In Defense of Shyness

James Parker makes the case that shyness is nothing to run from, but rather embraced:

Nonetheless, there is much to celebrate in shyness. It has cunning, to begin with. Entering a room, it situates itself immediately in a hierarchy of social unease — this person is less shy than me, that person more so — and goes to work. And as a psychic state it is almost pure information: Talking to a very shy person, you feel yourself to be inside his or her electrical field, close-up in a way that the un-shy man, jawing on obliviously about his trip to Six Flags, would never permit. As for one’s own shyness, the shyness within, it is something to be endlessly tested and negotiated with. Should you attempt to hurdle it, and enter the situation full-bloodedly? Or is now the moment to heed its counsels and fall back? There’s an element of the existential in shyness. At the very least, if you’re shy, you’re never bored.

And right now, shyness is countercultural.

I find shy people, or coyness, much more interesting.  In that the bubble to know them takes longer and is more intimate.  Which is to say, that’s how I view myself.  Of course, most of the people I gravitate towards are of the opposite spectrum — the loud-mouthed raconteurs.  [via]

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