Are You Shy or Just Lonely?

Posted by Leticia, 14 Jun 08

Hey this is Leticia. Some time ago, I remember doing an article on the epidemic of loneliness in our country and actually all over the world...

I remember how writing it made me feel when I thought about all the people that I'd met in my former career as a radio person. There would be the regulars that would call in faithfully every day. They would all start out by requesting a song. Then there would be a story or a question. Then it was just to say hi. They felt connected to this perfect stranger, me.

For a long time I thought that it was just my incredible warm and inviting personality that drew them to me. Now I'm starting to believe that they were just tired of being alone and wanted someone, anyone to talk to them and to listen.

Your perfect partner could be online right now...

What are you looking for?

The good and the bad about the internet is that as it's globalized us and made it easier to connect with so many different people in almost every nation, it has also done the opposite. It has kept us locked up in our homes, behind closed doors, physically and mentally attached to a piece of hardware- not another person. The sad thing now is that we've advanced so much technology wise, that we don't even have to stay in doors to be isolated from the world. How many times have you gone into a coffee shop or to the airport and you've seen people entwined with their PDA's, their cell phones, their laptops. We use to have conversations with strangers, make new friends or at least share funny stories.

Now we rely on blogs, social networking sites and reality TV shows to introduce us to the people and races that we don't meet and even they only tell us part of the story. My intention was to write about shyness. I guess that I can still mention that people both shy and outgoing, are more likely to make deeper and quicker connections with others on the internet than they would in person. Perhaps the reason is because we feel a sense of security and less vulnerability than we would in the real world face to face.

Some may say that this is a false sense of security, because you really don't know who you're talking to until you really find out. I say the same can be true in person. We only hope that the people we meet are truthful and honest with us as we are being with them.

Well, if you are one of many that suffer from shyness, than the internet could certainly be a great tool for you. Not only can you meet people and get to know them prior to having a face-to-face. You can also gain access to valuable resources and/or groups that are available to you. There is the option to get individual therapy or group therapy, social skills classes and as with many anxieties there is a choice of taking medication.

Maybe the simplest solution to combating loneliness and shyness is to get out and dare to do something different. Meet one person at a time in a safe and mutually agreed upon public location. I'm not saying to turn off the computer indefinitely and head to the local bar; I'm just saying that to conquer your fears you must do that which you fear.

My fear is being naked in front of a crowd, so I'm about to take it all off and step outside. I'm only joking... I'm going to wait until it gets dark outside silly.

This is Leticia, what are you afraid of and what are you willing to do today to change that feeling?

31 responses to "Are You Shy or Just Lonely?"

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  1.   fkoi says:
    Posted: 20 Aug 09

    A certain amount of shyness keeps me from reaching out to others at times and when I don't reach out it keeps me from meeting people who may be just as shy. When I am swept up in lonliness, my shyness is at it's peak.

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  2.   Jabali says:
    Posted: 16 May 09

    I suppose most people are shy because they fear rejection.

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  3.   IcyChill says:
    Posted: 08 Feb 09

    I have a tremendous fear of rejection. I just got out of a five year relationship where I was rejected in the end, she cheated on me. I am a shy guy because of that fear. Lately, it seems that most of my 'friends' are rejecting me too. I don't know what I am doing wrong. I can't even get ahold of the guy who was the best man at my wedding... I think my fear is quite justified though. Also, whenever I do meet a nice lady that I am interested in, I seem to go over the top and scare her off. I just try to impress her by just being me. The relationships I have had, with friends and girlfriends, I have always tried to make a strong bond. I don't do halfway. Maybe that's my problem. If I like someone, I really like someone. It's the same for dislike as well. Because of my strong emotions for the people I like, rejection just hurts that much more... I don't know how to overcome this nasty feeling. Any help would be greatly appreciated.... I do know that I don't have a good self image and that makes me shy. I hear that I am a good looking and nice guy; but, all I ever notice are my faults... Not to mention that i started getting called old last year.... I'm a sad penguin... PS: Sorry about the formatting but I'm on my phone.

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  4.   sassykae says:
    Posted: 29 Dec 08

    Does one cause the other... I don't know, I don't consider myself shy, but there are times I catch myself shying away from someone I find attractive. Could be the fear of change, rejection, or perhaps the shy factor... I will try to recognize those moments and try to undo the emptyness in my life.

