same time, I know a couple of girls who love being around people and crave the company of other people.... but they are shy and often complain to me about how frustrating it is that they can't think of anything to say to the people they want to befriend.

    Therefore, I just naturally connect shyness to a low level of self-esteem.
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    Nov 15, 2010 10:47 PM GMT
    run_mikey_run said
    Chainers saidBeing shy is more related to being introverted, some examples would be wanting to stay in and watch a movie, read a book, play video games, etc. Someone who is outgoing is more extroverted, such as wanting to go out to parties, meet people, network and so forth.

    Shy guys can be hot and fun, especially to settle down with, etc.

    Low confidence would include things like always feeling inferior, thinking you cant do anything, and not realizing one's own self worth.

    Confidence would be the opposite of that.

    Does this help?


    Sort of. But I'm introverted and outgoing, so I don't think shyness and introversion necessarily have to go together. I can talk to pretty much anyone and am not shy... but I need and crave my alone time. At the same time, I know a couple of girls who love being around people and crave the company of other people.... but they are shy and often complain to me about how frustrating it is that they can't think of anything to say to the people they want to befriend.

    Therefore, I just naturally connect shyness to a low level of self-esteem.


    Introverted does not mean you are outgoing by their very definitions. While I am a very outgoing person, I also get into introverted moods where I want to lock myself in my room and not talk to anyone. No one is one way or the other 100%, but a shy person will be introverted more than extroverted or outgoing.

    As for your girlfriends, social skills and aptitude =/= shyness or outgoingness (is this even a word?). They simply lack social skills and are outgoing people.

    A shy person would say that they hate meeting new people.

    An example, I had a roommate who was very confident in her field, and could carry a conversation, and when we threw parties she made it clear that she did not want anyone who she did not know very well to be there.

    Thats shy.
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    Nov 15, 2010 10:47 PM GMT
    actually, yes, shyness and low self-confidence are directly-related.

    Here's a few definitions of the word "shy" (in behavioural context)

    •diffident: lacking self-confidence; "stood in the doorway diffident and abashed"; "problems that call for bold not timid responses"; "a very unsure young man"

    •In humans, shyness (also called diffidence) is a social psychology term used to describe the feeling of apprehension, lack of confidence, or awkwardness experienced when a person is in proximity to, approaching, or being approached by other people, especially in new situations or with unfamiliar ...
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    Nov 15, 2010 10:49 PM GMT
    k3l3k0 saidactually, yes, shyness and low self-confidence are directly-related.

    Here's a few definitions of the word "shy" (in behavioural context)

    •diffident: lacking self-confidence; "stood in the doorway diffident and abashed"; "problems that call for bold not timid responses"; "a very unsure young man"

    •In humans, shyness (also called diffidence) is a social psychology term used to describe the feeling of apprehension, lack of confidence, or awkwardness experienced when a person is in proximity to, approaching, or being approached by other people, especially in new situations or with unfamiliar ...


    So does that mean that guys who like shy guys really just like guys with little or no confidence? I guess that invalidates the whole "confidence is sexy" thing.
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    Nov 15, 2010 10:49 PM GMT
    run_mikey_run saidYeah, this is my second thread about shy guys, but I'm just confused about some of the conflicting things I've read from other posters about the subject. For starters, a lot of guys in the first topic I posted say they like shy guys and that they find shyness endearing. And in a couple of other topics about self-esteem and confidence, most guys are turned off by guys with no or little confidence/self-esteem.

    But isn't shyness directly related to one's level of self-esteem and self-confidence?

    What's the difference (for those of you who can tell) between a guy who is just shy and a guy with no self-esteem? And what makes both attractive or unattractive?



    To be honest, I'm a bit confused with the terms myself because everyone uses the terms differently to mean different things and the quality of shyness is so subjective anyway. I think often shyness is confused with introversion. A shy guy may not be confident but an introvert can be. Sometimes I feel that being shy does not necessarily boil down to having a low self-esteem: sometimes being shy is a natural disposition developed from the environment that one was brought up in; sometimes it can just manifest out of nerves within a social situation. As I mentioned before, sometimes I'm so shy I wouldn't say 'hi' to my friends if I saw them in the streets -- that's not because I'm so pathetically insecure that I can't interact with people, but it's just because I'm feeling a bit timid and don't feel like talking to people at that particular moment. Am I making any sense?

