In my book The Shyness Guide, I say that when you learn to accept your shyness, you become less shy.
It’s true. When you’re no longer concerned about being shy, you no longer experience anxiety, so it’s easier to talk to people. Simple as that.
But that isn’t all you gain from accepting your shyness. Once the anxiety is gone, you also become more confident, and, for some reason, many people are attracted to quiet confident individuals.
For example, though I learned to accept my shyness early in life, and so lived in a way that I never sought to get to know other people, I’ve attracted a lot of people all my life. It’s hard to say exactly who they were, since they included non-shy people, even extroverts.
During my 40 year career in the insurance claims business, as I moved from company to company (I was pretty nomadic), I often encountered people who wanted to know me.
I’m not talking about women who were sexually attracted to me, though women are often attracted to confident men. No, I’m talking about people, male and female, who just wanted to know me – to talk to me, go to lunch with me, work with me on projects, etc.
For me, this wasn’t always positive, since, even though I didn’t suffer much from anxiety, I’ve always preferred doing things alone. A few times I did experiment with joining a social group. Those were interesting times, and they are largely the reason I’m able to provide advice to other shy people, but they always ended the same way. Once I became fully aware of the selfishness, deceit, self-deceit, and manipulation of each other that so many of them were mired in, I moved on.
But it did result in a few long lasting friendships. By that I don’t mean people who I continued to see regularly. I’m not able to do that much. I mean people who, if I met them after many years apart, we would begin talking happily again as if we were just starting up where we left off. That’s what I mean by a friend. Though I won’t see some of them ever again, they will always remain a presence in my life.
Also, one of those people drawn to me became my wife, the best friend I’ve ever had.
Do you see what I mean? Accepting your shyness doesn’t just get rid of the anxiety. It can bring you other rewards.