apr 6

Wallflowers Justifying Themselves

The interesting thing about this defense of shyness [via] is that it suggests that the more 'we live in public', the more diffidence is counter-cultural - i.e. it kinda' makes you unreadable in way that Facebook/Twitter et al obviously do not. -NA

1 comment

In my view shyness is not a choice to be embraced. It is a function of two things: fear of embarrassment, and also fear of causing discomfort (such as embarrassment) to others. I think it is quite possible to overcome one's own fear of embarrassment without compromising anything which might be said to be a fundamental part of what makes one oneself (although to be frank I think such a compromise is desirable in the long run and notions of owing anything to a particular disposition per se are sentimental, illogical and worthless - shyness causes quite a lot of dissatisfaction, no matter how at ease people force themselves to believe they are with being shy to avoid having to face up to tackling it, and I therefore I urge shy people to tackle it if they can). Anyway, overcoming one's own fear of embarrassment puts one in a better position to avoid making other people feel awkward (for example, by appearing aloof, or making people feel self-conscious), but allows one to maintain the sensitivity to the feelings of others which gives rise to this component of shyness, I think. That sensitivity, rather than fear of being embarrassed oneself, is the worthwhile part of a shy person, I think. The excessive fear for one's own dignity is, in my view, rather crippling, especially when combined with a wish to avoid causing discomfort or imposition or embarrassment to others (particularly if other people are embarrassed by the presence of someone who feels awkward socially).

posted by james at 7:40 PM on April 6, 2010

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