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  5.   SERENITY798 says:
    Posted: 27 Sep 08

    Honesty Time! Yes, I'm lonely. It comes and goes. The shy factor comes up when I'm in "Big" meeting with Head Exec's and I have nothing to relate to. When it comes to meeting people I'm out there, smiling, laughing. Reality hits..I come home to an empty place. Just me, myself, and I.

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  6.   Riskat says:
    Posted: 27 Sep 08

    Loneliness is a state of mind for some people, I have have had quite a few friends but I did not seem to make many lasting connections with people, after a while I deliberately started avoiding them. I got to a place where I just did not try to make connections, because of all that ,now there is no one, been on dating sites and rarely get responses really, when you get rejected in person it's hard but online even harder for some peoplel like myself, so I shut down all my profiles. I've grown up a bit and changed what what I said and decided to be more outgoing even just in my regular life, I think people just normally gravitate towards more outgoing people to feed off the light for themselves, so I'm trying that.

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  7.   Ten says:
    Posted: 21 Sep 08

    I share the same mixture as many others shy/fear of rejection. when ever i pluck the courage up to ask someone out or i am getting on with someone i am either met with a "your too nice for me" or i get the avoid his calls (and i am no pest) i am trying net dating to see if theres any difference, and hoping if someone reads my profile they know what i am and i no longer have to deal rejection as i honestly can not approach women anymore in clubc/bars etc. it has made me think maybe i am destine to be single. great article

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  8.   Pia65 says:
    Posted: 14 Sep 08

    I'm not lonely.......even though I've been a widow for nearly 4 years. I am just slowly getting out into the dating scene again...I'm just a bit shy (and rusty since I'd been married for nearly 20 years)...well until I figure out what to ask as the first "icebreaker" question...then I become a bit of a chatterbox!...I just think that if you don't ask...then how will you know..??.. I'm just fascinated by any and everyone's life story and what it took for them to meet me at this moment in time. Who knows? Even if I don't find another mate.......I'm sure to have a few more good friends......After all you can never have too many good friends!

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  9.   kenyanito says:
    Posted: 04 Sep 08

    for some of us who have ventured out, it has turned to be a very big dissappointment.Maybe many are for flings here and don't want to say...i am afraid of attempting again

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  10.   Lou says:
    Posted: 16 Aug 08

    This article was just what I needed at this time in my life. I used to think I would be fine with being alone but I am realizing more and more where I think I am lonely. I do have wonderful friends and family members but I am looking for more. I am hoping soon to try and step out of my comfort zone and try to meet people.

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  11.   fkoi says:
    Posted: 13 Aug 08

    I think I am a combination of shy and lonely, sometimes but not always. This site helps me with the former a bit. I can send a note to someone whom I think is sweet, without having to dare to approach them in a public forum. I guess that makes rejection easier to swallow if it comes (AfRom has such a lovely way of letting us down when a our interest in someone is not mutual). Loneliness is a different breed of cat. I think the only way for me to overcome loneliness is to go out and confront my shyness. I have to put myself out there in order to develop friendships, the only antidote to loneliness I know. Letting people in to my life, in the real world, is my solution to loneliness and as a welcome side effect, shyness as well.

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  12.   Gary says:
    Posted: 12 Aug 08

    this is a very interesting story, so as far as me is that i'm just a lonely good hearted guy, honest, very caring, respectful , don't play games or lied ,,, i been married twice & then we got a divorced , & also it's so hard to be lonely when i don't have any family members left as they all have deceased & are in a better place,, i always being myself, honest, & i'm a funny guy that can make you laugh , BUT seems to me no matter what i do is always turn them off, for one i'm hearing impaired, talk really well for a person that has a severe amount of hearing loss, & i also wear hearing aids, which i really believe that a factor to just turn them off, so i try the internet dating site & had paid lots of money for nothing , no reponse, no messages, just a waste of money ,,& also that life is getting short, & ALL I WANT IS HAPPINESS WITH SOME ONE SPECIAL & HAVE A GOOD LIFE, BE HAPPY TOGETHER, HAVE FUN TOGETHER , & ALSO I'M NOT A BOSSY TYPE, OR CONTROLLING, & JUST NAME IT, NOTHING WORKS OUT FOR ME,,, I'M NOT RICH OR POOR BUT I DO HAVE A HEART OF GOLD ,, BUT NOW DAYS SEEMS TO BE MONEY IS LOVE FROM WOMEN STANDPOINT , NOT FROM THE HEART, I'M NOT A BAD LOOKING GUY, ALWAYS LOOKS NICE IN APPERANCE, NO MATEER WHAT I'M WEARING , AS LONG I'M COMFORTABLE, STILL DRESS NICE , LOOK S NICE, BUT NOTHING WORKS FOR ME ANYWAY !!! I'M NOT PERFECT CAUSE NO ONE IS !!!! ALSO I DON'T DO BARS EITHER, JUST TRIED TO FIND A MISS RIGHT !!! BUT THE QUWSTION IS WHERE ARE THEY ?? THANKS & HOPE YOU CAN HELP ME OUT & ALSO IT;S SO HARD TO BE LONELY, SAD, BROKEN HEARTED, & THAT ENOUGH FOR NOW CAUSE I COULD WRITE A 1000 PAGES & MAKE A BOOK ABOUT BEING LONELY IS SO DIFFICULT TO LIVE WITH !!!

