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Shyness Clinic

is the name of a real-life clinic in Los Altos, California. What does it do?

It helps its patients, i.e. chronically shy people, improve their social skills.

What is amazing is the way they go about this. They do not focus on the past at all. So it doesn’t matter where these shy people come from, what specific life experiences left them under a shell or why they struggle the way the do.

Instead, the focus is entirely on the present. Only exercises to keep improving their social skills. Forget about the bad, just keep adding the good.

One such exercise, and one of the first ones actually, is to walk up to a stranger and ask for the time. The exercises keep increasing in rigour – asking five strangers for the time, chatting with a stranger in the elevator, making random phone calls etc.

The final test is a cool one. To walk into a grocery store, pick up a watermelon, lift it above the head and purposely slam it onto the floor. That’s the easy part of course. Passing, requires enduring the stares of several strangers. Whether those shoppers will lose the taste for watermelon, I know not, but shyness is now surely out the window, one good habit at a time.

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