Barbara Streisand has an outgoing personality, but she constantly struggles with the paralyzing stage fright: she is a shy extrovert. Bill Gates is bookish and quiet, but is obviously unfazed by other people’s opinions of him: he is an introvert, but he is not shy.
Four Types of Personality
An introverted person is not necessary shy, as shyness and introversion are not similar. A shy person has a fear of negative judgment, while the introverted one prefers quiet, minimally stimulating environments. Most psychologists distinguish four types of personality: calm introverts, anxious (or impulsive) introverts, calm extroverts, and anxious extroverts.
The Difference between Shyness and Introversion
But, if there is such a big difference between introversion and shyness, why do people often consider them similar? The most popular reason is that there is a common bias in the society against both features. The mental condition of the calm introverted person acting quietly during a business meeting can vary a lot from that of a shy extrovert. The shy person is simply afraid to share his ideas, whilst the introverted one is just overstimulated. However, for the people around, both appear to be the same, and neither type of personality is welcome in the society. According to the research results, we consider fast and frequent talkers as more likeable and even smarter than the slow ones.
Psychologists have come to the agreement that introversion and shyness do actually overlap, but they still debate to what degree. There is a couple of reasons why this overlap exists. Some people have high-reactive temperaments since birth that predisposes them to be both shy and introverted. Also, an introverted person can become shy when incessantly receiving the message that he or she is someway wrong. And a shy person can get a more introverted view of human nature in the course of time, as social life may be stressful and a person is motivated to discover the benefits of solitude.
What Is Common between Shyness and Introversion
Despite numerous differences between introverted and shy people, they have something in common. Neither type is considered by the society as alpha; so, both types get the vision that alpha status is overvalued and our respect for it makes us blind towards the things that are actually good. For various reasons, introverts and shy people prefer spending their time in behind-the-scenes pursuits such as reading, studying, or inventing.