“It is only by taking risks from one hour to the other that we live at all.”

— William James

The dictionary definition of “shy,” according to Merriam-Webster online dictionary (www.m-w.com), includes the following: (1) easily frightened: TIMID: (2) disposed to avoid a person or thing ; (3) hesitant in committing oneself : CIRCUMSPECT; (4) sensitively diffident or retiring : RESERVED; also : expressive of such a state or nature ; (5) SECLUDED, HIDDEN.

Don’t Be Bashful About Your Shyness!

Do you think shyness is a negative quality?  Do you secretly feel ashamed of it?  Chances are you’re not shy all the time.  But everyone has situations that make them want to hide:  meeting new people in social, dating, or business situations; being called on in class; or when asked to stand up in front of a group and tell a joke, offer a toast, or give a business presentation.

In my own struggle with shyness over the years, I came to believe that shyness was not necessarily bad, but could even be a good quality.  I was able to stop fretting about how I came across and found I could enjoy connecting with new people.  Now I can truthfully say that I no longer allow my shyness to interfere with what I want to do.

Although you may wish I could say something to make your shyness magically disappear, remember that you’ve probably been shy for a long time and it may take some effort in order to feel more comfortable in your own particular “shaky” situations.  As a recovering shy person myself, I can help guide you through the process of not only managing and overcoming shyness, but also shifting it from a liability into an asset.

Are You Highly Sensitive?

Do other people’s moods affect you?  Are you easily overwhelmed by bright lights, strong scents, or loud noises?  Do you avoid violent movies and TV shows?  Do you notice and enjoy delicate tastes, scents, sounds, and/or works of art?  If so, check out this self-test by Elaine Aron, author of several books on the subject (www.hsperson.com).

Being highly sensitive is a special gift.  Many of us are writers, philosophers, artists, and musicians.  We create art that others look to for inspiration, comfort, and meaning.  But people in our lives may call us “thin-skinned” or “hypersensitive,” saying they have to “walk on eggshells” around us.  If you think you may be highly sensitive, I can help you learn to embrace your special perceptions, needs, and gifts without feeling you’re “overly sensitive” or “fragile.”