Is shyness and social anxiety disorder an evolutionary trait that cannot really be cured? This is a really interesting article. The monkey experiment – where the risk-taking extroverted monkeys got hit by a truck when they escaped through a hole in their enclosure vs. the shy, inhibited introverted monkeys who stayed behind in the enclosure and remained alive… was really striking to me. I think the introverted shy monkeys were lucky. They acted under the guise of staying in the “known” because what’s “known” cannot possibly be as harmful as the unknown. But in reality, nothing in life is certain. Even the “known” can throw a curveball at our underlying assumptions and prove that our underlying assertions were misguided all along.
Shyness is a misunderstanding of life itself. Shyness proceeds from the idea that life can be predictable and that outcomes can be controlled by oneself alone. The reality is it can’t. Things happen when people act en masse, group together and work together to make things happen. No matter how hard it is to work together when everyone is ultimately an individual at the end of the day, and no one can truly understand or get into the mind of another.
Unfortunately some people only realise the potency of this too late. After they have frittered away the prime of their lives living under an illusional shield that they have constructed for themselves.
It is hard living as a shy person. Even harder to be brave and to step out of one’s fears and meet life’s unpredictable challenges with the heart of a lion.