Brave: A Memoir of Overcoming Shyness by Helen Rivas-Rose
“Shyness is the awkwardness or apprehension some people feel when approaching or getting approached by other people.” What this Psychology Today definition does not include is how socially crippling shyness can be, and how it is self-propagating. Shyness is one of many forms of social anxiety, and those suffering from it often curse themselves for a lifetime of missed opportunities.
In her new book Brave, Helen Rivas-Rose shares her own challenges overcoming shyness. She evolved from being painfully demoralized to “a life of empowered self-confidence.” Rivas-Rose tells an inspiring tale of a child who was inhibited by overwhelming shyness to an adult who finally overcame what some people describe as “a mental disorder” and others call “a personality quirk.” Her story puts to rest the idea that—to overcome shyness—one need only spend more time with people.
Rivas-Rose gave English lessons in Spain, taught school and adult ed in Calgary, operated a medicinal herb store in Lisbon, and prepared income taxes and directed a gallery in Maine. All of these jobs brought her into contact with people—all kinds of people. Her most difficult task, though, was endeavoring to overcome the emotional and social paralysis of shyness.
Readers will be inspired by Rivas-Rose’s experiences as she overcame her worst handicap, and began enjoying and then happily anticipating social interactions. Her mission, in writing Brave, is to help others overcome shyness and enable them to enjoy their lives to the fullest.