A study with 152 children aged 7 and 8 looked at shyness. Researchers examined their behavior, physical responses, and self-reported nervousness during a speech task. Results showed that around 10% of the children consistently experienced high stress levels and long-term shyness, indicating a connection to their temperament. Moreover, about 25% of initially non-shy children demonstrated increased social stress during the speech, suggesting that while speech-induced shyness is common, individuals with a shy temperament may consistently find attention stressful in various situations.

Shyness is not a problem, but different traits are valuable and can still lead to good social lives, according to Pérez-Edgar. About half of shy children may develop anxiety disorders, which can affect their school performance, friendships, and activities. It’s important for families to watch out for signs of anxiety, especially in shy children. It’s worth noting that not all shy children are the same, and many of them grow up to be well-adjusted adults, showing that shyness varies from person to person.

To address shyness-related avoidance, Dr. Erika Chiappini advises parents to describe behavior and normalize feelings instead of labeling the child as shy. Gradually encouraging engagement can be beneficial, as avoidance can worsen future anxiety. Seeking support from a pediatrician or school counselor is recommended, as various therapies, including medication and non-medication approaches, effectively assist children and teenagers with anxiety.