Friday, January 14, 2011

Are you shy? How to learn not to care what people think about you or something like that.

Bob Parsons almost flunked out of high school, joined the Marines and was wounded in Vietnam. Then he taught himself how to program computers and started a bookkeeping software company which he sold to Intuit in 1994 for $64 million dollars. Then he started a company called and, in addition to trying to sell you domain names, he tries to explain how to rise above the herd in your own life. This on his video blog on the GoDaddy webdsite.

Bob says he was shy, but learned to overcome it little by little. This is how he says to do it.

Me? I just like the Boots Randolph-Benny Hill girl-chasing music.


  1. I've never understood, what's so wrong about being shy?

  2. I used to be shy.
    I couldn't watch Bob whatsisname's video, it was too adhd, too much like TV aimed at toddlers.
    My shyness largely evaporated when I discovered I was quite good at public speaking. We were plucked out of the crowd at random, had to stand up in front of a full theatre of people, and speak for five minutes on whatever subject was handed to us. Unprepared, with no notes.
    I discovered I could do it, and get a few laughs too, whilst other people I'd always seen as more confident, more popular, alpha types, crumbled in red faced, bladder-clenching fear.

    The big step is to realise that everyone's an idiot at something.

    But not everyone worries about it.

  3. I know nothing of your Mr Parsons, nor Go daddy, nor intuit. I'd vaguely heard of Danica Patrick, but over here, Indycar and Nascar aren't seen to be of much interest.

    I looked her up. Zowie, a girl who races on equal terms with the boys, and still looks good as a girl!

    Sadly though, on reading through her racing form, it seems in nascar she averages 28th place at the finish line, best showing was 13th.
    Indycar, she does a bit better, having won a single race, and her highest season's finishing has been sixth overall.

    What a pity. I'd really like to see a woman at the sharp end of motorsport.
    She's said she won't join the Formula 1 circuit though. And I suspect that's because she's better off being a celebrity in the U.S., than being a middle-of-the-pack driver on the world stage.

  4. @Adullamite - well, in this case the girl was doing the chasing. But thr music was still Boots Randoph. :)

    @Stephanie Barr - Sometimes I think you confuse shyness with introversion. Nothing at all is wrong with being introverted. Shyness, on the other hand, impedes one's interaction with other people in daily life. To ask what is wrong with shyness is the same thing as asking why one should be expected to competently interact with other people on earth.

    @A. - Painfully nervous or timid in the company of people one doesn't know well. I don't think you are shy. :)

    @Soubriquet - public speaking is the antidote for shyness, to be sure. And I'll bet you are fabulous at it.

    How close are YOU to being a middle-of-the-pack racer? You don't consider even last place to be SORT of elite and special? Hmmmmmm I'll demean her when I can beat her. :)

  5. Danica Patrick could beat me around any racetrack, in fact she'd probably be crossing the finish line, whilst I was trying to restart my stalled car on the start line.

    I'm not intending to demean her. To simply take part in a race at that level demands skill, stamina, judgement, and bravery that I'll never have. I just wish she was likely to take the winner's rostrum, to beat the boys. I'm sad it seems, on her past form, unlikely.

    And I've never believed only the winners are admirable.
    My all-time sporting hero is Eddie "The Eagle" Edwards. He represented Great Britain at ski Jumping in the 1988 Lake Placid winter Olympics, he came last in both the 70 and 90 metre jumps.
    He was never going to be a contender, but, dammit! he was always going to try.
    I've stood at the top of a 90 metre ski-jump. That's almost 300 feet. No brakes. A good chance of killing yourself. He repeatedly launched himself off there, to fly through the air.
    Some people ridiculed him, because he was never going to challenge the real ski-jumpers. But to me, he embodied what the spirit of the Olympic Games should be, and so rarely ever is.

  6. I ask, not because I've ever been shy myself, but because my sister is (her own description). I've never felt the slightest urge to make her into something else, since she's happy being who she is and manages to be successful in her own way.

    I think this notion that we all need to have a certain level of interaction with other people is false. One good friend is worth fifty crappy ones. And there are many things one can do in life with hardly any interaction with people at all.

    Who's to say what someone else really needs?

