Attending parties, sporting events and other large social gatherings may not be at the top of the list of things to do for members of Castleton State College’s newShyness Club.
But maybe someday, with the help of the club, that could change.
At the beginning of this year, students Garrett Covey and Erika Wolf created the club because Covey said “we wished to bring a club to campus which suited a different subgroup of people and help them feel comfortable in their shyness.”
Although the club was created for others, psychology professor Terry Bergen explained that creating the club was a win-win situation for all.
“I think they were shy people, so it was a natural thing for them to get involved in,” said Bergen about Wolf and Covey.
Covey was in Bergen’s Applied Behavioral Analysis class three years ago, while Wolf joined this year. The class allows students to collect baseline data and decide to implement a solution to aproblem, which in this case is shyness andthe Shyness Club.
They later gather data to determine if the club was successful. Through the study, they do research and other studies that may help improve the shyness of others and make them more extraverted.
There are five members of the club and they meet every Tuesday at 12:30 p.m. to discuss shyness and share their experiences with being shy. They also do some fun group activities and games to get each other talking.
“I think that the individuals in that group feel like it is personally helping them. First week was icebreakers, games and activities that help them build their confidence and to be more comfortable,” said classmate Stephany Churchill.
Wolf said she believes it is working.
“I feel really good about it, and it’s going really well,” Wolf said.
Wolf and Churchill are not the only ones who believe it has been beneficial to both the leaders and the participants.
“Just the fact that they got people out of their room to participate in a socially active group, proves they have had some success,” Bergen said.
Club members also stress thatthe Shyness Club is not just for people who are shy. Everyone is welcome to come join the group as well. Wolf said it would be nice to have some extroverts join and create a better experience for the introverts to open up.
“It’s celebrating ourselves and being comfortable with ourselves and around people,” said Wolf.