This article was written by our good friend Jared Owens.
As editors and shyness researchers for What To Do About, we can only speculate. To be honest, we‚Äôre not certain what your problem is, BUT we‚Äôre going to do our best to spot it and loudly exclaim, ‚ÄúThat‚Äôs it! That‚Äôs your god-forsaken problem! Look at you!‚Äù ‚Ä¶So don‚Äôt cry, keep reading. We think there are a few conceivable remedies to your shyness.
A) Never come out of your room. If you never come out of your room, you won‚Äôt ever know you‚Äôre shy because you‚Äôll never meet people who stare at you and make you feel inferior or moronic, as you stare at your feet and pretend your all alone again. You are not inferior and there‚Äôs a good chance you‚Äôre not a moron. It is possible that you have some other kind of problem, social anxiety, OCD (which is also a personality disorder AND NOT simply an anxiety problem), and then there‚Äôs the assortment of phobias‚Äîrats, snakes, hermit crabs, loud noises, cops, drafts, the refrigerator, ceiling fan catastrophes. There‚Äôs no end to the possibilities and complexities of what you may suffer and imagine. BUT the good news is most well-meaning Americans have some kind of neurosis anyway, in fact more Americans visit there haggard family physician for anxiety problems then they do the common cold. We here at What To Do About sit back in our seats amazed, but it‚Äôs true. Depending on the severity of your ‚Äúnormal‚Äù problem, you‚Äôre a statistic between 1% and 58% of the public. Those terrified that the refrigerator will one day eat them comprise a smaller statistic than those returning from Iraq. The fact that people might think more of treating their worries than drinking white tea and eating berries before the croup gets you, does seem to indicate there‚Äôs company in numbers. You‚Äôll be alright kid. It should be said, ‚Äúshyness‚Äù is not a ‚Äúdisorder‚Äù. Back to your shyness, nobody cares until we have to get close and overcome uncomfortable silences. So stay in your room and you‚Äôll never know the difference.
B) Option B is only slightly different than option A‚Ä¶you can decide. It is possible that it may also exacerbate a mental disorder. People who choose this option are generally pathological liars and you can be too. What you have to do is become someone you are not. Lie to yourself over and over. Don‚Äôt stop lying to yourself until you have a nice, polished alter ego. This is what you show to everybody and tell everybody you are, that is, not shy. This raises the question of who/what our identity in fact is, also what is multiple personality disorder, but we say‚Ä¶ who cares. Denying a shy proclivity is not accepting you might be ok and there are still options C and D.
C) Option C‚Ä¶ we hesitate to recommend and we will immediately follow it with option D, so keep reading. You might even read this one super fast. One proven way of eliminating shyness forever, if that‚Äôs what you‚Äôre bound and determine to do, is kill yourself. Now, there‚Äôs a lot of reasons to live before your loved one‚Äôs find your note saying, ‚ÄúI‚Äôm sorry I was shy.‚Äù In fact, I personally want you to know that in a way, I enjoy shy people. There‚Äôs a lot to discover, which leads me directly and very rapidly into option D.
D) Here it comes‚Ä¶Option D. Why are you shy? (we‚Äôre getting to the option.) Why do you think being shy is a problem? People (good, normal people) probably don‚Äôt think less of you. Maybe you‚Äôre misunderstood. All that means, is that you have to practice feeling less critical‚Ä¶ of the whole environment. Literally practice mentally relaxing. Trust people, and give them something to know about you. People are sometimes not good at finding that‚Äîat finding the value in the other person. The other important note is that you can‚Äôt care too much what they do with that information. You have to like yourself. You‚Äôre very likeable. I like you and I‚Äôm only imagining you. You‚Äôre brunette, 5‚Äô7‚Äô‚Äô, have green eyes, are perfectly shaped, and female. Yes?
To not be shy, to enjoy you, you have to be about things that are bigger or beyond you. If you‚Äôre about yourself, you‚Äôre arrogant (and probably insecure). So for instance, in relationships if you focus on your shyness and how you‚Äôre perceived, you‚Äôre probably not going to learn much about the other person and why it‚Äôs a desirable relationship because you‚Äôre consciously or unconsciously concerned about you. Is there any reason to be afraid? Focus on being ‚Äúabout‚Äù the other person, learning about them, paying attention to who they are and how they respond. Listen and you‚Äôll probably overcome a bit of shyness. You may even fall in love. So, come out of your room. Please don‚Äôt pretend. Don‚Äôt kill yourself. That‚Äôs a true tragedy. And confidently and humbly tell someone why you‚Äôre so interesting.
*this article was featured on September 8, 2007