Saturday, 26 August 2017

Is he shy or is he shy?

According to the patron saint of introversion in the 21st Century, Susan Cain, shyness is the fear of negative judgement. She also says that shyness is the fear of social disapproval or humiliation

However I can think of a group of people who I have hang out with on a couple of occasions who seem to be fearful of this kind of negative judgement or social disapproval who are far from shy in the traditional sense.

They all work in the same industry and for some reason that I couldn't comprehend, they were all trying to one-up each other.

They all wanted to have a bigger house or a faster car or flashier clothes, all because they didn't want to be humiliated. Can this be defined as shyness? I don't know. As I said before, not in the traditional sense.

When we think of shyness, we think of a little boy or girl, sitting in the corner of the room, not talking to anyone and from our extroverted viewpoint we think that they are not happy when in fact we know that they are just being true to themselves and sitting alone. They are not being anti-social at all (whatever that means) they are just conserving their energy.

So are the people in the previous group of professionals, shy? Well, it looks as though they might well be.

Many times I would hear:

"I can't do that."

"They might hear about it."

"That would get around and it wouldn't be pretty."

"That is not acceptable."

This group of highly-trained professionals and highly paid professionals were so scared of what their peers would say about them (not to them mind you) that they would base their day-to-day decisions on what the other people would say and spread.

All of this seems like shyness to me

Today, I want you to rethink your idea of what a shy person is.

Is the little boy sitting in the corner of the room reading his book, shy?

Probably not. He is just reading his book.

Is the adult male who won't wear that shirt for fear of social ridicule, shy?

Well, it appears so.

Funny how that works.

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