Are you aware that shyness seems to be increasing? Besides the fact that surveys, at least in North America, have for some time revealed the number of people who perceive themselves to be shy increasing (usually over 50% now), in sociologist Eric Klinenberg's 2012 bestselling book, Going Solo - The Extraordinary Rise and Surprising Appeal of … Continue reading Shyness Re-emerging
Why, you might want to ask, did I feel a need to write another book about shyness when there are over 600 books already re 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. From the day I entered … Continue reading Why did I write The Shyness Guide?
Sometimes psychologists try to explain autism using 'theory of mind'. Books on psychology devote whole chapters to theory of mind, but to keep a lid on it here, I'll just quote Dictionary.com: the ability to interpret one’s own and other people’s mental and emotional states, understanding that each person has unique motives, perspectives, etc. The … Continue reading Autism and Theory of Mind |Do you think like a Baboon?
In my novels The Birdcatcher and Skol, and in The Shyness Guide, I’ve said that I think shyness and autism are both usually natural. I've also suggested that, in some people, they may be related to each other. This perception of them isn’t supported by any research as far as I know. But when I … Continue reading Shyness and Autism |Are they related?
In The Shyness Guide I say that if you accept your shyness you will become less shy. This is not a contradiction. If you were born shy – and most of us are – when you try to not be shy you are creating a problem, not solving one. Here are some comments about this … Continue reading The Shyness Guide | Be Yourself
More about the most famous, or infamous, loner of the twentieth century. This week I finally finished reading the 651 pages of The People v. Lee Harvey Oswald, by Walt Brown. A one-time FBI agent who went back to school to become a history professor, Brown says that since he was a boy he what … Continue reading Rescuing History | Reading ‘The People v. Lee Harvey Oswald’
For some years now I've been editing my old journals, condensing them, getting rid of the paper. This morning I came upon the entry for Sept 12, 1969, one of the most important dates in my life. In an upscale bar frequented by the insurance industry, I had met Matthew, a young underwriter who I … Continue reading Autism | When they admire you
This spring new memorials appeared on Yonge Street commemorating the anniversary of Alec Minassian's van attack when he killed ten pedestrians and injured many others. The Toronto Star published a three page article (I was friends with Alek Minassian. We were both outcasts - April 21/2019) by writer Evan Mead, who attended high school with … Continue reading Autism|Toronto’s Van Rampage one year later
In the Jan/Feb 2014 edition of The Atlantic, journalist Scott Stossel told about his own lifelong debilitating anxiety, then discussed the nature of anxiety, ending with this: Is pathological anxiety a medical illness, as Hippocrates and Aristotle and many modern psychopharmacologists would have it? Or is it a philosophical problem, as Plato and Spinoza and … Continue reading Is Anxiety Natural?