Shy? Well think about this: Tips to Stay Strong

Are you shy? Think for a minute about these quotes. Why? Because shyness urges you to hide even when you have nothing to hide.


I am shy in small crowds meeting for chit-chat. Cannot stand cocktail parties. But when I appeared on Oprah I do not remember being nervous at all. Curious,?  What made the difference? For Oprah,  I felt I had information that would help other people. That helped me over-ride my innate shyness.  


Letting shyness rule you keeps you from enjoying all the good life can offer.  Shyness also partners with shame and then both boss you far too much. Mostly by urging you to hide.

Tip One: Ask yourself what you are hiding. Here’s a personal example. Once as a teen and at a party, I suddenly discovered the fly on my Lee jeans was open. I panicked and immediately fled the party.

What was I hiding? The thought that people would think my boyfriend and I had been doing something sexy.  We hadn’t, not that night. Moreover, most of my friends would either not have cared, or been happy for us.

Shy people rarely do something shameful.  Predators who do shameful stuff are not shy or they could not prey on people.  So in attacking shyness, and you are not doing anything shameful, do the opposite of what you are afraid of doing.

Tip Two: Tackle shyness in small steps. An easy one is to smile and say hello to strangers passing by on the street (during daytime and with others around). Next step, instead of just saying hello, look for something to compliment a stranger walking by you on the street. Then try complimenting someone waiting on you in a store or restaurant. Finally, get out to a party with both friends and strangers. Smile, say hello, and compliment, at least, three strangers. .

Tip Three:  learn to laugh at yourself. With a bit of help from a publicist, I used humor about towering over  Oprah  to laugh at myself. Doing so became a useful bit of publicity.


Shyness is a temperament trait and gets passed along through genes. That probably means you or your mate are shy.  The good news is that it can be moderated if not completely overcome.

Tip One: If you are shy and have not  overcome, work on that. Stop hiding who you are, what you feel, and how you think.

Tip Two: The younger your child the less you should worry. 

Tip Three:  Expose the child to lots of different social events as soon as s/he can walk but be there to comfort if the child feels unsafe..

Tip Four: At the age of four or five, start actively  helping a child deal with shyness. Be pushy and make your child get out and about. Model my  mother’s constant refrain when I didn’t want to do something, “Nothing ventured, nothing gain.

A first good step is to teach him or her  how to shake hands and respond properly when introduced to an adult.

Tip Five: Build confidence in other areas. I was confident in my ability to offer troubled parents solid advice when I went of Oprah as I had survived and often thrived when caring for my many foster children.

If you want to see my opening and closing act on Oprah, here it is. 


Thank you for all you do.  Thank me by remembering sharing is caring; so is liking, or commenting. Your caring keeps me going.



This post was inspired by this WordPress Daily Prompt;  Naked with Black Socks. Are you comfortable in front of people, or does the idea of public speaking make you want to hide in the bathroom? Why?

I think the post answered it? Do you agree? Have you conquered public speaking? If so, share some tips in the comments.


These links are for those not familiar with Emotional Intelligence or the idea of Emotional Fitness.

Easy Emotional Fitness Exercises (
The five components of Emotional Intelligence ( Intelligence ( Fitness Tips for Parents  (
An Emotional Fitness Program for Parents(




  1. Hi Katherine, Your video echoed such personal confidence. I believe you that helping others can overcome shyness.

    I also think behind shyness lurks anxiety. And one more thought, believing one must hide imperfections can boost both shyness and anxiety.

    Your prescriptions for shyness hit the bulls eye.

  2. To hook up with someone in active addiction is inviting horror. Even a person in full recovery walks a minefield each day. A person in active addiction cannot be in this case a father, a son, a brother or a mate. It cannot be done. If the young lady gets burned at least she is young enough to have yet her whole life ahead of her. Often we need to be well seasoned with unpleasantness before we settle upon a worthy mate. Unfortunately an addict/alcoholic(same thing) should not contaminate the lives of others but they can’t see their own toxicity for others. Hope these two get wise before the decades pass. Naturally the parents see where this may lead but perhaps let their daughter earn her own scars and be there for her when needed. I know what I am talking about. One cannot do relationship and recovery. After 35 years active addiction will have 14 years clean and sober March 3.

    • I don’t remember if what I said during the entire interview and too weary to watch. But you are right on and I know that at some point, I think my advice agreed with yours. Wish I had been able to keep in touch with the family and the kids. I come from a long line of addicts but, am the caretaker side of the picture. Congratulations on 35 years. I gave up smoking 40 years ago, was up to two packs a day. Went Cold Turkey on Newsday after my marriage. Still feel the urge, but know cannot take a puff. Thank you for commenting.

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