Can shyness (social anxiety) and low self-esteem be learned behaviors?
I don't think so. They learned the behavior and therefore were trained to behave that way. All of the various and repeated attacks weakened their self-esteem and damaged their self-image. They see themselves as damaged. When it is beaten in to you day after day, you begin to believe it.
I hope this is making some kind of sense.
* Kids who typify victims of bullying appear to be anxious, self-doubting, and insecure.
* Bullying victims frequently report very low levels of self-esteem and a lack of confidence.
* Victims rarely stand up for themselves when confronted face-to-face by bullies.
* Bullying victims may lack social skills and friends and are often raised in overprotective households.
* Victims often are physically undersized and weaker than their peers.
* Contrary to popular belief, physical characteristics such as obesity, dress, or wearing eyeglasses have not been shown to be factors that correlate with victimization.
* Students who are bullied often see school as an unsafe and unhappy place. Seven percent of American eighth graders will stay home from school at least once a month because of bullying.
* Students who are already social outcasts may find themselves even lonelier when they become victims of bullying.
* Being a victim of bullying brings consequences that can follow an individual well into adulthood, including depression, low self-esteem, other mental health disorders, and, in rare cases, even suicide.
* Studies have found that victims who were bullied as children are more likely to be bullied as teenagers and adults.