If you've been following along here, this probably won't be much of a surprise to you. A new study in the journal Psychological Science suggests that oxytocin (yes, even in spray form) may help overcome shyness. It seems to tie back to the empathetic response that's enhanced by raising oxytocin levels.
In a previous post, we pointed out research that demonstrated increased empathy by making the person exposed to our favorite hormone more finely attuned to the facial expressions of other people. This added empathy boost is thought to help shy people connect better in conversations, thereby easing some of their anxieties. Additionally, oxytocin has been shown to have a general calming effect (which way does the causation arrow point? stay tuned, I guess). Put these things together and the shy person begins an encounter more calm and is better able to interact with other people. Win-win!