I believe millions of people are suffering from shyness. “Shyness refers to anxiety and excessive caution in interpersonal relationship” (Corey 2009). We have learnt that shyness is actually social anxiety in which the individual tries to avoid eye contact with people, making it difficult to communicate effectively. I am an outgoing person when interacting with my family or close friends, however, when it comes to someone I don’t really know, I am very shy.
However, the anxiety and shyness disappears little by little after I have gotten along with such person, I also have a fear of public speaking especially if I am in the center of attention. I consider myself as being too shy, so I am always willing to get over my shyness and trying to build confidence. Since I am a student, I have a lot of opportunities to interact with other people. I put myself in situations where I forced to make contact with people, like speech class and engaging in social activities, even though I find doing these stressful and uncomfortable. However, these didn’t work well and my shyness actually gets worse.
After all attempts to get over my shyness fails, I have no choice than to live with it. However, Prof. Occhiato mentioned in class that shyness is the same as selfishness, I had to face this trait of mine again since I concur with what the professor said Before getting into the theme of the book I chose, I would like to talk on how my shyness/ fear of public speaking developed. When I was in elementary school in Switzerland, I was prudent but energetic and outgoing person. During lectures, I usually ask question without thinking of embarrassment that might result from my inquisitive character.
Even though I was only seven or eight years old, I knew that I need to perform and produce good results. I received my teacher’s and peer’s praise for my good work and I was encouraged to keep the flag flying. I became industrious and tried to accomplish my task successfully, I also wanted to gain recognition for creating new things. In general, children’s efforts to master their school work help them to grow and form a positive self-concept … a sense of who they really are. However, after I moved to Asia, I changed a lot, although in negative ways.
In Korea, it is considered rude for a student to ask questions during class, such act is regarded as interruption to the flow of the lesson, whereas, in Swiss classrooms children are encouraged to ask questions. It is all about culture so that moving to a new school abroad means I have adjusting to the new culture. However, since I am used to taking classes either in the United States or in Europe, I felt uncomfortable with being in this environment. Older children may find it hard to adapt, both to a new culture and a new language, but since I was still ten years old, I settled in quickly.
Once I get used to being in Korean culture, I started to feel embarrassed asking questions in the class, but I also felt a sense of shame that I am different. This feeling became worse after moving to Japan. Even though I have lived in abroad for most of my life, I consider myself as a very Japanese since my parents taught me a lot of things about Japanese culture, morals, injunctions and many other things. One day, my teacher asked me the meaning of famous Japanese proverb and I was floored by that question. She said “This question is actually quite easy and a kind of common sense. ” And she pointed at me and said
“However, even you are not able to answer the question; this is understandable to me since you are from the different culture. ” My face was flushed with shame that I couldn’t answer the easiest and a kind of common sense question. At that moment, I felt I had been stupid all the while and that I am and failure in everything. However, anytime I think of it now, I didn’t have to be panic any longer since I know I wasn’t old enough to think logically and subjectively during those periods. As a result of the embracement that I experienced in my childhood, those negative feelings are firmly planted in my mind.
This is the reason why I develop extreme shyness/ fear of public speaking. Well, I would like to go into the main theme which is about the book I chose. The author, Leil Lowndes was able to produce a magnificent book that can counter shyness and workout confidence among people. The book “Goodbye to Shy: 85 Shy Busters”, helps readers to face everyday lives with full confidence and brighter perspectives. It determines the source of shyness, the effects of being shy and introduces possible remedies to achieve a shy free life. Each chapter focuses on a particular step that shy individual can use.
Then at the end of each chapter, it is summarize the discussion in a little gray box called a `Shy Buster. ` The first part of the book tackles proper way of dealing with people nowadays even in the presence of shyness in one’s personality. The goal of attaining a shy free life is never an easy task; it will take time to gain a complete confidence. The other day, I told people that I am shy, however, they didn’t even believe me. ”Oh I don’t think you are, since you are talking to me. ” They don’t know how much I am suffering inside. Since then, I have been thinking it is not a proper idea telling people that I am shy.
Surprisingly, the author recommends telling other people that you are shy (Lowndes 3). In most situations, shy people try to hide their condition to avoid being humiliated. People will only laugh at an individual whoadmitted that he/she is shy and may say things like “Oh, not you! You’ve got to be kidding” (Lowndes 3). According to the book, shy people are classified to three different types: born shy, situational shy and traumatic experience shy. The first type of shy people is a natural shy from birth. The sensitivity of born shy people is extremely high and they try to avoid socialization as much as possible.
