The two faces of shyness

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Joe Dispenza
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The two faces of shyness

Last update: January 03, 2017

Being shy does not mean having a flaw or flaunting virtue. It is simply a personality characteristic that depends on the temperament and the type of experiences lived. Despite this, many see shyness as a problem to be rooted out without other alternatives.

It is true that those who are shy have many limits in different social contexts. It is not easy for him to break the ice and start a conversation and he is not comfortable talking about himself; this can have a negative impact on his relationships with others, there is no doubt.



Shyness arises from lack of self-confidence, from the feeling of not deserving the attention or consideration of others or of not having the right to be recognized. So, the timid is ashamed of himself and gives too much value to the opinion of others.

However, this in no way means that those who are shy are doomed to fail. Not juggling social relationships with ease has nothing to do with success in the intellectual, work or emotional spheres. In fact, there are occasions when being shy is an advantage, let us tell you by several historical figures who have achieved great success despite their shyness.

Shyness: characteristic of great characters 

It is said that Agatha Christie, the famous mystery writer, was the protagonist of an unusual episode due to her shyness. In 1958 a party was organized in his honor in the sophisticated Hotel Savoy in London. When she got there, the porter did not recognize her and, therefore, did not let her in.

Christie did not have the strength to upset that careless porter and, therefore, without saying a word, turned and sat down in the waiting room, from where she listened to the celebration in his honor. At that time she was 67 years old and more than 60 novels that had been around the world.



Charles Darwin, on the other hand, shivered like a leaf when he had to speak in public. He did not feel capable of facing an audience. British actor Dirk Bogarde even threw up in front of the audience for fear of being physically attacked. He was spectacular behind the camera, but very shy in public.

Shyness, introversion and tragedies

We are timid and timid. Some take this feature to an unexpected extreme. For example, Dr. Henry Heimlich, famous for the emergency maneuver to save life in case of suffocation, said that many people die from their shyness. When they feel suffocated, they prefer to move away from the group rather than attract attention by coughing.

Sometimes it is thought that being shy is the same as being introverted, but that's not the case. The introverted person simply enjoys loneliness and is not comfortable in social situations. However, at the same time, he does not give weight to the opinions of others and is not afraid to express his own.

The shy, on the other hand, fills with nervousness and many times would like to expose himself more, but he can't. His personal feeling of shame is so strong that he experiences as impertinence whatever he does or says in the presence of other people.

The benefits of being shy

Just as shyness causes tragedies, on many occasions it is also a preservation mechanism. In nature, the most courageous and reckless specimens obtain the best prey and companions. However, they are also the ones who die first and suffer the most heinous wounds in life.


The shy is forced to develop great dexterity to compensate for his lack of social skills. For example, they are usually people who think over and over on what they have said and heard. This leads them to have a better memory and greater linguistic ability, although they generally express it better in writing than orally.


Furthermore, the shy usually do everything very methodically and with greater concentration than others. He feels so unsure of the outcome of his actions and his works that he plans and executes them with extreme care. For this reason, they are usually excellent performers of activities that do not require an exact time limit.


In any case, if being shy severely limits one's existence, it certainly cannot be seen as an advantage. In these cases, in fact, it occurs a useless suffering that results in social phobia. There are many effective treatments for overcoming shyness that are worth following when it is synonymous with unhappiness.

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