    But then there are times when I'm ultra loud. My laugh is very loud and today as soon as I walked into the computer room at uni, I burst out laughing to my friend and the whole room turned round looking at me, but I didn't care. Also I tend to talk really loudly on the phone too (which is quite rude). That was when I wasn't feeling coy.

    In conclusion I do not agree that shyness always has a direct correlation to self-esteem. In my experience, shyness is directly proportional to my mood and according to the given situation.
  • swimmerdude52...

    Posts: 119

    Nov 15, 2010 10:51 PM GMT
    i would say there is a big difference between the two

    Shyness is more of a hesitation to have full discloser with someone. My idea of shy is someone who can be extroverted or introverted, they just approach people in a different manner. An out going person will be willing to talk with pretty much anybody while a shy person tends to stick to their own social groups

    Low self-confidence is has nothing to do with interpersonal relationships but more of your view of yourself. Low self confidence results in a person that is typicallly very isolated and is constantly doubting their self-worth
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    Nov 15, 2010 10:56 PM GMT
    Gbob said
    run_mikey_run saidYeah, this is my second thread about shy guys, but I'm just confused about some of the conflicting things I've read from other posters about the subject. For starters, a lot of guys in the first topic I posted say they like shy guys and that they find shyness endearing. And in a couple of other topics about self-esteem and confidence, most guys are turned off by guys with no or little confidence/self-esteem.

    But isn't shyness directly related to one's level of self-esteem and self-confidence?

    What's the difference (for those of you who can tell) between a guy who is just shy and a guy with no self-esteem? And what makes both attractive or unattractive?



    To be honest, I'm a bit confused with the terms myself because everyone uses the terms differently to mean different things and the quality of shyness is so subjective anyway. I think often shyness is confused with introversion. A shy guy may not be confident but an introvert can be. Sometimes I feel that being shy does not necessarily boil down to having a low self-esteem: sometimes being shy is a natural disposition developed from the environment that one was brought up in; sometimes it can just manifest out of nerves within a social situation. As I mentioned before, sometimes I'm so shy I wouldn't say 'hi' to my friends if I saw them in the streets -- that's not because I'm so pathetically insecure that I can't interact with people, but it's just because I'm feeling a bit timid and don't feel like talking to people at that particular moment. Am I making any sense?

    But then there are times when I'm ultra loud. My laugh is very loud and today as soon as I walked into the computer room at uni, I burst out laughing to my friend and the whole room turned round looking at me, but I didn't care. Also I tend to talk really loudly on the phone too (which is quite rude). That was when I wasn't feeling coy.

    In conclusion I do not agree that shyness always has a direct correlation to self-esteem. In my experience, shyness is directly proportional to my mood and according to the situation.


    I'm the exact same way as you--- shy at times (especially around guys I like), but loud almost to the point of being annoying at other times (only around friends/family). And I think that's why I don't get second dates a lot of the time, because I'm so shy around the guy, whereas he isn't. I seem to attract really outgoing guys for two seconds, but a second date never happens. Maybe they see me as socially awkward, LOL. But if they saw me around people I know and am close to, they would have a totally different opinion.

    But all these guys here who say they like and are attracted to shy guys... it seems like there's a lot of them, but I think it's the main reason I haven't had a boyfriend in two years.
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    Nov 15, 2010 10:58 PM GMT
    swimmerdude521 saidi would say there is a big difference between the two

    Shyness is more of a hesitation to have full discloser with someone. My idea of shy is someone who can be extroverted or introverted, they just approach people in a different manner. An out going person will be willing to talk with pretty much anybody while a shy person tends to stick to their own social groups

    Low self-confidence is has nothing to do with interpersonal relationships but more of your view of yourself. Low self confidence results in a person that is typicallly very isolated and is constantly doubting their self-worth


    So, when you go out on a first date with a guy, you can tell whether he's shy or just has low self-confidence? And will one turn you off to him more than the other? Just trying to get other guys' perspective on this and find out how other guys might be seeing me.
  • xKorix

    Posts: 607

    Nov 15, 2010 10:59 PM GMT
    Introversion - I don't want to talk to people cause my need for social stimulation is limited and eventually it becomes more tiring than enjoyable.
    Shyness - I can't talk to people because I feel scared and in danger.
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    Nov 15, 2010 11:07 PM GMT
    run_mikey_run said
    k3l3k0 saidactually, yes, shyness and low self-confidence are directly-related.

