When I look at forums on shyness websites, I’m struck by this – almost everyone seems to be focused on one thing – me, me, me.
Most shy people, including introverts, HSPs, autistic people, etc, want to talk about the difference between them and the rest of humanity, and about their tribulations and suffering in the social world that result from being different. ‘Why me?’ is a common refrain.
To want to talk about past and present personal suffering is understandable, but it’s not very useful.
If you’re a shy person and you take my approach – learn to accept yourself – you’ll find that you’ll have more energy for other things.
Sure, living shy in a non-shy world is a bit like living inside an unfriendly Rubic’s Cube. The problems are complex and unpleasant, and there seems to be no way out.
But there is a way out, and it is detachment.
In my experience, the detachment you need if you’re shy only comes when you accept your shyness. When you no longer feel a need to fulfill the expectations of other people, when you’re able to see beyond the non-shy ideas instilled in you by social propaganda, when you stop worrying about not being like them, the weight of that stuff on your shoulders falls away.
Easier said than done you say? Well, you’re right, it isn’t easy. That’s why I devoted much of The Shyness Guide to detachment.
Accepting your shyness doesn’t mean retiring into your cave. That’s the opposite. That’s being ashamed of it, trying to hide it, being afraid of exposing it to other people.
When you’re able to walk out into the world as a shy person, not hiding, you’ll be surprised at how strong and confident you will feel. Why? Because your feet will be on solid ground. You won’t have to pretend to be someone you’re not.
If you can do that – forget about yourself and pay more attention to the world – you’ll discover that it’s a very interesting world.
For example, what I always wanted to see, experience and learn about was the larger natural world rather than the human one – birds, mammals, insects and fish, forests, fields, lakes and mountains, stars and galaxies, subatomic physics, string theory, the origin of the universe, etc. But I found out that people are interesting too.
In other words, try to think less about yourself and more about the world you inhabit. Try to get over the personal ruminating and get out there and live.