Now that I’ve published the new edition of The Shyness Guide (the paperback anyway), it’s time to do my first real post for this blog.
On the book’s landing page here, I’ve explained my credentials for writing the book. But why, you may ask, did I feel a need to write another shyness book when there are already over 600 on Amazon alone about shyness, introversion, social anxiety, etc? How could there be anything left to say?
Well, because shyness is almost never understood the way I understand it.
My understanding is instinctual. From the day I entered kindergarten I was acutely aware of how different I was. In my novel The Birdcatcher, Chris Stone explains that this way:
I remembered my own first day at school, that morning in September, 1953, when I crouched in a corner of the school’s old brick walls, already instinctively protecting my back, waiting for the doors of the school to open. I remembered the yard full of children, the pushing, teasing, shouting and hitting that were going on all around me. Though I couldn’t have put it into words then, I felt like an alien child, an orphan from some far away star, inexplicably left behind on a strange and unfriendly planet. Only five years old, I was already contemplating what would be the central problem of my life.
Stone would go on through experience and reading to develop a deeper, better understanding of his shyness. I did too, as I wrote his story.
The deeper I got into the basic nature of shyness, the more convinced I became that it is natural. As I say in The Shyness Guide, if it’s natural then it makes sense that you shouldn’t be trying to get rid of it. If shyness is an intrinsic part of you, then you need to understand it, not avoid it.
Try my approach and you’ll see what I mean when I say that you can “become less shy by being more shy”. When you know who you are, you become more confident. Not actually less shy, but shy without the anxiety caused by trying to function in a society that wasn’t created for shy people.
But, The Shyness Guide isn’t only about shyness. It’s a new way of looking at the world, one that I hope will help you to see everything in a new light, and realize that this world can be your world as much as anyone else’s.