How Shy Are You?
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Read each item carefully, and decide to what extent it is characteristic of your feelings and behavior. Answer each question by choosing a number from the scale below.
  1 = Very uncharacteristic or untrue, strongly disagree
2 = Uncharacteristic
3 = Neutral
4 = Characteristic
5 = Very characteristic or true, strongly agree


1. I feel tense when I'm with people I don't know well. 
2. I am socially somewhat awkward.
3. I find it difficult to ask other people for information.
4. I am often uncomfortable at parties and other social functions.
5. When in a group of people, I have trouble thinking of the right things to say.
6. It takes me long to overcome my shyness in new situations.
7. It is hard for me to act natural when I am meeting new people.
8. I feel nervous when speaking to someone in authority.
9. I have doubts about my social competence.
10. I have trouble looking someone right in the eye.
11. I feel inhibited in social situations.
12. I find it hard to talk to strangers.
13. I am more shy with members of the opposite sex.


If you scored over 49, you're probably very shy. If your score is between 34 and 49, you're somewhat shy. If you scored below 34, you're probably not a particularly shy person, although you may feel shy in one or two situations. Most shy people score over 39 and a few reach the possible high score of 65.

(Scale copyright 1983, Jonathan M. Cheek)


For More Information

For further information, see the book Conquering Shyness by Jonathan M. Cheek, Ph.D and Bronwen Cheek, Psy.D. The hardcover was published by Putnam in 1989 and the paperback edition was published by Dell in 1990. These editions are out of print, but widely available in public libraries. The internet bookstore does accept orders to search for used copies of Conquering Shyness. Translations in Spanish, German, Swedish, Norwegian, and Greek have also been published.

Additional information about the psychology of shyness can also be found in Shyness: Perspectives on Research and Treatment (1986) edited by Warren H. Jones, Ph.D, Jonathan M. Cheek, Ph.D, and Stephen R. Briggs, Ph.D, available from Plenum Publishing Corp, 233 Spring St, New York, NY, 10013 (800-221-9369). This is also available through

Shyness Resources

Lynne Henderson at the Shyness Institute maintains links to a variety of resources. She also maintains a reading list on the subject. On Usenet, the group addresses the problems of shyness.



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Last Updated: August 4, 2003