In The Big Bang Theory, Rajesh Koothrappali is a guy from India who befriended Howard and became friends with Leonard, Sheldon and Penny. Since the very beginning of series, it is shown that Raj has some sort of problem with talking to girls, later it expanded to that he is having a problem of talking even when a woman is in the room (in his eyesight).

But often he was shown talking even when a woman is right next to him. Not to the woman directly, but he can whisper into someone's ear and that other person will almost always speak aloud what Raj says. This happens mostly with Wolowitz.

My problem is,

  1. What is the exact problem with Raj, that he was unable to talk to women?
  2. How is the scenario that he can talk/whisper even in front of women, but not aloud, match with the above fact that he can't talk to women?

Note: I'm aware of his ability to talk to any woman when he's drunk. My question is when he is sober.

  • 1
    It has nothing to being foreigner, but problem is his. what about Howard and Leonard and Stuart? They aren't foreigners
    – Vishwa
    Commented Jan 30, 2018 at 16:03
  • 1
    Answered in the show. Answered with a simple Google search.
    – user25738
    Commented Jan 30, 2018 at 17:06
  • @SiXandSeven8ths do you remember when? may be I missed that. I tried google.but all of them is just speculations, people's opinions. couldn't find no official statements. it was very quick search I did few days ago
    – Vishwa
    Commented Jan 31, 2018 at 4:47
  • 1
    Literally the first episode shows his inability to speak to women. Whether it was that same episode or the within the next couple, they do discuss that it is selective mutism. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Big_Bang_Theory_(season_1)
    – user25738
    Commented Jan 31, 2018 at 16:44

1 Answer 1


It's not a question of talking in front of women per se...but talking TO women due to extreme shyness around them.

It's Selective Mutism

...according to a Wikia.

For the first six seasons, his principal characteristic was a case of selective mutism social anxiety disorder, which did not allow him to talk to women outside of his family. This condition could be suppressed through alcohol (or if he thought he was drinking alcohol) or experimental social anxiety medications; however, the former usually ended up changing his personality, making him more obnoxious and overbearing, while the latter tended to have unpredictable side-effects.

Selective mutism (SM) is an anxiety disorder in which a person who is normally capable of speech cannot speak in specific situations or to specific people. Selective mutism usually co-exists with shyness or social anxiety.


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