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My Shyness

“To be or not to be”

Yes the eternal question, should I be or should I not be, an actor? Well let’s face it I have a face built for radio and nowt else, but I have always felt I have a knack for story-telling and there is maybe no better place for that than the stage. But this is something I have never done before and there are reasons for that too.

A lot of the people who know me will tell you that I am a confident person, loud, cheeky, and a big personality, what most will never tell you is that I am shy. But this is one of the things about me that I have kept really hidden, and hidden well, for many years. I have always worked in positions whereby I have had to front it, or be on-stage, and that has meant I have been able to hide behind a self-built persona in those environments. But that has also heightened my shyness as the two parts of my personality move further apart.

Dealing with shyness has always been a real issue for me, I know where it started, I know exactly the pain it caused me, I remember the difficult moments and I will never forget the total embarrassments. I remember the time I said to myself that I needed another dimension to who I am to allow me to conquer, or at least control, my issue with being naturally shy.

Being shy in itself is not a bad thing, but the extreme degree of mine was always going to be a real challenge. Mine is described as a mix of two levels of shyness syndrome:

  • Privately Shy -- Possesses an On-Stage personality in social situations
  • Pleasantly Shy -- Relates socially and personally, yet is still inhibited

The afore mentioned “on-stage personality” is what most of my friends and acquaintances have only ever seen, even my family and those closest to me, tend to get that part of me in the most part, but underneath the difficulty and challenge of my shyness is always there. My shyness has affected me in copious ways, it has done harm to my friendships, relationships, career, and just about every aspect of my life, but because my issue is shyness I have been too shy to tell anyone. And my alter-ego or other side is far to confident to admit to such a thing, that therefore means that sometimes people simply cannot understand my actions or choices as they are not aware of all the facts.

Below is some doctors points about shyness syndrome, I found it on the internet recently and it was that which prompted me to come out, “I am shy, and dam proud of it!”, and I say that because for me the time has come for me to be much more me and truer to who I really am. I feel the balance in my personalities has tipped to far the other way and natural Paul is disappearing.

You see for me the difficulties of being shy manifest themselves in various ways, little things like asking for directions when I am lost, bigger things like dealing with conflict, nicer things like personal relationships, difficult and painful things like friendships and embarrassments like, well maybe that’s a bit far for me to publish online but I am sure you get my drift. This is something I have had to live with for over 30 years, it has become easier to hide as that other aspect of Paul Kavanagh has grown, but while it grew, so did the shyness bug inside me. So much of my stranger choices in my life can be explained by my shyness and so many turnings in my life have been impacted by it and that does make me really wonder just what I may have become either without it, or, if I had faced up to it sooner. Equally, in a more positive viewpoint, would I have missed out on so many of the things I did do, thanks to my other side, if I had changed or altered  myself sooner. I guess I will never know, and I guess it does not really matter, for I am what I am and what I am I am proud of. And I know as I enter the second half of my life that who I am will, and can, only become a nicer person.  

So one of the points on the list below, and also kind of utilizing the “on-stage” aspect of me, is a suggestion to help me deal with this, is to look for theatre or drama groups, where improv and performance can help support the impacts of shyness and  guess I may have found a new hobby or at least a possible new hobby and treatment. So to be, or not to be.... well the answer to that is simple, it’s time to be and to move forward.

  • Shyness is similar to the Avoidant Personality and is a lifelong pattern of behavior pattern characterized by
  • 10% of the population has the Behaviour Inhibition Gene (BIG.) It causes serotonin deficiency in certain brain
    centers that control behavioural areas dealing with emotional sensitivity.
  • Shys have severe feelings of self-consciousness in social situations
  • Shys worry constantly about small issues, especially where they perceive they have made mistakes. They
    have 20 or 30 thoughts for every thought that a Non-Shy will have, e.g. the hurts, the loves, the hates, the ins,
    the outs, the ups, the downs, the lusts, the everythings. They obsessively "Count the Angels Dancing on the
    Head Of A Pin."
  • Shys can either be PUBLICLY SHY or PRIVATELY SHY.
  • Shys make excuses and rationalize their behavior so as to avoid the pain of accepting the pain of criticism by
    others. Their inertia doesn't allow them to "turn on a dime" their position.
  • Shys "Walk rather than Talk." They move less in class and dread getting up in front of the class to recite.
  • Shys are quilt and shame ridden for real or imagined wrongs or mis-steps they have committed.
  • Shys resist change and are driven by INERTIA. They keep doing the same inefficient faulty behavior
    because they don't like change. They have a stubborn streak.
  • Shys develop quirky habits to relieve emotional pain. These quirky traits can become pathological and
    mental or emotional conditions.
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
  • Sexual Paraphilias and Perversions
  • Alcoholism and Drug Abuse and Addiction
  • Gambling and other Addictions
  • Sneakiness and inclinations toward Kleptomania
  • Shys have an "ON STAGE" personality that allows them to "shine" when they have control are in charge or
    when they are on the "high ground."
  • Shys are often misunderstood and are often thought to be "moody," "quirky," "cold," "distant," "stuck
    up," "selfish," "neurotic," "odd," "aloof," "poised," -- and worse!
  • There are several degrees of shyness. They include:
  • Love Shy -- Virginal; No personal interaction
  • Painfully Shy -- Interacts little, but it is extremely difficult
  • Privately Shy -- Possesses an On-Stage personality in social situations
  • Publicly Shy -- Quiet in social situations, relates better one-on-one
  • Pleasantly Shy -- Relates socially and personally, yet is still inhibited
  • Debilitatingly Shy -- Cannot function in the world of people.
  • Miserably Shy -- Morbidly unhappy and depressed over loneliness. May seek psychiatric help for the
  • Depression. Anti-depressants, especially Serotonin restorers, will help.
  • Wallfower Shy -- Publicly shy person who looks and acts shy.
  • Work Shy -- Has a difficult adjustment to the workplace because of shyness.
  • Shyness Therapy Includes Several Approaches. They Include:
  • Reading Shyness oriented Self-Help Books
  • Medicines such as Prozac that restore Serotonin (the culprit neurotransmitter that is low in some brain
    centers of the shy person with BIG.)
  • Joining clubs and learning skills to build self-confidence and self-esteem.
  • Getting out of your Comfort Zone and "doing what you don't want to do; and don't do what your do
    want to do." (Thus, Breaking Old Bad Habits and Replacing them with New Good Habits.)
  • Find Therapy Groups of Shys and do: Practice Dating; Improvisational Theater; Behavior Modification
  • Approaches with Self-Improvement
  • Commit yourself to a life of acquiring and obtaining many accomplishments -- they are the building
    blocks of Self-Confidence Panic and Generalized Anxiety Disorders
  • Diplomas
  • Certifications
  • Heroic and Charitable Actions
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