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Will changing my shy anxious personality make me inauthentic?

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As originally answered on Quora.com ...

Some advice makes me feel like a robot following their instructions to be human during conversations and suggested techniques to talk and gain confidence will just be rehearsed actions that isn't the real me. At the same time I feel like I don't have a personality so I'd gain one if I do change.


Short answer to your question … yes, it most likely would, if the change you are referring to is only a cosmetic change to your personality i.e. a cover-up.

Now, I will expand upon on how to avoid being inauthentic if you do change your shy, anxious personality.

I would like to start off my addressing your “shy, anxious personality.”  Merriam-Webster defines personality as “the set of emotional qualities, ways of behaving, etc., that makes a person different from other people; attractive qualities (such as energy, friendliness, and humor) that make a person interesting or pleasant to be with; attractive qualities that make something unusual or interesting.”

Do you notice that it doesn’t say anything about being born with a certain personality and you have it for the rest of your life?

Being shy & anxious is a symptom of experiencing fear. Shyness is related to being uncomfortable or fearful in social situations due to not having the social skills to utilize.

Anxiety may be related to the shyness experienced in social situations, or it may be a symptom on its own. Shyness can produce anxiety in social situations. Then again, anxiety can produce shyness in social situations. Anxiety can occur at other times or seemingly not related to any identifiable cause.

You make comments about the “suggested techniques to talk and gain confidence” being just rehearsed actions that isn’t the real you. Its hard to comment not having seen the advice you are referring to.

It can be argued that everything that we do in life is a series of ‘rehearsed’ actions.

Assuming that the techniques suggested to you have value, I’m wondering how often and for how long you actually tried them for?

It has been said that a person needs to use the changed behaviour for some 21 days before a habit is broken and the new behavour becomes the norm.

I recall a saying years ago from Tony Robbins, who said something to the effect of “you aren’t going to change your ways to new ways until you reach the point that staying the same is worse than making the changes.”

Your personality isn’t static. It is dynamic, meaning that every life experience you have, every new lesson, whether good or bad, changes your personality. We are ever evolving.

You are worried about being inauthentic. That would only happen if you let it. If you take progressive steps to develop your personality, your values and beliefs will also change. As you become more comfortable with yourself, your authenticity will likely increase rather than decrease as you fear.

I’m not going to recommend topics or exercises for you, as that is the subject for another post.

Thanks for your question and good luck with building the new you!

Rae Stonehouse

Author Bio:

Rae A. Stonehouse is a Canadian born author & speaker. His professional career as a Registered Nurse working predominantly in psychiatry/mental health, has spanned four decades.

Rae has embraced the principal of CANI (Constant and Never-ending Improvement) as promoted by thought leaders such as Tony Robbins and brings that philosophy to each of his publications and presentations.

Rae has dedicated the latter segment of his journey through life to overcoming his personal inhibitions. As a 27+ year member of Toastmasters International he has systematically built his self-confidence and communicating ability. He is passionate about sharing his lessons with his readers and listeners. His publications thus far are of the personal/professional self-help, self-improvement genre and systematically offer valuable sage advice on a specific topic.

His writing style can be described as being conversational. As an author Rae strives to have a one-to-one conversation with each of his readers, very much like having your own personal self-development coach. Rae is known for having a wry sense of humour that features in his publications.


Author of Self-Help Downloadable E-Books, paperbacks and on-line courses:


Power Networking for Shy PeoplePower Networking for Shy People: How to Network Like a Pro

52 Power Networking Tips: How to Network Like a Pro

PROtect Yourself Now!PROtect Yourself Now! Violence Prevention for Healthcare Workers

The Savvy Emcee: How to be a Dynamic Master of Ceremonies.

Power of Promotion: On-line Marketing for Toastmasters Club Growth

You're Hired! Job Search Strategies That Work: Available as an easily downloadable e-book or as an on-line e-course.

You're Hired! Resume Tactics: Job Search Strategies That Work

Job Interview Preparation: Job Search Strategies That Work

Leveraging Your Network: Job Search Strategies That Work

You're Hired! Power Tactics: Job Search Strategies That Work

You're Hired! Job Searching Success Tips List

Working With Words: Adding Life to Your Oral Presentations

Blow Your Own Horn! Personal Branding for Business Professionals

Make it Safe! A Family Caregiver's Home Safety Assessment Guide for Supporting Elders@Home


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