AC WP RSCN4338 ENH2What do I mean by this?

It’s simple really – instead of trying to suppress your shyness (what the social world has been urging you to do all your life), the best thing to do is to accept it – accept who you are.

But 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, the mantra of the social gurus, 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 (or safely disregard the law), there is little danger for you in social settings. There is no harm in responding as a shy person just as you are – for example, if someone says to you, “You seem very shy”- 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 that they will never understand.

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.

Don’t fret about your shyness. Worrying about your shyness is attaching too much importance to it – attaching too much importance to yourself.

Paying undue attention to the propaganda of unshy people is attaching too much importance to them.

Focus on the world instead. That’s an ancient approach to life that modern psychology often doesn’t seem to recognize.

This is why I say The Shyness Guide is not just about you and your shyness, but about the world you live in too. If you learn to look at this world as a shy – or autistic, or introverted, or socially avoidant – person, you will be surprised at how different, and how much more rewarding, the world will be.

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