Wrangling Your 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.


10.30    Workshop Begins
13.00    Lunch
16.30    Class finishes

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'Quiet people have the loudest minds.'
– Stephen Hawking


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.

TSOL is a safe, community space for the exploration of significant human concerns. Some of these concerns are of course of a deeply personal nature and if you feel negatively affected by any content or conversations then please approach our faculty member or host who can provide support and guidance.

Buy tickets for
Wrangling Your Shyness & Social Anxiety


When and where:
  • Sat 8 Dec 2018 10.30am – 4.30pm,
    The School of Life, 669 Bourke St, Melbourne VIC 3000

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Full price: $150.00
Concession: $120.00
(+ $2 booking fee and 1.5% CC fee) 

Valid concession cards include a Health Care Card, Seniors Card, Pensioner Concession Card and current student cards.

Please note that we are unable to offer refunds or transfers with less than 7 days cancellation notice before the original class date.

For ticketing and box office enquiries please call 0434 492 669 or email [email protected].