Fixing Shyness Will Not Fix Your Life …

One of the most pervasive myths that I encountered reading the shyness newsgroups was the idea that if the person could only fix their shyness, then their life would just be unconditionally and completely great and wonderful. They’d get a girlfriend. They’d get that job they wanted. They wouldn’t be poor anymore. They’d no longer be depressed, and feel that they fit in and really connected to society. They’d have tons of friends, and a completely active and engaging social life. All of these things would just magically occur the instant they stopped being shy.

From personal experience, it just isn’t true. You don’t magically get friends or a relationship or whatever just because you suddenly stop being so shy that you can’t even try to start the process, do job interviews, or carry on a conversation. All of those require more effort, and may well require changes in other areas. You might have to change your style of dress. You might have to improve your skills. You might have to go places you still don’t really want to go. Fixing shyness, for most people, will be the start, not the end.

For me, I’m quite capable of working and improving my skills through education. I can generally interact with people, although I’m still — proudly — a bit odd. My social circle is still pretty limited, and I don’t foresee myself getting a long term relationship anytime soon. But for most of the things I don’t have, a big part of it is, basically, my not really wanting to put in the effort, and that’s a personal choice. One that I may change, one that I may regret, or one that may be right for me. But, again, fixing shyness doesn’t end these choices; in fact, all it does is change and increase them.

You remove shyness to remove one limiting factor, but that doesn’t mean you don’t have others. Which is why fixing shyness is valuable even if, at the end of teh day, it doesn’t just fix your life.

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