Are you shy? Is your shyness getting in the way of your connection with others?

Have you struggled with being a shy person?

Lily asks:

“I try hard to overcome my shyness and reluctance to stand out, speak up and shine. It’s a daily struggle for me. I make small progress, but can be easily derailed by a forceful personality. I know this comes from my overbearing, controlling father and meek mother. I want to shed the old hurts and stop being so timid. What do you suggest?”

Lily, there are two different issues that I want to address.

First, I suggest that you read the book “Quiet,” by Susan Cain. It’s very possible that you are an introvert and not valuing this about yourself. Since, in our culture, less than 20% of the population are introverts, it’s easy to think there is something wrong with you for being quiet.

Introverts are often naturally shy, and this may be the case for you. If you are an introvert, the book will be a huge help to you in learning to value the many gifts of introversion. It’s also possible that you are a highly sensitive person, and you might want to read “The Highly Sensitive Person,” by Elaine Aron.

The other issue is about what you said regarding having an overbearing, controlling father and a meek mother. You likely do have hurts from this that need to be healed. But they don’t get healed by judging your shyness as wrong. These hurts cannot just be shed. You need to embrace the hurts with deep caring, kindness and compassion.

You were alone and scared in the face of your father’s behavior because your mother didn’t speak up and protect you. You had no role modeling for staying strong and true to yourself in the face of forceful personalities like your father.

You need to tune into what you feel and what you are telling yourself that causes you to be easily derailed by a forceful personality. You likely have some false beliefs regarding being able to hold your own with more extroverted people. Given that your father was so controlling, you may be trying to avoid being controlled by shutting down.

I am also a very shy person, but I know that this is part of my nature rather than something I learned from either of my parents or in my environment. I was a very shy little girl and I’m still shy, but I’ve learned to authentically speak my truth, even around very forceful people.

However, it’s not my shy child who has this job of speaking up for myself – it’s my loving Adult in connection with my spiritual Guidance.

For me, this is the key. When I’m open and allowing my Guidance to speak through me, the shyness goes away and the words and personal power flow.

Lily, I encourage you to practice telling your shy little girl that she doesn’t have to be anything other than the shy and timid little girl she is. I encourage you to practice putting your loving Adult in charge of interactions with others, rather than your little girl. When you can let go of trying to control how others feel about you and how they act, and instead focus on what is loving to your sweet little girl, you will find the courage to stand out, speak up and shine. You will find the power to speak your truth, which is what will let your little girl know that she is very okay exactly as she is.

My little girl will always be shy, and that just fine with me – as long as I, as a loving Adult, am the one in charge.

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Margaret Paul, Ph.D. is a best-selling author of 8 books, relationship expert, and co-creator of the powerful Inner Bonding® process – featured on Oprah, and recommended by actress Lindsay Wagner and singer Alanis Morissette. Are you are ready to heal your pain and discover your joy? Click here for a FREE Inner Bonding course: and visit our website at for more articles and help. Phone and Skype Sessions Available. Join the thousands we have already helped and visit us now!


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