Supporting Parents. Fostering Change.

Mindset and Shyness

In Carol Dweck’s Mindset – The New Psychology of Success, she speaks briefly about how mindset can influence the course of shyness.  Shyness is not uncommon in kids and teens, of course.  Some children warm up more slowly than others. With time, the initial discomfort in meeting new people melts away.  Dweck highlights interesting research that suggests “shyness harmed the social interactions of people with the fixed mindset but did not harm the social relations of people with the growth mindset.” When a child or teen with a tendency towards shyness views a social situation as a challenge, rather than an event to be avoided, then the worry and nervousness dissipates.  As parents, it’s important to consistently expose our kids to new social situations; even ones that evoke feelings of nervousness.  We don’t want to unwittingly give our kids the message that feelings of insecurity and self-consciousness should be handled with avoidant behavior.  Shy kids with a growth mindset embrace the challenge of socializing with peers.

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