    Here's a few definitions of the word "shy" (in behavioural context)

    •diffident: lacking self-confidence; "stood in the doorway diffident and abashed"; "problems that call for bold not timid responses"; "a very unsure young man"

    •In humans, shyness (also called diffidence) is a social psychology term used to describe the feeling of apprehension, lack of confidence, or awkwardness experienced when a person is in proximity to, approaching, or being approached by other people, especially in new situations or with unfamiliar ...


    So does that mean that guys who like shy guys really just like guys with little or no confidence? I guess that invalidates the whole "confidence is sexy" thing.


    Well I think some guys who find shyness endearing may or may not be the types of guys who see that lack of self-confidence and use it to get what they want... whether that be a position of power in the relationship or maybe even an opportunity to take advantage...

    and I'm sorry but anyone who says that low self-confidence and shyness are not related - you're wrong. Check out any dictionary you want.
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    Nov 15, 2010 11:09 PM GMT
    run_mikey_run said
    Gbob said
    run_mikey_run said



    I'm the exact same way as you--- shy at times (especially around guys I like), but loud almost to the point of being annoying at other times (only around friends/family). And I think that's why I don't get second dates a lot of the time, because I'm so shy around the guy, whereas he isn't. I seem to attract really outgoing guys for two seconds, but a second date never happens. Maybe they see me as socially awkward, LOL. But if they saw me around people I know and am close to, they would have a totally different opinion.

    But all these guys here who say they like and are attracted to shy guys... it seems like there's a lot of them, but I think it's the main reason I haven't had a boyfriend in two years.

    Yay glad someone's the same! icon_smile.gif

    But for me, I am an introvert but I appear extroverted/'confident' which throws in some more complications. For example, I am the one who is shitting bricks when at interviews but the interviewer will never tell that I'm nervous, I can feel ill at-ease during public speaking but the audience would just think I'm cool and collected. However, it's actually a double-edged sword in my case. When I first started uni the impression that I gave off to people was a loud extroverted person but my true self is an introverted, sometimes recluse-like character. So of course I made a lot of friends but I have a terrible time keeping them: they always tell me to go out but I like to stay at home and be alone and have to find excuses not to go out etc. It's actually a big issue that I'm dealing with currently. I can make a lot of friends but I can't easily keep them.
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    Nov 15, 2010 11:19 PM GMT
    k3l3k0 said
    run_mikey_run said
    k3l3k0 saidactually, yes, shyness and low self-confidence are directly-related.

    Well I think some guys who find shyness endearing may or may not be the types of guys who see that lack of self-confidence and use it to get what they want... whether that be a position of power in the relationship or maybe even an opportunity to take advantage...

    and I'm sorry but anyone who says that low self-confidence and shyness are not related - you're wrong. Check out any dictionary you want.


    Language constructs reality. The word 'love' for you means something different to what I would call 'love'. Similarly shyness in my opinion follows the same principle.

    I know the dictionary says this and the dictionary says that but for certain qualities, especially human emotions for example, the dictionary can not fully capture their full meaning.

    The dictionary can say 'bashful' 'retiring' 'apprehensive' under the word 'shy' but what do all these words mean to each and every one of us?

    Also, I just looked up 'shy' in the dictionary, it did not have the words 'low self-esteem' and 'insecure' in it. So does that mean I'm right, or does that mean different dictionaries say different things?

