Overcoming timidity

Think of timidity. Do small animals come to mind? Perhaps very young children? Maybe even an occasional adult who is shy about meeting others or trying anything new? Timidity appears to be a guileless and sometimes rather charming trait that induces sympathy, reassurance, and abundant pats on the head.

When a friend suggested that timidity might indicate hostility, I almost dismissed the thought. After all, what could be hostile about the timid, who aren't out to hurt others but are simply afraid of being hurt themselves? One dictionary definition of "hostility" surprised me: "resistance in thought or principle." The timid certainly seem to do a lot of resisting. Resisting what? Not just a new experience, apparently, but the condescension or irritation they fear they may encounter. I had to admit that an attitude that expects negative reactions from others could surely be called hostile.

Eradicating amoral evil
February 7, 1983

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