5 Things Selective Mutism Is NOT

1. SM Is Not Shyness. Shyness has become a catchall term to describe anybody who is not the life of the party. That is a little bit of an exaggeration, but when people hear words like introverted, shy, or antisocial, they associate the same types of similar negative associations to these words. Each of these has a distinct meaning. The accepted characteristic of introversion (as opposed to extroversion) in people is a tendency for them to give out their energy in social interactions and to build up their energy when they are alone. On the other hand, shy people often…
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Selective Mutism vs Shyness

Once when I was 6 or 7 at school, I was walking with the rest of the class to go to the playground. The rest of the kids were chatting away while I was quietly reflective and listening, when one of the teachers asked me why I didn't talk. I automatically shrugged with a preprepared look of slight confusion. She then persisted, "Are you just shy?" My normal response to this was to nod in approval, not because I had any profound awareness of myself, but just because it was the easiest answer to give them. This particular time, some…
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