In praise of shyness  APR 06 2010

James Parker's call to the shys: be bold and embrace your shyness.

And let's not confuse shyness with modesty or humility. Charles Darwin, who was very interested in shyness, correctly diagnosed it as a form of "self-attention" -- a preoccupation with self. How do I fit in here? What do they think of me? It's not always virtuous to sit on one's personality and refuse to share it.

I don't have it in front of me right now, but I read David Lipsky's Although Of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself a few weeks ago (more on that in an upcoming post, I hope) and IIRC, during his sprawling conversation with David Foster Wallace, Wallace discussed the self-absorption of shyness: in unfamiliar or uncomfortable social situations, the introvert is always thinking of the me. (via fimoculous)

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