Wrangling Shyness & Social Anxiety

‘Shyness is nice’, sings Morrissey in his song Ask Me. But when shyness leaves you feeling breathless, voiceless and even friendless, it can be anything but nice. This common temperament trait often manifests as social anxiety and it can stop you from doing the things you want to do in your life. .

In her book Shy: a memoir (Text Publishing), Dr Sian Prior investigated the causes and symptoms of her  lifelong struggle with shyness. She discovered that, even though shyness can’t be ‘cured’, some of the distressing symptoms of social anxiety can be alleviated. Drawing on her extensive research and her  experience of wrangling her own shyness, Sian will explain the costs and benefits of having a shy personality and offer  practical strategies for negotiating the challenges of living with shyness (and/or living and/or working with someone who faces these challenges)

In this day-long workshop you will learn: the significance of the approach-withdrawal temperament spectrum; why a shy person’s body gives them ‘stranger-danger’ signals when they meet new people; how shyness is both different and related to introversion; how shyness/social anxiety can impact on a person’s digestive system; what shy people can do to alleviate their shyness/social anxiety symptoms; what others can do to help them wrangle their shyness; what resources are available if you want to learn more about shyness/social anxiety. 

The workshop will be conducted in a shyness-sensitive environment, with participants encouraged to explore new ideas in a safe and welcoming space.

All participants need to bring is an urge to understand themselves (and others) better, a journal (or notepad) and a pen. If you prefer to type please feel free to bring a laptop or ipad. There will be class activities but everyone's writing material will be kept as private as participants wish.   


10.00am   Workshop Begins
1.00pm     Lunch Break (times vary)
4.00pm     Workshop Ends

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'So many people are shut up tight inside themselves like boxes, yet they would open up, unfolding quite wonderfully, if only you were interested in them.'

– Sylvia Plath


Dr Sian Prior is a writer, broadcaster and teacher of creative writing. She has been an ABC presenter, an Age columnist and her first book ‘Shy: a memoir’ (Text Publishing) was published in 2014. In it she examines her lifelong struggles with social anxiety and the techniques she developed to overcome her fears.


Leading writers, economists, historians, philosophers, psychologists, artists and other thinkers offer provocation, inspiration and consolation in the form of advice for living better. Speakers for this strand have been invited by The School of Life to present their own material. Session formats will vary depending on the subject.

Buy tickets for
Wrangling Shyness & Social Anxiety


When and where:
  • Sat 16 May 2020 10am - 4pm
    11 Princes St, St Kilda VIC 3182, Australia

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Full price: $225
Concession: $180
+ booking fee 

Ticket price includes drink and light refreshments on the day.

Health Care Card, Seniors Card, Pensioner Concession Card and current Student Cards.

Please note that we are unable to offer refunds or transfers.  If you can no longer attend this event you are welcome to share your ticket with someone else, which they can present at the door to gain entry. Please see our Terms & Conditions on Refunds, Transfers & Credits for further details.

Need More Help?

Email: enquiries@theschooloflife.com.au

For mobility access: please contact us as above to discuss arrangements to ensure your access requirements are supported.