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Why am I shy?

Is shyness down to nature or nurture - and how can you overcome it if it’s causing anxiety?

A racing heart, blushing, feeling sick - most people experience symptoms of shyness in certain situations. But some of us are much shyer than others, and if it gets on top of you, shyness can really limit what you get out of life.

That’s why this week’s listener got in touch with CrowdScience. He wants to know why he’s shy: is it genetic, or more to do with his upbringing? Is there anything he can do to overcome his shyness – and on the other hand, could being shy actually have some benefits?

We find out how much shyness is down to our genes, and why ‘shy types’ might have evolved the first place. A psychologist gives us her top tips for dealing with social anxiety, and we take part in some drama therapy designed to help people break out of their shell. And we ask if quieter, more introverted types are disadvantaged in modern society, where outgoing, extraverted behaviour can bring more tangible rewards.

(Photo: Shy young man hiding behind one eye. Credit: Getty Images)

Available now

32 minutes

Last on

Mon 11 Mar 2019 18:32GMT

Broadcasts

  • Fri 8 Mar 2019 20:32GMT
  • Fri 8 Mar 2019 21:32GMT
  • Sun 10 Mar 2019 00:32GMT
  • Mon 11 Mar 2019 05:32GMT
  • Mon 11 Mar 2019 06:32GMT
  • Mon 11 Mar 2019 07:32GMT
  • Mon 11 Mar 2019 11:32GMT
  • Mon 11 Mar 2019 18:32GMT

Send us your question

Send us your question

Do you have a question we can turn into a programme? Email us at crowdscience@bbc.co.uk

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