    Now, if it's something they genuinely long to change (for their own reasons, not someone else telling them to), I'm all for it.

    (Guess you can't read my mind either.)

  7. @Stephanie Barr - I have a feeling your sister is not shy around you. Therefore, her interaction with you is not impeded.

    Neither being shy or being outgoing is a standard for being a good friend or a crappy friend.

    Are you sure your sister is shy and not simply introverted (a preference for solitude and introspection and analytical or creative work rather than being a back slapping politician?) I don't think your sister is shy at all, but you obviously know her better than I. A person who gets out in front of people and teaches them is not shy by any standards. People who have their reticence under control are as normal as people who control their uber-exuberance. People who are REALLY shy have withdrawn to the point their interactions with other human beings are impeded. Children are shy (usually because they aren't around strange people very much yet.) Perhaps this is semantics and you are using the word "shy" non-specifically.

    Speaking of crap, your assertion that we can go through life and healthy without interacting with other humans is just that.

    Who's to say? Who's to say the earth isn't flat? People who professionally observe and analyze human behavior and the attendant results of their lives say.

    Your sister is happy and successful, not just "in her own way" but by ANYONE'S standards, I say.

    Boo Radley was NOT successful. There's a big difference.

    Again, I don't have to read your mind. All I have to do is read books by behavioral scientists.

  8. @Stephanie Barr - I still think you should go on the offense and BLOG about things that stir up your passions. Like this and a bunch of other things. Maybe you don't have time to do that, and so maybe I should just be happy you at least comment on those things.

    Just go read other blogs (not people's whose philosophy you agree with) and when you find yourself outraged at what they say... well, there's a post for you. There's no law you have to be nice all the time like I am. :) Change your name. Get a new avatar. is still available, last I checked. Lose the Rockets and just go on the attack generally. We'll both have more fun.

    :) :) :)

    If you REALLY don't want to make the time to blog, then I will stop nagging you about it.

  9. Behavioral scientists, in my opinion, tend to think there's one model for a healthy personality.

    Me, I'm not interested in cookie cutter people. I don't think one size fits all.

    Nor do assume shy (or any other characteristic) is an all or nothing deal. There are degrees of shyness. The world isn't black and white. Not everyone is a social creature; not everyone wants to be. If someone is a happy hermit, what's wrong with that? I've certainly known my share of social butterflies who felt desperately alone.

    And, for the record, my sister fits more than one of the five definitions of shy, though not all. Does that mean she can't use the word? (She's the one who calls herself shy). By the way, I have four sisters, not just the one you know.

    Perhaps you're thinking too narrowly, not only on what you think I mean, but what you mean yourself.

    It's just a suggestion. I wouldn't presume to tell you what you're thinking.

    As for blogging, I blog if I have something to say, part of a conversation. I have never hated you, Relax Max. I don't always agree, though I sometimes do. Since you started the conversation, this seemed the appropriate place to continue it.

  10. I do appreciate your taking part in the conversation. But commenting is not blogging. But I won’t ask you to blog anymore. That’s up to you.

    Actually, rather than read minds, I use the dictionary, read texts and observe and listen to people who are experts. If I agree with them, I make their logic part of my value system.

    If view of that, I think that stating an informed opinion is not the same as reading people’s minds.

    Another subject: I heard on the news last night that the astronaut twin of the shot congresswoman’s husband (also an astronaut, living in Houston area) is now in space on the space station. Now, that fact (if it is a fact) doesn’t really have anything to do with the shooting, or with crazy people, but it (to me, at least) makes me realize just how closely we are ALL connected in this country, and perhaps the whole world. These acts DO affect us all and diminish us all. Only you would know how the tight-knit space family is taking this. Just a subject that the press isn’t really covering.

  11. Gifford's brother in law IS on the space station (and made a statement). His brother was slated for the next Shuttle mission that was going to have both twins in space at once, but it had already been delayed so that wasn't going to happen. And they've named an alternate in case he can't make it. I have seen both astronauts around, though I don't know them personally (haven't been on any flights I worked).

    Actually, I'm a little surprised how little I've heard about this in the space community. Part of it is probably that I'm not a social critter, but part of it is that they're not really talking about it. It's a personal tragedy (Gifford's husband) and we are largely decent people.



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