Today I regot and enriched an insight I once got. I talked to my brother about fear. (We were talking about social fear, so shyness and stuff.) He said I should resist it, get over it. But than I said fear must have it’s use. We don’t have it for nothing. Maybe shyness has it’s advantages. If we are shy, we are less likely to get hurt. ‘Get hurt, how?’ he asked. I couldn’t grasp the answer tot that question.
I thought of the insight again a time when I saw a few young kids outside on the street. I felt how I, someone much older and much more developed, had the power to damage/influence/manipulate them psychologicaly. These young ones were vulnerable to psychological damage or manipulation by adults. It’s good for them to be shy in front of (unknown) adults; it’s a way to stay out of the latter’s range. (I’ve been shy in front of adults myself during childhood; maybe the reason was this, to protect myself from bad influences.)
Today we, our family, had some 16 year olds (who are pretty much unfamiliar with us) for dinner. They didn’t say much at the table, they seemed a bit shy. I wondered why, and I thought about this idea again: to protect themselves psychologicaly. Despite their age, I felt they were vulnerable in front of for example a 22 year old like me. (For example, they act cool and stuff and I could see them as kids; my gaze could hit their ‘cover’.) Than I thought of me not being shy anymore as I used to. I’ve got another hypothesis of why this is, but I suddenly saw a new solution to the puzzle: I, now 22 AND having built up a ‘psychological armor’ and sufficient confidence tot take psychological blows, do not have such a need for shyness anymore. When you grow older, eventually you are psychological grown up and strong enough to shed some of the shyness.
I wanted to write this insight down like this, lest I forget. And also so you can process it too.
PS: maybe shy teenagers can have peace with their shyness with above idea in mind. They can embrace their natural ways, knowing everything has it’s advantage and seeing the possibility their fear will diminish in the future.