Raise your hand if you've ever been at a party or in a new class or in the cafeteria, and you didn't know anyone and wished you could just disappear.
"A lot of kids do feel shy in a new situation," says Wendy Schuman, executive editor of Parents magazine. She adds that when you're feeling shy, it seems as if a huge spotlight is shining on you and you worry that you'll "do something embarrassing or be laughed at or teased."
If you sometimes feel this way, don't worry. It's perfectly normal.
"There's nothing wrong with being shy," says Dr. David Feinberg, a UCLA psychiatrist who works with kids and teens.
He points out that shyness can be a good reaction when we are faced with a new setting or experience. By holding back a little, we have time to observe what is going on and see how we fit in.
"It's appropriate to check out a new situation," Feinberg says.
You then may decide you want to jump in, which isn't always easy. For example, you might want to join a playground game, but you feel unsure about approaching the other kids. Feinberg suggests that, when you go to the playground, you take a ball.