Cerebral shy girls tend to very much be sincerely nice and polite, on the rare occasions when we interact with other people. Often, we prefer to be alone — or we face the world from behind a brilliantly constructed and optimized public persona; a facade that gives the public what it wants, even if that persona is the opposite of who we really are, deep down.
As cerebral shy girls, you’d think that our benevolence makes us appreciated socially. That’s how it should be, but in fact we’re often treated unfairly, and our niceness is mistaken for weakness by those who have no problem being rude, mean or otherwise unfair to us. We tend to be so benevolent in our world view that, as teenagers and young adults, we presume benevolence and fairness as a basic operating principle as fundamental as gravity, and when we experience meanness and injustice, our first reaction is to be almost as perplexed as if we were to release a heavier-than-air object and instead of falling vertically down, it does something else.
We have a hard time dealing with negativity directed against us, not least because we are so benevolent and are so committed to the idea of fairness that we give others the benefit of the doubt, hence we often assume that if someone is treating us badly, it might well be because we deserve it. Being a social misfit and being painfully aware of being different increases the likelihood of self-criticism. