I don´t like to get advice. That’s why I also don’t like giving advice to others. When I was shy and depressed, I often heard advice and even read books on these topics. For the most part, the authors of this advice treated me with contempt and disdain. I felt that they did not understand me, and especially that what they said would not help me at all.
If this is the feeling that will accompany you in reading the following, I will answer you as follows:
- As I said before: I don't like to give advice in this area. All I do in this blog is share with you my experience that has helped me in the hope that it will also help you.
- I do not look at you neither from above nor from below, but at eye level. I am convinced, even though I don't know you, that you know a lot of things I don't, and the opposite is also true, so we can contribute to each other and enrich each other with our experience.
- If both you and I have the same labels, i.e. shyness and depression, it does not mean that we suffer from exact same problems, to which apply the same solutions.
- I don't at all think I have been completely cured of these problems.
- I did not really get rid of my shyness, but learned to live with it, to domesticate it. I realized that if I accept myself as I am, and accept others as they are, others will accept me as well.
- It's perfectly normal to be shy sometimes. And it also happens to us that we are too confident in ourselves. Our life is governed by cycles: ideally, all of these are harmoniously balanced by long and great periods of self-confidence. When is it not normal? When we are constantly moving between these two extremes, but even that, can be healed. In retrospect, I noticed that even in my worst periods of shyness, I met people who were afraid of me (yes, indeed!). Only, I misinterpreted their behavior towards me: I told myself, for example, that they despised me or did not understand me.
The turning point occurred when I realized the next thing, which should have seemed clear to me in the first place because it's basically common sense. The thing is, that the others, I was so afraid of are people just like me:
• With their strengths, and therefore I never have to denigrate them or think I'm much smarter than anyone else.
• But also with their weaknesses‚ so I also don't have to let them take over me all the time. And I can definitely defeat them on occasion. For example, I met people, who were physically stronger than me, but who were monstrously stupid!
- Depression also has cycles: periods of blues (down), balanced by periods of euphoria (high). ideally, all of these are harmoniously balanced by long and great periods of happiness. Here, too, the only thing to do is to tame our moments of depression: not to accept the diagnosis of others (including psychiatrists and psychologists), who have ruled that we are depressed and will remain so forever. Nor should we diagnose ourselves in this way.
When we come out of our shyness or depression, we must not waste all the time we have left to live, to feel guilty, regretting and lamenting for the mistakes we have made in the past, believing that others have judged us once and for all, for the following reasons:
• Life is made in such a way that there is almost no chance that we will meet again the people who have hurt us in the past. This is except for the case of our relatives, who if they love us, they will forgive us. More than that, they will be the ones who will sometimes ask us for forgiveness for the mistakes they have made towards us.
• People, who laughed at you, or behaved badly towards you did so simply because it was easiest for them to do as everyone else and abuse the weakest, and ignore your virtues that existed along with your shyness. In short, they were nasty and cowardly and you have nothing at all to ask them for forgiveness. On the contrary! Rest assured that when you finally gain self-confidence, and it may be in the near future, they will treat you with all the respect you deserve. And if they still behave badly towards you, you will know that they will be the ones to have business with you and all your friends will be by your side against them.
For more information on depression and shyness, I encourage you to click on these keywords (the words in green) in my diary.
Below, an exchange I had on this subject with an Internet user on a Facebook group, devoted to shyness and self-confidence.
Emilie Cadot asked a question. .
Why is it so complicated when you are shy to approach others? How to stop being shy?
As an ex-shy guy (and I had to reach the age of 63 to be able to tell myself that I had completely let go of this crap), I can tell you it's complicated because ... we think it's complicated! (While in fact it's quite simple!). Let's take an example: People laugh at us when we dare not say anything or conversely when we speak inappropriately. We conclude that we are not like the others, and therefore we try to imitate them and, by doing this, we make a fool of ourselves. So, people laugh at us more. We conclude that we are definitely not like the others and we try even more to imitate them or to be silent once and for all. Others laugh at us even more. It is an endless vicious cycle. When in fact, the solution is quite simple: you have to dare to be yourself (instead of trying in vain to imitate others). Easier to write than to do! Understand that the people we were so afraid of are made of the same material as us. They have the same strengths (and this is why we should not despise or take them lightly), but also the same weaknesses (and this is why we should not put them on a pedestal, deify them and be afraid of them.) The only advice I can give you is:
1) Remember that you are a man like everyone else, with the same duties and the same rights (including that of being respected)
2) Don't dramatize when you mess up. Be the first to laugh about it. Cultivate your sense of humor.
3) Dare to talk about all this with people! You will see: we will not make fun of you, quite the contrary (apart from the idiots). And start talking about it with the people you love and trust. It could be your family and / or your best friends.
I know it is not easy.
I just read your paragraph as a shy person. It cheers me up thank you and well done 👏🏻
Thanks Med. I summarize myself, even if it means repeating myself:
1) You are no different from the others: you are like the others!
2) Instead of imitating what you think others are, don't be afraid to be yourself! Don't shut up because you fear the reaction of others. On the other hand, if you really have nothing to say, then shut up! (Don't listen to your voice if it tells you that you "absolutely" have to speak). Listen to other people's conversation, and if you have questions, ask them; if you have something to say, you feel that you are not off-topic, and you do not shock anybody, then forward! Frankly say your opinion!
3) If you admit to people you don't know that you're a little shy, they won't laugh at you! On the contrary, they will show you empathy!
Shyness is as stupid as that!