Written by SwingersHelp.com. Visit SwingersHelp.com to read the full article.
In each of us, there is a voice that speaks from the place of our insecurities. Though we may otherwise feel confident, we are all prone to experiencing shyness in one or more areas of our lives.
Sophia, happily married for 5 years and a mother of two, finds herself overwhelmed by her own shyness. She has always been open to the swinging lifestyle and when her husband agreed to try it out, she found herself “locked in her insecurities”. She describes herself as being “less sociable and more introverted” than her husband, which is why she always felt comfortable with letting him lead the way. However, Sophia feels that because of her shyness, she withdraws from experiences in which she’s on her own without her husband’s support, even though she knows she would enjoy them. Sophia is definitely not alone.
In the swinging lifestyle, many women at different stages of their life, experience shyness. Some may attribute it to circumstances, some attribute it to their personality. Either way, the behaviors that result from feeling shy block their way to experiencing more pleasure in swinging.
What can women do to cope with their shyness and experience more freedom and pleasure in the lifestyle?
Let’s look into this together.
The Origin of Shyness
Understanding what is at the core of your shyness can help you navigate towards overcoming it. The first step towards understanding shyness is increasing awareness of the situations in which we behave shyly. Actively notice the situations in which you feel shy. They are likely to have certain “triggers” in common, such as being (or feeling as if you are) evaluated or judged.
It’s important to keep in mind that shyness emerges for different reasons. Our personal, relational, and cultural experiences are different and each person has their unique challenges that cause shy behaviors. We must not assume that we know what the challenge is just because we call it the same.
Still, it may be helpful to look into some common categories of challenges that can lie underneath shyness.
- Body insecurities
We may not be happy about the way we look now, or we may still carry the insecurities we had in the past. You may try to hide parts of your body that you feel ashamed of or that you feel may not live up to other people’s expectations. Women are usually more self-conscious about their looks than men. Though women are trying to free themselves from perceiving certain, socially affirmed looks as more or less attractive, the pressure can still feel burdening. Shyness can “speak” on behalf of those body insecurities, minimizing our exposure to other people’s judgement.
- Sexual insecurities
Though fear of not living up to partners’ sexual expectations is usually more burdening for men, women too can feel insecure about their sexual performance. Shy behaviors may communicate: “Take it slow. I am not ready yet”. They signal to the person that we need more time before we can let go of the control. Shy behaviors can temporarily lower people’s expectations of what we are ready to give or show.
- Negative Past Experiences
Our past experiences may carry the weight of rejection and pain that sticks with us, making us feel insecure and self-conscious. Our shyness can serve as a protective layer between ourselves and others. It’s a shield that lets fewer people in and only if they show support and care that makes us feel comfortable to open up. Shyness “tests” the willingness of people to show compassion and understanding towards our insecurities over swinger regrets.
- Fear of Rejection or Judgement
Opening a relationship up to new people can be a threatening experiment. Sure, women can feel safe with their partners, confident that they are interesting, desirable or sexy, but getting back on a dating field to meet new people can cause anxiety that hides behind shyness. The lingering fear of being rejected and judged can affect how we present ourselves. Sometimes, it feels safer to be shy than to risk acting too confident and get rejected.
How Shyness Affects our Behavior
At the core of shyness is usually the anticipation of negative evaluation. We think someone will think poorly of us, so we pull back to minimize the amount of “wrong” things that we can do. Shy behaviors usually have a protective function.
For example, we hold back from being fully present in a situation, and the avoidance provides temporary relief. Our shyness successfully keeps us away from being noticed. Though we’ve successfully avoided judgement, we still haven’t experienced pleasure. Though we protected ourselves from evaluation, we ended up feeling neglected or ignored. This is usually where we blame ourselves for not taking action for not stepping up with confidence. Shyness and self-blame often go together.
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