on shyness

I am what you’d describe as a shy guy, scared of talking to pretty girls.

Sounds innocuous, even charming. But here’s what’s wrong with that:

Shyness means I don’t want to talk to a pretty girl for fear of looking bad in front of her – I think I speak for nine out of ten guys who suffer from shyness (and in fact the Cantonese/Mandarin words for ‘shy’ are rendered 怕羞 and 害羞 respectively, both of which approximately mean ‘afraid of shame’) – but is this not simply pride and self-importance?

When I refuse to talk to a girl simply because she’s pretty I am judging and defining her by her appearance; that’s wrong already in the sense of favouritism and partiality. But also the fact that I’m not trying to know her as a person, just defining her by a pretty face or large breasts.


Jesus was humble in reaching out to love us first. (Phil 2:6-8)
Jesus loved us when we were enemies, and loves us still when we are unlovable. (Rom 5:8-10)
Jesus looks at what’s inside not at what’s outside. (1 Sam 16:7)

I wonder if shyness really is more than just an unfortunate idiosyncrasy.

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