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Why are we shy?

About half the population consider themselves to have a shy personality and most of us feel shyness in certain situations. What does it mean to be shy and what can we do about it?

About half the population consider themselves to have a shy personality, but most of us feel shyness in certain situations. Although some people may display outward signs of shyness such as blushing and being tongue-tied, shyness isn’t always visible to others; a surprising number of extroverts and performers are shy. Edwina Pitman examines what it means to be shy and attitudes towards shyness.

Professor Susie Scott, Professor of Sociology, University of Sussex
Kristie Poole, Department of Psychology, Neuroscience & Behaviour, McMaster University
Professor Joe Moran, Professor of English and cultural history at Liverpool John Moores University and author of Shrinking Violets, A Field Guide to Shyness
Sylvie Guillem, Ballet Dancer
Susan Cain, Author of Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking
Members of The London Shyness Social Group
Professor Yiyuan Xu, Professor of Psychology, University of Hawaii at Manoa

Presented and produced by Edwina Pitman
Editor: Richard Knight

(Photo: Woman wearing paper bag. Credit: Stock Photo / Getty Images)

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24 minutes

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