In the humans, shyness is a feeling of insecurity or awkwardness that certain people experience while being among others, talking with others, asking favors of others, etc. In zoology, shy generally means, a tendency to avoid human beings.

Shyness is most likely to occur during many of the unfamiliar situations, since many shy people thus avoid these situations in order to avoid feeling uncomfortable and inept, the situation remains unfamiliar and the shyness perpetuates by itself. Shyness may also fade with time and a child who is shy toward strangers, for instance, may eventually come to lose this trait when he becomes older.

The problem of shyness can either involve having trouble thinking of what to say in social situations or to involve crippling physical manifestations of uneasiness. Shyness usually involves a combination of both types of symptoms. For a shy person, these effects can be quite disastrous.

Behavioural traits in social situations, such as smiling, thinking of suitable conversational topics, assuming a relaxed posture and making good eye-contact, which come spontaneously for an average person, may be relatively absent for a shy person.

People experience shyness to various degrees. For example, an actor may be loud and bold on stage, but very shy in an interview. In addition, some people may feel shy around certain people and not others. For instance, one may be outgoing with friends, but experience love-shyness towards potential partners.

Shy people tend to perceive their own shyness as a negative trait and many people are uneasy with the shyness, especially in cultures that value individuality and taking charge. On the other hand, many shy people are perceived to be good listeners and are more likely to think before they can speak. Furthermore, boldness, the opposite of shyness, may cause its own problems, such as impertinence or an inappropriate behavior.

The initial cause of shyness does vary. Scientists have located some of the genetic data that supports the hypothesis that shyness is at least partially genetic. However, there is also evidence that the environment in which a person is born and raised can affect their shyness. Shyness can originate after a person has experienced a physical anxiety reaction; at other times, shyness seems to develop first and then later causes the physical symptoms of anxiety.

Shyness does differ from social anxiety, which is an experience of fear, apprehension or worry regarding social situations. Often, shyness can be mistaken with aggressivity, arrogance, or introversion due to the shy person’s attempts to avoid an uneasy situation.

Shyness is not directly related to introversion, according, introverts choose to avoid these social situations because they derive no reward from them, and may find the extra sensory input overwhelming. Shy people do fear such situations and feel that they must avoid them.

If you know someone who is shy, try to help the person feel less nervous. Name-calling or teasing will make that person feel even more shy, so try to avoid it at the first instance. The more time you spend with the person, the less shy he or she may feel around you. You might even tell him or her about a time that you felt shy and that will definitely help the person to understand that everyone feels shy sometimes, nobody is an exception.