Shrinking Violets: A Field Guide to Shyness

Shrinking Violets A Field Guide to Shyness Our success as a species is built on sociability so shyness in humans should be an anomaly But it s actually remarkably common we all know what it s like to cringe in embarrassment stand tongue tied

  • Title: Shrinking Violets: A Field Guide to Shyness
  • Author: Joe Moran
  • ISBN: 9781781252635
  • Page: 328
  • Format: None
  • Our success as a species is built on sociability, so shyness in humans should be an anomaly But it s actually remarkably common we all know what it s like to cringe in embarrassment, stand tongue tied at the fringe of an unfamiliar group, or flush with humiliation if we suddenly become the unwelcome centre of attention In Shrinking Violets, Joe Moran explores the hiddeOur success as a species is built on sociability, so shyness in humans should be an anomaly But it s actually remarkably common we all know what it s like to cringe in embarrassment, stand tongue tied at the fringe of an unfamiliar group, or flush with humiliation if we suddenly become the unwelcome centre of attention In Shrinking Violets, Joe Moran explores the hidden world of shyness, providing insights on everything from timidity in lemon sharks to the role of texting in Finnish love affairs As he seeks answers to the questions that shyness poses Why are we shy Can we overcome it Does it define us he uncovers the fascinating stories of the men and women who were of the violet persuasion , from Charles Darwin to Agatha Christie, and from Tove Jansson to Nick Drake In their stories often both heart breaking and inspiring and through the myriad ways scientists and thinkers have tried to explain and cure shyness, Moran finds a hopeful conclusion To be shy, he decides, is not simply a burden it is also a gift, a different way of seeing the world that can be both enriching and inspiring.

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      Published :2018-09-03T23:21:08+00:00

    1 thought on “Shrinking Violets: A Field Guide to Shyness”

    1. "I am the son and the heir/Of a shyness that is criminally vulgar"Being a shy person myself, I was drawn to the subject of this book. In an entertaining study, Joe Moran traces the origins of shyness throughout history, an issue which has afflicted a surprising number of high-achieving cultural figures. He doesn't try to solve the problem of being shy, but his stories of people who are "interestingly and idiosyncratically shy" make it a comforting read for anyone who suffers from the condition.S [...]

    2. Moran’s book is “a field guide, a collective biography and a necessarily elliptical history of the shy”. It’s something of a wander through a series of lives lived with that “multilayered and unsummarisable condition”, “the sense of an emotional life both bottled up and brimming over”, and takes in a wide variety of people, from English nobles (one of whom built a whole series of tunnels beneath his estates so he could go for walks without the fear of encountering anyone), army g [...]

    3. I’m a little disappointed in this book. It’s full of anecdotes and observations but I don’t feel I’m any further forward in understanding what shyness is. The vignettes chosen by the author seem to conflate introversion, social anxiety, autism, mental illness, rebellion and plain eccentricity. He says that we can all be shy in different contexts but focuses on ‘shy’ individuals or groups. He touches briefly on cultural aspects of shyness, how in some societies it is seen as positive [...]

    4. From BBC Radio 4 - Book of the Week:Joe Moran has spent his life trying to get to grips with his shyness. In this Field Guide to Shyness, he explores the hidden world of reticence, navigating the myriad ways scientists and thinkers have tried to explain and cure shyness, and uncovering the fascinating stories of the men and women who were 'of the violet persuasion'."It feels like coming late to a party when everyone else is about three beers in and entering that state that allows them to have fl [...]

    5. The Case for ShynessJoe Moran’s book Shrinking Violets is a sweeping history that doubles as a (quiet) defense of timidity: theatlantic/entertain

    6. I really enjoyed this. Informative and easy to read from the outset. Inspiring and reassuring to know that others have suffered and suffer with shyness in ways similar or far more extreme have I have in my life. Really good to have included a mixed bag of real life shyness sufferers too, from Lowry to Morrissey to Bobby Charlton. A perfect companion to Susan Cain's Quiet.

