So, I didn't even read the TIME article because I couldn't access it. What's weird is that my school has online access to the magazine, so I can see other articles from that issue, just not the cover story. ???
I ended up reading an article written by a psychologist who claims to have been the primary source for the TIME article (or some TIME article on shyness published around the same time--my fact checker is doing my Kant homework so apologies). And what I'd like to think is that this article is way more interesting anyway. What's interesting is her discussion of Highly Sensitive Persons (HSPs) and how sensitivity is often mistaken for shyness or introversion. I don't think she does the greatest job of clearing things up, but to be fair descriptions of these psychological traits are often muddled. Occasionally, I come across clear distinctions, but then I read a different article with seemingly clear, but different, distinctions and it's back to the muddle.
Aron, the author of the article, is a psychologist and is apparently the main pioneer in research concerning HSPs. She has also diagnosed herself as an HSP. I poked around her website (natch, so occasionally she sounds a little kooky but this seems to be an occupational hazard--at any rate, I'm not the best judge). I took the the self-test (double-natch) and according to her test, I'm also an HSP. Something about these psychological self-tests feels a little willy-nilly to me, so I'm not latching onto this diagnosis just yet. Plus, the overly emotional part definitely does not ring true. I'm a deep feeler for sure, but I'm not one to cry at commercials (even the sad ASPCA ones). The classification itself seems a little suspicious to me, but she says the APA made it official. I downloaded her (peer-reviewed, empirical) study, so in about 4 years, when I get around to reading it, I'll let you know my final thoughts on the matter. Until then, maybe you want to read about HSPs and such. Lucky for you there are some short articles on Psychology Today that you can read in a jiff. Or you can just wait until you come and visit me, and I'll just tell you all about them over coffee (we can diagnose each other and everyone we know or can think of, e.g. I've already decided Terrence Malick is an HSP).
Oversharing after the jump
Sixteen, clumsy, and shy--that's the story of my life.
This line and the title are lyrics from two different songs by The Smiths. Morrissey was one of my high school sweethearts, always singing to me about the exact things my angsty, teenage heart fretted over. He understood me, so I refused to believe he was gay. We were MFEO. My high school newspaper published senior quotes and one of mine came from the Mozzer:
"try living in the real world instead of a shell." O_o
I was delightful. Right? Geez, I wish that quote was a joke. I'm pretty embarrassed for the person I used to be, but (here's the part where I justify myself--and get a little kooky) I just felt different from most of my peers (oh, adolescence). Shockingly, yes, I did have friends (my close friends were not like me in temperament, but we were all from dysfunctional homes and so there was more than a fair amount of forgiveness for loathsome personality traits), but I still experienced the world as a rough and scary place, where everyone was only out for themselves and only a few brave souls had the courage to see the world for what it actually was: shit. Yes, clearly also a wee bit depressed. Well, things got worse before they got better, but I've moved past most of that now. It's taken a lot of work, but when I first started working in the soul mine, I reflected a lot on the kind of person I was and the kind of person I wanted to be. I became