• A moment that changed me: I hugged a crying girl in a playground - and overcame my paralysing anxiety

    10 days ago - By The Guardian

    I was longing to comfort a distraught child. And then I thought: why am I waiting for someone to give me permission? I was terribly shy as a child; almost mute at school and even university. I couldn't bear to be noticed and if I spoke people would notice me, so I spoke as little as possible. I learned to pretend to be less shy as I grew older but, even in my 30s, I was still horribly self-conscious. I'd often desperately want to say or do something but if that action would cause people to realise I existed, I would feel almost paralysed with anxiety, physically unable to speak or move. It...
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