Recommended Readings


Online Readings . . . . .

Encyclopedia of Mental Health Excellent article on shyness written by Lynn Henderson and Phillip Zimbardo, foremost researchers and founders of the Standford Shyness Clinic. The article (available free on their website) covers everything from definitions and symptoms of shyness to the origins of shyness and its prevalence in other parts of the world.

Psychological Self-Help I stumbled upon this free online book and have been impressed with the parts I've read so far. Written by Clinical Psychologist, Clayton E. Tucker-Ladd, Psychological Self-Help provides an overview of common life challenges from anxiety, anger and aggression to dating, happiness, depression and understanding the way we think about ourselves. Dr. Tucker-Ladd then goes on to provide a review of self-help techniques designed to help you address these concerns along with guidelines for how to use them.; It's well worth a look.

Shyness: The New Solution One of the more renowned researchers in the field of shyness, Barnardo Carducci, summarizes his views on the subject in article in the January 2000 edition of Psychology Today. Note--the article is presented by Psychology Today which is a great resource in itself. Simply enter the word shy, or any other keyword of interest, and see where it takes you.

Overcoming Shyness in Adults . . . . .

If you're really serious about getting over your shyness, plan on reading more than one book. The deeper your shyness, the more times you will need to hear messages that can help you heal. Each of the books listed below offers a little something different. Most include testimonials of people who have struggled with their own shyness. Some help us identity and address the issues that are at the root of our shyness, while others focus on our self-talk and skills training. Some are quick reads--the kind of books you can pick up and read from cover to cover, while others are best read a few pages at a time, digested and then picked up again.  

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Friends & Lovers: How to Meet the People You Want to Meet by Steve Bhaerman & Don Mc Millan, Writer's Digest Books . . . I like this book because it explores who we are and what we want from our relationships before telling us (in the form of sensible exercises) where to go to find the kinds of people we would like to meet.
Available through . . .     Barnes & Noble     Powell Books  

The Hidden Face of Shyness by Franklin Schneier,M.D. & Lawerence Welkowitz, Ph.D., Avon Books . . . . . From shyness to social phobia, the authors address ways anxiety can interfere with our lives--from fears of blushing and being around other people to fears of public speaking or eating in public. The book provides self-assessment questionnaires and strategies for helping us overcome our shyness. It does a particularly nice job of providing examples of people who have struggled with shyness, as well as explanations of the biological function of our fears.
Available through . . .     Barnes & Noble     Powell Books      

Overcoming Shyness And Social Phobia by Ronald M. Rapee, Ph.D. . . . . . Short and concise, this book helps put shyness and social phobia in perspective. But it's greatest claim to fame, from my perspective anyway, is that it makes a distinction between "realistic thinking" (i.e., taking inventory of our thoughts and systematically evaluating their validity-- something shy people are very bad at) and the "power of positive thinking" promoted by many.   Even better, it offers suggestions about how we can make our thinking more realistic.
Available through . . .     Barnes & Noble     Powell Books      

Overcoming Stage Fright in Everyday Life by Joyce Ashley, Three Rivers Press, 1996 . . . . . While technically a book on performance anxiety, most of the book's content is equally applicably to the broader topic of shyness. I like this book because of the warm fuzzy approach it takes to helping us discover theissues that underlie our anxiety. The first half of the book follows participants through a performance anxiety workshop run by the author, while the second half of the book provides exercises and directions for embarking on a program of our own.
Available through . . .     Barnes & Noble     Powell Books    

Shyness: A Bold New Approach by Bernardo Carducci, Ph.D., Harper Collins, 1999 . . . . . A very approachable book exploring the "mysteries" and myths surrounding shyness. The author, makes a distinction between the "unhappily" shy and the "successfully" shy, reviews the biology of shyness and follows shyness from birth through adulthood--exploring developmental issues and age appropriate challenges from playing with other children and going to school to dating and fitting who your are to your career. The book offers tips for shy people, parents and teachers alike.
Available through . . .     Barnes & Noble     Powell Books  

Shyness: What It Is, What to Do About It by Philip Zimbardo, Perseus Books, 1977 . . . . . . You can tell by the copyright date on the book, this is one of the first self-help books written on the topic. It's a great book for people who want to understand how thinking about shyness evolved and where it fits in the broader sociological-psychological scheme of things. Written by pioneer researcher, Phillip Zimbardo, the first half of the book explores factor after contributory factor to shyness, while the second half of the book emphasizes what you can to about it.
Available through . . .     Barnes & Noble     Powell Books  

Working With Shy Children . . . .

