I just have a slight objection to posts like this, at Anne R Allen’s blog — a blog I like quite a bit, generally — Introverted Authors in Public: 4 Tips For Overcoming Your Fear of Being Seen
I strongly prefer the definition of introversion which includes:
— Interacting with people, especially with large groups of people you don’t know very well, is tiring.
— The desire to join in large-group activities is minimal to nonexistent.
— You have a general preference for privacy and a tendency to prefer activities that are done alone.
This doesn’t include shyness. I think there is a big, actually quite huge difference between shyness and introversion. I say that as someone who was both quite shy and very introverted, and later became much less shy while remaining very introverted.
I’m not worried about public speaking. I enjoy it. I’m fine with being on a panel at a convention. I’m fine being up front alone in front of a crowd. Obviously it depends on the topic, but I’m very confident of my ability to deliver a lecture about the process of photosynthesis at the undergrad level, explain basic genetics, demonstrate tube-feeding a neonatal puppy, or discuss the concept of a “character-driven” novel and the idea of being a “character-first” author. Nothing about that is at all alarming to me.
I don’t like going to a party with a lot of people I don’t know. That’s not particularly stressful, but it’s tiring and not very pleasant. If I get into a nice conversation with one specific person at the party, whether I know them or not, that’s much more enjoyable and also a lot less tiring. I guess I would say I can rest during that conversation and feel much more able to handle the large party setting later. But it’s easy for me to go to a convention, while it’s hard for me to attend a party at that convention.
I think this is introversion rather than shyness. It’s not fear-based. Therefore, headings like: How introverted authors can overcome their fears” seem wrongheaded to me.
Also, equating introversion with shyness and fear incorrectly treats introversion as a type of pathology. It is not. It is a perfectly valid personality style, despite the modern assumption that Extroverts Are Better.
Anyway, if someone is SHY and wants to overcome that problem to some reasonable degree, then sure, the linked post may offer useful tips. I guess.
None of those suggested tips has anything to do with how I personally got a lot less shy, by the way. If someone out there has a kid who is struggling with shyness AND likes pets, well, getting a puppy is what worked for me. I went from “too shy to speak to strangers” to “offended if that stranger doesn’t tell me how cute my dog is and asks can he pet my dog” in nothing flat. Interacting with people around dogs was much easier than in any other context I’d ever encountered, and joining a dog training club and volunteering at the local shelter and so on rapidly followed. If I’d known how getting a puppy would change the feel of personal interactions, I’d have gotten one earlier in my life — though it’s a lot easier to deal with a puppy as an adult than as a child, so there’s that.