    Sorry to sound like a prick here
    .
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    Nov 15, 2010 11:43 PM GMT
    I think people can be shy for many reasons. Shyness means that for some reason you're intimidated by others. I don't think that necessarily stems from low self-esteem.
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    Nov 15, 2010 11:48 PM GMT
    Gbob said
    k3l3k0 said
    run_mikey_run said
    k3l3k0 saidactually, yes, shyness and low self-confidence are directly-related.

    Well I think some guys who find shyness endearing may or may not be the types of guys who see that lack of self-confidence and use it to get what they want... whether that be a position of power in the relationship or maybe even an opportunity to take advantage...

    and I'm sorry but anyone who says that low self-confidence and shyness are not related - you're wrong. Check out any dictionary you want.


    Language constructs reality. The word 'love' for you means something different to what I would call 'love'. Similarly shyness in my opinion follows the same principle.

    I know the dictionary says this and the dictionary says that but for certain qualities, especially human emotions for example, the dictionary can not fully capture their full meaning.

    The dictionary can say 'bashful' 'retiring' 'apprehensive' under the word 'shy' but what do all these words mean to each and every one of us?

    Also, I just looked up 'shy' in the dictionary, it did not have the words 'low self-esteem' and 'insecure' in it. So does that mean I'm right, or does that mean different dictionaries say different things?

    Sorry to sound like a prick here
    .


    Yea I looked that up myself too. Wikipedia relates it to being uncomfortable or awkward when approached in a social situation. That would not make someone insecure by any means.
  • Anto

    Posts: 2035

    Nov 16, 2010 12:29 AM GMT
    and I'm sorry but anyone who says that low self-confidence and shyness are not related - you're wrong. Check out any dictionary you want.

    I think it depends on the motivation or reasons behind the shyness, it could be due to low self-confidence but not necessarily.


    run_mikey_run,
    I think some guys like shyness in another guy because it can be a an indication of humbleness, honesty, or maybe even a bit of innocence whereas a guy coming off as self-confident could be judgmental, arrogant or even not deserving of the confidence they have in themselves.
  • xKorix

    Posts: 607

    Nov 16, 2010 12:40 AM GMT
    I think the whole shy, innocent, "don't know their hot" thing is appealing because they don't try so hard. They don't reek of effort or have an attention-seeking polish. They're just themselves; clumsy and vulnerable but they also tend to be very natural. They don't or can't hide their vulnerability and that's whats most attractive.
  • tuffguyndc

    Posts: 4437

    Nov 16, 2010 1:51 AM GMT
    ok being shy is not about having self confidence to a degree. shyness is usually just someone who is a little socially awkward. however, low self esteem or confidence is usually someone who does not have any belief in their own self worth. that is not attractive at all. a guy can be shy and be self confident.
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    Nov 16, 2010 4:12 AM GMT
    I'm shy

    I have a quite confidence within myself

    I am not insecure about myself

    I'm actually very comfortable with myself and enjoy my own company as well as the company of others

    I can hold a conversation very well if I want too

    Despite being shy, I love meeting new people

    I fully understand how being shy may prevent someone from partaking in certain activities and therefore make it a point not to let my shyness make choices for me.

    I don't think being shy necessarily means your socially awkward. I know people who are extroverts who act strangely in social situations and I know people who are social party animals who are VERY insecure with themselves.

    In my experience so far, I've never met someone who had a problem with my shyness

    Hope that helps icon_wink.gif

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    Nov 16, 2010 4:30 AM GMT
    I've been watching this thread and I was just thinking that I do know of some pretty fairly outgoing folks who are insecure...
  • rioriz

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    Nov 16, 2010 4:42 AM GMT
    run_mikey_run said
    Chainers saidBeing shy is more related to being introverted, some examples would be wanting to stay in and watch a movie, read a book, play video games, etc. Someone who is outgoing is more extroverted, such as wanting to go out to parties, meet people, network and so forth.

    Shy guys can be hot and fun, especially to settle down with, etc.

    Low confidence would include things like always feeling inferior, thinking you cant do anything, and not realizing one's own self worth.

    Confidence would be the opposite of that.

    Does this help?


