Welcome again to this blog where we can talk some more about shyness.
Fred, you are such a warm and outgoing person! Your comments about shyness raise such an important point…just what in the world is shyness?
Many people feel shy in high school or college while at dances and the like, but severely shy people see this type of timidity as different, as a temporary, situational based one, whereas chronic shyness makes a person always feel uneasy and dreadful when trying to talk with another person (s) no matter where. Why, we’re almost always aware of our shyness even when talking with someone we might know quite well!
In addition to help inspire shy people to get professional counseling, one of the main reasons I wrote Brave was to help non-shy people learn what it’s like for someone to be shy in the way I was, that is to be devoid of friends, of self-expression, of self-confidence.. …to feel cut off from the world. I know there are many severely shy people like that because I see the fear feeling in their eyes. While shy, we are almost always too afraid to talk about it! Yes, Christine G., the best cure is to talk about it, to know you are not alone and to find the necessary inspiration to do things that will overcome it.
Being depressed can be a side-effect of being severely shy. Often we feel depressed and don’t even recognize it as such because being so bottled up all the time resembles depression. A non-shy person could appear shy when depressed. It would be hard to know the difference without asking the person and that’s not what you would want to do. Thanks for bringing this up, Page. Does any shy person reading this agree that shyness is sometimes akin to being depressed?
We strain our emotions over feeling fearful so much that we don’t get to be “in the moment” and can’t get to be “with” the other person as much as we know we should. For me being in the moment was one of the most important keys to feeling comfortable and I’ll get back to that topic another day. I’m wondering, Frank, if your psychologist talks about being in the moment….and how he/she changed their approach to helping you with your shyness after reading Brave. Maybe you’d share that with us.
Anonymous, you share with us a different cause for being alone and miserable for so many years, but just like a shy person, you were held silent captive to your thoughts and emotions. I am happy to see you make the comparison. Shy people suffer from the same factors – being apart – but for us it resulted from our being too afraid and unsure to talk and for you because society had so many problems seeing polio victims that they were too afraid and unsure of how to speak to you. You’re right on in your “take” of my book: to inspire people to find help to overcome shyness, no matter what their age or how ingrained their hurt.
I’m preparing to debut Brave in my hometown Library this Friday. Thirty minutes of talking and reading, then questions followed by refreshments. I’m not feeling shy about it, just plain scared — some of the time. My shiatsu practitioner told me how to relieve fear and her suggestions such as recognizing its symptoms and acknowledging it by saying “Hello fear, I know you,” greatly relieved it. If you like, tell me how you would feel if you were reading a talk.