AC WP RSCN4338 ENH2In The Shyness Guide I’ve said that you can become less shy by being more shy.

Most people don’t understand this.

What I mean is that, instead of trying to suppress your shyness, the best thing to do is to accept it – accept who you are. That doesn’t mean giving up and hiding at home. You can still go out in the world, but you do it as the shy person you really are, not trying to be someone else.

You’re not required to assert yourself, as everyone is urging you to do, but neither do you have to withdraw. The strength of a shy person is not in overcoming other people, but in standing your ground, remaining yourself in the face of all the efforts to socialize you.

As long as you’re living in a country where no one can legally assault you, there is little danger for you in social settings. There is no harm in responding to someone (sociopaths being an exception). If, for example, they say to you, “You seem very shy”- a phrase you’re probably tired of hearing – you only need to reply, “That’s right, I am.”

No need to explain yourself. No need to justify being shy.

If someone persists with their inquiry about my avoidant behavior, or offers to help me to not be shy, I just look around for someone else to talk to. I’m more interested in what’s around me, including other people, than I am in talking about myself to someone who has already shown me that they don’t like shyness.

If they aren’t being offensive though, another approach is to ask your interrogator a question about them. Most social people have a big appetite for talking about themselves, so they will usually launch into a verbal ‘selfie’ of themselves and the subject of ‘you’ will quickly be forgotten.

Worrying about your shyness is attaching too much importance to it – attaching too much importance to yourself.

Focusing on the world instead of yourself  is an old approach to life that modern psychology, doesn’t seem to recognize.

In a universe that extends for billions of light years, and may be infinite, it hardly seem likely that we are the most important thing in it. Yet that is how most people behave.

So that’s what The Shyness Guide is about – not just about you and your shyness, but about the world you live in too.

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