    Sort of. But I'm introverted and outgoing, so I don't think shyness and introversion necessarily have to go together. I can talk to pretty much anyone and am not shy... but I need and crave my alone time. At the same time, I know a couple of girls who love being around people and crave the company of other people.... but they are shy and often complain to me about how frustrating it is that they can't think of anything to say to the people they want to befriend.

    Therefore, I just naturally connect shyness to a low level of self-esteem.


    This describes me perfectly. I am in no means shy but love my alone time.

  • Anto

    Posts: 2035

    Nov 16, 2010 8:47 AM GMT
    Study Sheds Light on What Makes People Shy
    "The brains of shy or introverted individuals might actually process the world differently than their more extroverted counterparts, a new study suggests.

    About 20 percent of people are born with a personality trait called sensory perception sensitivity (SPS) that can manifest itself as the tendency to be inhibited, or even neuroticism. The trait can be seen in some children who are "slow to warm up" in a situation but eventually join in, need little punishment, cry easily, ask unusual questions or have especially deep thoughts, the study researchers say.

    The new results show that these highly sensitive individuals also pay more attention to detail, and have more activity in certain regions of their brains when trying to process visual information than those who are not classified as highly sensitive.
    ...
    Individuals with this highly sensitive trait prefer to 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, research suggests.

    Previous work has also shown that compared with others those with a highly sensitive temperament are more bothered by noise and crowds, more affected by caffeine, and more easily startled. That is, the trait seems to confer sensitivity all around.
    ...
    Role in evolution

    The sensitivity trait is found in over 100 other species, from fruit flies and fish to canines and primates, indicating this personality type could sometimes provide an evolutionary advantage.

    Biologists are beginning to agree that within one species there can be two equally successful "personalities." 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," the scientists say.

    The sensitive individual's strategy is not so advantageous when resources are plentiful or quick, aggressive action is required. But it comes in handy when danger is present, opportunities are similar and hard to choose between, or a clever approach is needed.
    "
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Nov 16, 2010 8:48 AM GMT
    I'm pretty shy, but am a wild cat at heart. I grew up an only child, I'm not super comfortable in settings where I only know a few people. It's just not my thing. Despite being shy, I'm confident enough to be planning a 6 month around the world vacation by myself. I can't imagine anyone with confidence issues being able to do that. I just don't believe the 2 equate. I thought everyone had pretty much the same insecurities with varying intensities. How you process those insecurities seem to define your self-esteem and confidence.

    Ironically, my most insecure friends are the ones that are HOT!!! Go figure..
  • xKorix

    Posts: 607

    Nov 16, 2010 3:00 PM GMT
    Anto saidStudy Sheds Light on What Makes People Shy
    "The brains of shy or introverted individuals might actually process the world differently than their more extroverted counterparts, a new study suggests.

    About 20 percent of people are born with a personality trait called sensory perception sensitivity (SPS) that can manifest itself as the tendency to be inhibited, or even neuroticism. The trait can be seen in some children who are "slow to warm up" in a situation but eventually join in, need little punishment, cry easily, ask unusual questions or have especially deep thoughts, the study researchers say.

    The new results show that these highly sensitive individuals also pay more attention to detail, and have more activity in certain regions of their brains when trying to process visual information than those who are not classified as highly sensitive.
    ...
    Individuals with this highly sensitive trait prefer to 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, research suggests.

    Previous work has also shown that compared with others those with a highly sensitive temperament are more bothered by noise and crowds, more affected by caffeine, and more easily startled. That is, the trait seems to confer sensitivity all around.
    ...
    Role in evolution

    The sensitivity trait is found in over 100 other species, from fruit flies and fish to canines and primates, indicating this personality type could sometimes provide an evolutionary advantage.

    Biologists are beginning to agree that within one species there can be two equally successful "personalities." 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," the scientists say.

    The sensitive individual's strategy is not so advantageous when resources are plentiful or quick, aggressive action is required. But it comes in handy when danger is present, opportunities are similar and hard to choose between, or a clever approach is needed.
    "


    This is me verbatim. I really can only handle so much of people before I feel fatigued, over-stimulated. I need silence and peace. I'm not really that insecure but eventually I just won't want to talk.