DEAR SUSAN: OK, so there are shy men and shy women — and not-so-shy men and not-so-shy women. Why should shyness be seen as something bad, something that needs correcting? Shyness isn't always bad; assertiveness isn't always good. We're just trying to be ourselves in a world that demands conformity. And, Susan, please don't promote women behaving like men — or anything they are not. Let's try to believe in a way forward that honors everyone, allows for differences and promotes individuality. Isn't it possible for a shy man and a shy woman to share an amazing togetherness?
DEAR READER: Yes, yes and YES! It's entirely possible that two shy buttercups can remain shy and still find ways of relating that create an amazing depth of togetherness. But — you probably sensed this was coming — that holds true only if both of them understand and acknowledge each other's shyness and resolve to continue and deepen the feelings between them. That depth of emotional maturity requires a pair of highly sensitive and understanding souls, and in this hurry-up world, the odds they will find each other are extremely small.
And here it must be said that only if your shyness limits your life and keeps you uncomfortably silent in social situations am I suggesting self-improvement.
So it seems to me that when your shyness is curtailing your life — socially and in other ways — it might be time to use strategies before you need them, ploys to stem a wave of bashfulness. In no way do I demonize shyness. But when it limits your life, it might just be time to do something about it.
DEAR READERS: The Pew Research Center recently reported that in this country, the median age at first marriage is the highest it has ever been — 27 for women and 29 for men. You must know by now I have all sorts of comments on that tasty morsel, which I will save for another day — soon. I'd love to know your thoughts on the subject! When you feel the urge, email me.
Have a question for Susan? You can reach her directly at [email protected]