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  13.   Member says:
    Posted: 02 Aug 08

    i am a man of few words,but i must say how true, would you like to step outside with me?just kidding, very good

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  14.   Athena22 says:
    Posted: 25 Jul 08

    Erict, A pat on the back and a sincere compliment for what you wrote above. You hit the nail right on the head. I used to be so-o shy, I'd get totaly speechless around new people. I made a conscious effort to work on myself and difficult as it was, I did it! If I could.....so can anyone who tries. Like you said, it's about being less self-centered.

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  15.   EricT says:
    Posted: 21 Jul 08

    well, I hate to bust all the bubbles here, cause I'm really not that kind of guy, but shyness has more to do with being inwardly conscious to a point of self-centeredness. Think about it. The whole world revolves around communication. Sure, we look at someone who says or does something quirky and we might make a snap judgement that may not be fair, but do we really think that we're that important and that what we do has such an impact on others that it lasts with them for a lifetime. Sure, I guess if you rob or kill them, but other than that, what's to fear. There are millions of people out there that you can say hi to and they may or may not respond positively, and you know what, it doesn't matter. Your self worth won't be damaged by one off comment from a person that wasn't kind enough to be proper or friendly. I gotta say it, not because I am better than anyone else, but you know, people respond to friendly, positive and creative people who are willing to put themselves out there and risk their egos to make and/or keep friends. I have had no problems on this site. In fact, in the course of three days I have had about five emails, all from wonderful people that I'm interested in, one in specific that I think is beyond amazing. I don't think the issue on this site has anything to do with shyness. I think that people have to rethink the way they approach profile writing and their take on things. Don't tell people what you are. Write things that express what you like without directly saying it. But enough of that, the most important thing about shyness to understand is that we are all small specks on the cosmic window. Nothing we do or say will matter in two thousand years unless one of us on here conquers the world. So go out and be courageous enough to be friendly. The people who respond in kind are worthwhile and the people who don't will forget you in a minute. And shouldn't that be okay? I, personally, don't want unkind people to remember me and I certainly don't care about their opinions. Food for thought.

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  16.   amorbwa says:
    Posted: 16 Jul 08

    I guess I would consider myself shy to admit to someone whom I don't know tht I have a terminal illness and I like to converse with people that do not know me and can just accept me for the person I am.... "THAT WAS HARD TO WRITE-JUST IMAGINE TELLING SOMEONE THAT WHEN YOU ARE-FACE to FACE.......

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  17.   patrickjf1 says:
    Posted: 15 Jul 08

    Fore me it as shyness and fear of rejection. I find doing the online thing eliminates a lot of the shyness that I have. Being White and looking for Black females makes it even more difficult.

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  18.   mrgeno says:
    Posted: 10 Jul 08

    For me 1/2 of it is shyness & 1/2 of it fear of rejection.

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  19.   tigerette says:
    Posted: 09 Jul 08

    I'm lonely because I am shy. It's quite possible that maybe I'm hiding behind this shy persona: I'm just too lazy to get out there and meet people or may be I fear that people may find my tastes a bit odd. Honestly, I really don't know. It could be a combination of things. I could be a shy extrovert, is that even possible? It's alot easier to stay in one's comfort zone than to face one's fears. If you no longer want to stay in your current position or not happy with it, make the change. Even if you're taking baby steps, you're doing your life a great service. I am not trying to be a hypocrite, I am trying to follow my own advice.

