Society tells that us that being shy is a fault, but Annie Ridout says it’s a gift.
"A reassuringly relatable read for any of us who have ever felt lacking in confidence, and a practical and galvanising guide to helping you harness the power of shyness, particularly in an increasingly digital world" - Grazia
Out now in paperback
Shy: How being quiet can lead to success teaches us how to embrace this misjudged attribute, instead of trying to fix it…
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As featured in
Did you know that Beyonce is shy? Elton John is shy, too. Nicole Kidman, Greta Thunberg, Richard Branson...
Most of us have some understanding of shyness. From birthday parties as children to office Christmas parties as adults, from an old friend’s wedding to a group presentation, we’ve all experienced it in some form or other. Shyness may be ever-present or it may come and go.
Partly genetic, partly environmental, shyness is largely viewed as a character flaw, something that needs to change, but why is no-one talking about the benefits of being shy? For example, shyness usually equates to being an excellent listener, considerate speaker and thoughtful observer.
And in terms of whether shyness will hold you back? Well, just look at the list above of all those incredibly successful people (Beyonce, Elton John etc) who are shy. They've done ok, haven't they? Perhaps it's because of their shyness, rather than in spite of it.
Interweaving personal experience with expertise from clinical psychologists, Annie explores why shyness affects some more than others, and offers tried-and-tested tools to help the reader deal with elements of shyness that can feel debilitating. Shy recasts our understanding of this often-misunderstood attribute, celebrating it as a pathway rather than a barrier to success and happiness.
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I'm Annie Ridout, the author of Shy.
(I'm also a journalist for the Guardian, Grazia, Telegraph, Forbes, founder of women's online business platform The Robora, author of bestseller The Freelance Mum and a viral poet).
I wrote Shy because I was shy as a child and always felt ashamed about it.
I was quiet, I blushed and people kept telling me to speak up.
So I thought I needed to change.
To be louder and more outgoing.
But as I started researching my book, and dived into huge studies on shyness, I realised two things:
- I'm still shy.
- Shyness isn't a fault; it's an attribute.
Like introversion and sensitivity, shyness is just part of us.
We're born with it.
And it has advantages.
Shyness made me become a writer.
A good listener, too (I'm a qualified coach).
It has helped me to form strong and lasting relationships.
And to be a more understanding mother to my children.
Now, I'm showing others why - and how - they should embrace their shyness.
I share my own story, snippets of the amazing research done in this field, interviews with psychologists and psychotherapists and personal stories from other shy, and hugely successful, people.
If you're shy - you'll find solace in my book.
And if you're not shy but know someone else who is, it will help you to better understand them.
Let's change the face of shyness.
Shy and proud!