Is shyness a virtue?


PSYCHOLOGY – Clumsy, shy, fearful… but also (especially?) thoughtful, sensitive, modest, tactful. What if being shy was a quality?

At a time when it is fashionable to speak loud and clear, in a society where confidence seems to determine presence, shyness is not popular and its victims would be fine without it. The shy would like so much to give their opinion or reply, to meet or go out, to take a decision or a risk. But they don’t succeed. “Lacking boldness but not desire, unlike introverts who often appreciate solitude, they stand back from social interactions, despite their desire to reach out to others”confirms Gérard Macqueron, psychiatrist and author of Shyness ; How to overcome it (Odile Jacob). The very etymology of the word, a derivative of the Latin “timere” which means “to fear”, speaks of this paralyzing fear that holds them back. “They fear not being up to the task, saying something stupid, being judged, disturbing, giving a bad image. And take refuge in the reserve. Especially since, when by chance they come out of it, they become uncomfortable…

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