Shy Guy Says...

To get you going: Kajagoogoo - Too Shy

Shyness is a very difficult problem; and the older you are, the harder it is to tackle ‘the work’ to getting over it. It's also an easily dismissed problem because the likely physical solution is easy but the difficulty comes from having to repair your mental wiring to realize your hesitations in socialization are faulty and unnecessary.

It's easy to not be shy once you're already there [that is to say: confident, strong, etc.] but, when you're working through it, it feels like an insurmountable climb.

When you’re an ‘adult,’ you have a modicum of ego and pride; you don’t want to be ‘practicing’ how to have a conversation with people when you’re a self-aware adult; those are the mistakes for kids to make.

But what’s the solution then? If you don’t randomly go out, force yourself even though you hate going out, probably at least partly because you are shy, then what do you do? How do you make yourself better?

And how do you talk to people? How do you find a crowd, pick a person or group, and just strike up a conversation? Do you notice a similarity then mention it? Do you just say they looked cool? I ask and the answer is likely “you just do it” [be open to being/looking like a fool to people you’ll probably never see again] but I can’t disconnect that wire; the wire that tells me, “you have no reason to go over there, so don’t.” It’s been that way for as long as I can remember.

I’ve struggled with shyness for years and I’m sure I’ve made leaps and bounds from where I was as a child but it’s not good enough. I don’t feel like a ‘normal’ human yet.

We live in increasingly collaborative and social times [see: networking for opportunities] while I mostly learned to try to rely on myself. Neither thought or practice is bad, both are important, but I feel unprepared. 

Though certainly relevant to anyone shy, I feel like a lot of shyness help methods and tips are aimed at women, as they are perceived as more likely to be or more accepted as possessing weakness. But when you’re a weak man and the image around you is all strength, what are you supposed to think about yourself?

If it’s merely that you haven’t blossomed, you have to ask, well when the fuck am I going to?

Therapy could help, maybe it’s even the only or quicker way than to just 'live through it' but it’s money; and for me, it’s also a necessary balance of “I feel like you care about/have an interest in me, whether that’s some trick of my own mind or not” over the money I’m paying.

If it just feels like I’m consuming a product every time I go to a therapist's office, it’s just not going to work. I want to feel different; therapy has methods but it should still be or feel specialized to the person. You should really feel like they are listening, caring about what you say; not just collecting your cash to spit out psychological theories and clich├ęs at you. I’m a person, not a diagnosis; it’s never that simple or clear cut.

Hollywood shows the patient-psychologist relationship much closer but I’ve never experienced anything like that. Likely that’s more just a construct of the movies but for something so intimate, there should feel like a connection or some regard between patient and therapist. I’m not a customer, I’m a sub-human being seeking help; don’t take advantage of me.

I still often opt for a no money society, so I can see and know a little better that people’s intentions are not just green.

In many ways, I dream of a smaller, more intimate world; not one with billions of people all vying for each other's attention. I can't compete with strong, confident humans. Obviously I know the solution is strength and confidence of my own; this will continue to take painful time. If you're unable to participate, few are willing or even know how to reach out to pull you in; you're lost, unseen amongst the mass of meat bodies on this Earth.

I don't have a wrap up here because I'm not done. I can't give you any real conclusions because I don't have any either.

Nostalgia or pain; it all depends on your life experience thus far: Thieves Like Us - Shyness


  1. Strangely, my mother tells me that I was painfully shy and quiet as a child. Clearly, that is no longer the case.

    I remember a time in my youth when I would commonly watch others having fun, enjoying their popularity and ample circle of friends. I certainly had a small circle of friends, but I longed for the courage, strength and confidence to engage others openly and freely.

    I remember a day in the sixth grade when I decided to just try to do what I had observed others doing for so long. I went up and sat with a group of people I knew of and had seen, but never spoke to.

    I let go. I gave in. I felt a sense of control and strength. It was an imperfect interaction, but it worked. The confidence of that experience and each one that would follow lit a fire in me that burns to this day. It is a fire to make connections no matter the cost. Sometimes the cost is rejection, but sometimes it is partnerships (like ours) or friendships that will last a lifetime.

    I watched, learned and implemented the "techniques" I saw others employing. I am still learning to this day. In the meantime, hang out with gregarious people and let them lead you to the promised land.

  2. Thanks, I really appreciate the advice. It's something I'll have to keep trying.


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