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  20.   Dartgord says:
    Posted: 05 Jul 08

    You write about being shy and the fears faced being shy. Some said self awareness, self image ,but not any of them, more worried about being a fool or being treated that way. Shy or not at work were you are sure of yourself in your ability your not shy, personal life is totally different story.

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  21.   hotrod2009 says:
    Posted: 28 Jun 08

    Great article. Most of us are on this site for a reason and that is to find true love and our soul mate. It is easier to communicate online or the phone to a stranger at first. Someone had made a comment about woman not responding to flirts and messages. It is the same with the men. We are all adults why can't we act like it. If your not interested in the person then be honest and let them know. I believe that it is more of a disappointment when people don't respond at all. I don't believe it is a matter of being lonely or shy. I think that it is a matter of who we believe that we can trust and who is being honest.

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  22.   mercy says:
    Posted: 25 Jun 08

    I'm a God fearing , honest, respectful, lovely, etc etc. I would like to meet people who are God fearing, no matter where you come from, just be of good character. but I think knowing each other is the best option, and we can go forward. God bless. i am mercy from Liberia. i saw ur profile and it look so interesting that i could not pass so i decided to leave u this comments here

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  23.   phattkitty says:
    Posted: 25 Jun 08

    ONE PHRASE, "LONELY IS AS LONELY DOES"

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  24.   Dee says:
    Posted: 25 Jun 08

    I am lonely, even though I do a good job of faking it. My 10 year old has even stated I need someone in my life, in our life. But, I can't commit, not even to a date. I visit this site (which is absolutely wonderful), I check out profiles, and I have even chatted with a few guys; but I haven't posted a picture. I keep saying when my divorce is final, I'll post a picture. I'll really try, but every time I think about dating, I think about my daughter and I can't take another step. Musicman65 I think you have a point.

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  25.   raymond says:
    Posted: 24 Jun 08

    hello are you realy lonely if you are i am looking for a woman who wish to have a relationship. i am 62 and love to play pool but i teach kung_fu meditation but any way i would like to meet some one like you and hope that i could be in your life. but would like to have you in my life but i would take you for who you are i don't care if you are rich or por i would will still take you for my girl friend

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  26.   mossimo36 says:
    Posted: 23 Jun 08

    How about neither or both!! All rolled into one

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  27. Posted: 21 Jun 08

    hmmm.. I don't think that I am shy..lazy perhaps? a little bit? or tech savvy?? I say that because just like in the article, I find it easier to search for people that have common interests as I do and we can bond over our morbid fears of Roaches and Black Beans? - I definately would not walk up to a guy and say.."hey! guess what dude! I hate black beans!" - hmmm.. maybe I need to try that..sounded kinda nice..lol! The lonely factor comes in (for me) because I am the single girl at work so when we have company events the social committee always asks "so who are you bringing this time" or at Weddings/other events.. its always "my name +1) so it begins to sink in that I am "that" girl and I wonder what it would be like to have my name and a regular steady name next to all these events lol! P/S 8 of my friends are getting married this summer..yeah..don't get started on that! lol! But whatever..if all else fails I will wait for some mad scientist to build a sexy robot for me!

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  28.   Musicman65 says:
    Posted: 21 Jun 08

    Why am I lonely? Well Im not shy at all...I have been on this site and others for a couple of years now and its like pulling teeth to get replies, flirts - check out my profile...I ask out women all the time and get nowhere so its another lonely summer I guess...I try and try and cant get a wrong number....I think alot of women out there are lonely due to not giving men a chance..infact, I would bet my next pay check on that!

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  29.   mossimo36 says:
    Posted: 20 Jun 08

    My fear was always showing up at school naked or in my underwear because I forgot to get dressed. At least it happened in a few dreams way back then, lol

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  30.   charles says:
    Posted: 20 Jun 08

    Good article. Take the time to read it,or pass it on to someone you know who could use it..

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  31.   snehaseeli says:
    Posted: 27 May 08

    Amen! Being shy was a barrier, a wall that left me unsure and insecure. But as you said, there was that all encompassing fear... My solution was indeed, to embrace some of those fears and face them head on. Pick your battlefield people! Face the fear. Lick your wounds when you have to and charge back our for the glory! You never know if that person you meet is as shy as you.

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