You may have a nagging suspicion that being shy, quiet, or socially anxious is holding you back. You wonder if it's getting in the way of your life. Or if you should do something about it.

Here's one piece of the puzzle: This quiz is based on a respected social anxiety questionnaire called the Leibowitz Social Anxiety Scale (LSAS), affectionately pronounced "ell-sas," because we like our quizzes sassy around here, apparently. If social anxiety questionnaires had a popularity contest, this one would be crowned prom king--it's been used for decades in research and in clinics. It is thorough (read: long--it's 48 questions), but it goes pretty quickly.

An important note: many of us with social anxiety structure our days and choices so we never encounter the things we hate. Just like someone with a fear of elevators might decline a job on the 50th floor of a skyscraper, we might take a job where we don't have to make cold sales calls. Likewise, we might never have to do public speaking, or it might never occur to us to try to pick someone up: "Hey baby, is your name Wi-fi? Because we have a connection." 

The point is that some of the questions may seem not to apply to you. Let's say you never make presentations at work. Rather than selecting the 0% answer because it doesn't apply to you, pretend it applies to you. Pretend you have to make a presentation right now. As soon as you're done with the quiz, a podium, microphone, and teleprompter will magically appear in front of you. How anxious does the prospect make you? How hard would you work to avoid it? Then make that your answer.  

And finally, whatever your result, don't take it as gospel. It's an online quiz, for heaven's sake, not an official diagnosis. But it's always good to learn about yourself, to feel good and grateful for the challenges you take on without a thought, and to pinpoint some things you might want to work on. Be hopeful. Be brave. Be informed. And always be yourself.

Scroll down and start the quiz!