Sian Prior

How I learned to live with my shyness

As a child, Sian Prior would sweat with fear while waiting for her turn to talk in class, and has grappled with shyness throughout her life. Now, having written a book on the subject, she argues that rather than trying to tame this trait, we need to understand how to work with it

How I learned to live with my shyness

Come as you are, leave as you want to be!” shouts the billboard outside the local grammar school. It sounds great, but it’s a false promise.

No school – and no individual teacher – can fundamentally reshape a student’s inherited personality. Different temperament traits can impact on students’ behaviour and learning styles. And, when it comes to shyness in the classroom, I have experienced the downsides first hand.

Shyness has afflicted me throughout my life. I was a timid young child, but my fears became more acute and distressing in my teenage years. At secondary school, I felt lonely ...

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