The second type of shy is usually affected by certain events that expose them to others. One great example of situational shyness is during class discussions. Lastly, traumatic experiences make someone shy because of too much humiliation or failure. This can also be viewed as people who are usually well taken care of right from their childhood days. It produces traumatic shyness because they will keep on depending and talking to close family members rather than exposing themselves to people that they barely know. In my case, my shyness comes under either the second or the third one.
Once a person is already aware of the type of shyness he/she possess, it is the time for him/her to get out of the situation (Lowndes 7). There are discussions made in the book about battling with blushing, sweating and other signs of shyness (Lowndes 10). The author also encourages shy people to talk about their condition (Lowndes 12). This will make them face the tough situation that they are and step by step settle the problem with their personality (Lowndes 15). The book is indeed helpful for shy people because they will be aware of the things that they need to do to counter shyness.
It is one way of showing readers how life will be more meaningful with the right confidence and sociable personality. Another good part of the book is the second chapter which discusses different point of views of people about the shy person. Either the shy person says that he/she is shy or not, other people can notice it even without even telling them (Lowndes 21). The author also based her findings on studies that prove how shy people view themselves worse than what they really are. The “mud colored glasses” hinders people from growing up and showing off their proud
personality (Lowndes 25). Shy readers will find themselves whispering “Yes that’s me! ” upon encountering several discussions in the book when the discussions are really similar to their life experiences. This is a good way of making people aware of their weaknesses so that they can work it out and transform it into strengths. Reading the book serves as a self discovery for shy people. after they have already gathered pertinent information about their condition, the author then lead them to more juicy chapters that will make them finish with confidence.
As mentioned before, there are shy busters’ techniques identified by the author which can be easily applied to the lives of shy people. There is a three-step game plan given by the author, so that shy people will unhook themselves from the terrible condition (Lowndes 43). It includes chapters about hooking hide and seek, shaving off the years of suffering from shyness and how to warm up one’s wacky confidence (Lowndes 45- 58). For beginners, there are shy buster techniques that will improve shyness little by little. From simple eye to eye contact to giving out a perfect smile and eliminating snob mannerism
were discussed in the chapter titled” The seven best beginner’s shy busters” (Lowndes 61). Rare shy busters were also given by the author that will allow shy people contemplate on things that made them shy. It will also encourage them that the only people who can help them from recovering are their own selves. Big time sufferers were also tackled in the book, but eventually there is still a hope for them to recover. Crowd behaviors were also cited in the book and how shyness is available on almost every place like parties and other places. Shy people often treat crowded
people as hell but the book will make them change this kind of orientation. The book is great for both the shy and people that are not shy, the author outlines many aspects of personal relations that will be beneficial to everyone. In a humorous way, she sites real-life examples (many of her own) that point out where a shy person may have shortcomings. She then explains why they may behave the way they do and offers alternatives to overcome the shy behavior. Also, it manifests the author’s willingness to help out and change the lifestyle of shy people.
Fearless conversation will be made available for shy people after reading this book. Family and sexual relationship problem which are affected by shyness will also be resolved through several shy busters given in the book. Getting to know one’s self is the best way to get out of a shy life. Loving yourself is the main message of this book because it assures shy people that life is a priceless gift especially for those who extends themselves to others. Again, each shy buster introduced by the author allows shy people to practice and apply it in their lives.
Every accomplished shy buster technique leads them closer to graduation day. By the end of the book, shy people will find themselves successful and free from painful shyness experiences. It will give shy people the chance to look attractive and feel more comfortable whenever other people are around them. In conclusion, this is an excellent step by step guide to getting over our shyness. I found many of the author’s suggestions and words very helpful. Honestly, I initially resist buying this book because the cover is so local. It looks like some 1980s book that I usually find in my mothers closet.
But then, I bought it anyway. I am glad I did. It is quite funny and entertaining to read. As I read the book, it eases away from its clinical insights and moves more towards the practical. And the practical offers tips that I think would help most people regardless of how shy they are. (Chances are good that most people have some shyness in them based on how the author defines `shyness. ) The exercises help to give me some confidence and it really helps me realize that people are not as critical as we think they are. Besides, she opened my eyes to a lot of things.
For example, I’ve heard before that people considered me to an arrogant person for avoiding them, and I was just shy. I had no idea that they did not understand it. I always thought that there is no hope for my shyness. Reading this book doesn’t mean I can get over my shyness completely. I know I have to put theories into practice. But at least, this book gives me some hope. I want to thank Prof. Occhiato for mentioning that “shyness = selfishness. ” It could be a life changing book that will reshape and reconstruct the lives of many shy people.