    7. Very strange route into 'shyness', being mostly a look at a small sample of people who were mostly relatively famous and/or wealthy, almost all writers, and almost all male. What's more, pretty much all of them were suffering from a shyness so marked that even the most wary of the careless medicalisation personality traits would have them off down the chemist for a quarter-pound of diazepam. I think I'd have preferred a treatment closer to that which one of the subjects here, Oliver Sacks, might [...]

    8. The subtitle of the edition I read was "A field guide to shyness" which describes this book well. Aspects of shyness covered include stage fright and embarrassment. The stories of famous shy people such as Bobby Charlton, Charles de Gaulle and Charles Schultz are fascinating. The author is obviously a Morrissey fan as the section on him is particularly well written, and he outs himself as a shy person. Worth a read whether you count yourself as shy or not.

    9. Less about shyness than about people who were shy throughout their lives - but I found it fascinating anyway. Would have enjoyed a little more about the pathology and origin of shyness, though

    10. It's hard to know how to rate this book, stars or shelves. There are moments of insight and pages of turgidity, for this shy reader, anyway.What's it about. Well, Jo Moran is an English academic who admits to being shy, something he never really clearly defines, which leads to both trouble and also raises queries about the category. His method is to mix some personal revelations about his difficulties in this area, some of which I share (which was very helpful) and others I do not, and provide t [...]

    11. This is a lovely book; much like it's subject matter, it's unassuming and shows hidden depths. It can be really tempting to take something that personally impacts you (as shyness does the author) and make something that aims to spin or justify or exaggerate (I'm looking at you Susan Cain and your book on introverts). This isn't the case here, instead the author delves into the history of shyness (which is very absorbing!), case studies of famous shy people and the push against shyness. I liked t [...]

    12. I found this book very insightful. I am a shy individual at heart and really have to force myself to fit into an extrovert world. It's exhausting some days and it's always nice to return home when I can relax and not interact with others! Its not that I don't like others, it's just hard to be on all the time. Loved all the stories and theories, they were interesting! Anyone one who is shy, or knows someone who is ought to read this book to better understand themselves or others. Greta book! Easy [...]

    13. Does what it says on the tin – a cultural contextualisation of shyness. Skews very much to the English speaking world (given the very eclectic nature of the book, this stands out) but nonetheless very interesting. The author's idiosyncratic approach to the subject helps. Very much an anti-self help book (which is refreshing in itself: I'm getting fed up of sweeping sociological studies that claim to be able to change the world) but even so strangely reassuring. It is very easy to get lost in t [...]

    14. Was looking for another "Quiet" but this was more an examination of different aspects of shyness such as stage fright, shy artists through accounts of different historical figures. Some readily known such as Agatha Christie and Morrisey, and some less. Not much in the way of science and the author would occasionally interject their own opinions or experience which I felt like interrupted the flow a bit but otherwise an OK read.

    15. I was bored to tears at times reading this book, it just didn't capture my attention at all. Only reason it got 2 stars is because of the first chapter, where some of the authors personal experiences were highly relatable for me, so I thought it might help me find more answers and information. I was wrong.

    16. I just found itring. And dry. Just unengaging. I was jazzed by the title and hoped it would be more of a memoir of sorts. (It proclaims to be a field guide, so I should've known going in it wouldn't be a memoir.)

    17. Shrinking Violets: The Secret Life of Shyness by Joe Moran is a free NetGalley ebook that I read in late December, not long before Christmas.Moran acknowledges his own shyness, while viewing it as a positive, rather than as a character flaw, a continuum of confounding self-imposed solitude, or a fear of excessive emotionality. People who experience shyness (i.e. Agatha Christie, Oliver Sacks, Morrissey) may pursue a hobby, an unlikely career path, or a way of filtering the ill effects of shyness [...]

    18. Because this is presented as a collection of shy lives, detailing case by case how so many great thinkers suffered with fear of social embarrassment, it had an interesting effect on me. I started out feeling reassured that it was a common factor in so many lives, and ended up feeling despondent that none of them really overcame it. Each struggle against loneliness and embarrassment stands separately, and lasts a lifetime. Then the author goes on to the next person, and the next, and the next It' [...]

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