Good Friends Are Hard to Find by Fred Frankel, Perspective Publishing, 1996 . . . . .
Excellent book for parents, teachers and adults working with socially challenged children. This book offers step by step instructions designed to help children acquire the social skills they need to fit in with their peers. Among other things, this book outlines ways to arrange successful play dates for your child and strategies to help your child make friends, become a good sport and deal with teasing and bullies. Summary checklists at the end of each chapter make the book remarkably easy to use. In most cases you can go straight to the topic of your choice.
Available through . . .    Barnes & Noble    Powell Books     

How Kids Make Friends . . . Secrets For Making Lots of Friends No Matter How Shy You Are   by Lonnie Michelle, Freedom Publishing, Co., 1995 . . . . .   Written for "kids 8 and up and parents of all ages," this brief little book's sound advise regarding simple things children can do to make new friends could benefit many adults. Packed with social skills your child can practice on a daily basis̬from smiling and complimenting the people they see to good personal hygiene and treating their friends fairly̬this book provides practical ideas you can implement immediately. There are sections for both children and adults. A note of caution̬the book includes a section entitled "liking yourself first," which lists a series of questions asking children to identify what they like about themselves in a variety of areas. While this exercise is great for some children, more vulnerable children may find it discouraging if done without supervision.
Available through . . .   Barnes & Noble     Powell Books

How to Handle Bullies, Teasers and Other Meanies by Kate Cohen-Posey, Rainbow Books, Inc., 1995 . . . . . You don't have to be a child and you don't even have to be bullied to benefit from this book which helps us understand why people bully and what we can do about---all in eighty-seven pages of large print with cartoons. How much easier can it get? I was less enthusiastic about the last few pages encouraging children to form clubs addressing previously discussed material as I think this requires a fair amount of supervision. What's more, I encourage parents to evaluate each of the recommendations carefully as not all of the recommendations are likely to be appropriate for your child and his/her particular situation. Nevertheless, I put this book on my must read list as it helps us (children and adults alike) step outside of ourselves and take a brief glimpse into the world of the bullies, which in turn, prepares us to make better decisions about how to handle them. It's the kind of book I think most people could benefit from reviewing at least once each year to keep our skills from getting stale.
Available through . . .     Barnes & Noble     Powell Books    

Helping the Child Who Doesn't Fit In by Stephen Norwicki, Jr. & Marshal P. Duke, Peachtree Publishers, 1992 . . . . . This book is for parents of children who have difficulty interpreting the nuances of nonverbal communication. It offers practical easy to use exercises to help children improve their ability to understand and use body language more effectively.
Available through . . .      Barnes & Noble     Powell Books

The Shy Child: Helping Children Triumph Over Shyness  by Ward K. Swallow, Warner Books, 2000 . . . . . While I bristled at some of the descriptions of shy children in the first chapter, feeling as though there were other explanations for the behaviors the author presented, I still think this is one of the better overviews on the subject---explaining how shy children feel and offering specific concrete suggestions for parents wanting to help their children overcome shyness through the evolving developmental stages their children must go through as they mature. A must read.
Available through . . .    Amazon. com      Barnes & Noble      Powell Books

The Shy Child: Overcoming and Preventing Shyness from Infancy to Adulthood  by Phillip Zimbardo & Shirley Radl, Malor Books, 1999 . . . . . Written by pioneers in the field of shyness, this book provides an excellent overview of shyness̬what it is and what you can do about it. Some parents report finding the book a bit harsh̬holding them accountable for causing, if not adequately addressing their child's shyness. Nevertheless, the book is a wonderful source of information about shyness from one of the most noted authorities in the the field. Take a look and use what feels right for you.
Available through . . .    Amazon. com      Barnes & Noble      Powell Books

Sticks and Stones: 7 Ways Your Child Can Deal with Teasing, Conflict, and Other Hard Times by Scott Cooper, Times Books, 2000 . . . . . . If you're looking for a book that offers specific examples and scripts of things your child can say when s/he's being teased, this book is a good place to start. Not only does it provide scripts to help your child know what to say in a pinch, but it includes strategies for teaching the material and exercises to help you practice the scripts with your child. And if that's not enough to sway you, the book includes scripts for dealing with conflict, social conversation, self-defeating thoughts and more. Most adults could benefit from this book. The only downside I saw was that the occasional artful child may learn to use his/her new found anti-bullying strategies against you or other adults unless, of course, you role model the inappropriateness of doing that. But in the overall scheme of things, that's easily handled.
Available through . . .     Barnes & Noble     Powell Books  


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