How shy people can seek support and make virtual connections during the pandemic

Virtual connections are a relatively new technology that has had a big impact on the economy and personal communications in recent years. The technology has not only allowed people to work remotely, connecting to distant areas of the country and world, but it has also provided the ability to receive medical attention and treatment, without the need to travel to a specific site.

The COVID-19 pandemic has increased the importance of virtual connections, allowing people to maintain their social relationships and receive professional care for a variety of health issues. Virtual connections can even be used to support the work of alcohol and drug rehab centres to continue treatment when patients cannot safely attend the facility.

How has the pandemic affected personal interactions?

Getting together with other people used to be the stuff of everyday life. Meeting up at school, at the water cooler at work, going for lunch and after-work drinks were once the ordinary interactions individuals experienced as part of their daily activities.

The COVID-19 pandemic changed all that, making every encounter an opportunity for the possible spread of the virus. Even when allowed to be with others, social distancing, masks and general wariness can make social encounters awkward. Virtual connection has been able to facilitate communication with others in a convenient and safe manner.

Can shyness affect my ability to interact comfortably?

Shyness causes individuals to feel awkward, tense or uncomfortable in social encounters. They may feel physical discomfort during interactions with others, with sweating, blushing, upset stomach or elevated heartbeat. Although anyone can experience a bout of shyness in unfamiliar situations, shyness can be a constant occurrence for some individuals. They may avoid social interactions as much as possible, and this avoidance can have negative consequences.

Virtual connection can facilitate communication with others

Avoiding human interaction because of discomfort can have its downside. The scarcity of daily encounters and lack of interaction with other people can sometimes make shyness worse.

The online world offers a number of advantages for people who are very shy. Virtual connections can help people avoid loneliness and continue honing their social skills, even if from a distance. Technology can make reaching out to others less threatening. It provides an implied “distance” between two parties that makes the interaction more tolerable for those who are shy.

The virtual world provides a sense of control

A virtual connection allows an individual to choose the time and amount of interaction with another or others. The virtual world also allows you to “stage” your setting to provide the impact you want, which is not always the case in real life.

A virtual interaction allows you to adjust your mood for the scheduled period of time, organise your thoughts and prepare your visual presentation, as well as being able to turn off the self-viewing option. In many ways, virtual connection is a better arrangement for those who are shy, because it allows so much more control over the environment than ordinary life.

Virtual connections, telehealth and getting support

Maintaining good health can be particularly important during stressful times. Telehealth services have bloomed during recent months, allowing people to get the medical advice and care for problems, without having to sit in crowded waiting rooms.

Virtual healthcare allows doctors to directly speak to patients, gauge their conditions, order tests, prescribe medications and provide other measures to help them treat illnesses and maintain better health. Individuals who need mental health care can go to their computers to visit with therapists when they feel they need help.

Virtual connections even allow individuals who need mental health or addiction treatment to continue to get help, via remote sessions, using counselling techniques, online hypnotherapy and more, even during pandemic lockdowns or other critical times. Shy individuals may find this a very useful method for getting help with substance abuse problems.

Making the most of virtual connections

Virtual technology can be used to connect patients and therapists for direct, person-to-person contact to deal with the underlying issues that often contribute to substance abuse, such as mental health problems, traumatic experiences and issues of poor self-esteem.

It can also be used as an adjunct after treatment has been completed, to connect individuals with 12-step programs and sponsors to provide support and practical help for maintaining sobriety in stressful times. Whereas a shy individual may feel reluctant to reach out for help in person, a virtual connection gives them a degree of protection, allowing them the ability to manage the interaction to their liking.

Technology has provided new opportunities to assist people in their work, their recreational activities and in self-care. If you often find interpersonal situations overwhelming and uncomfortable, you may find that virtual connection allows you greater freedom in getting the help you need.

To discover more about accessing online, telephone, and email help and support right now, check out our information on online hypnotherapy or use our advanced search to find a hypnotherapist offering online support.

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Written by Patrick Bailey
Patrick Bailey is a professional mental health writer, specialising in addiction and recovery.
Written by Patrick Bailey
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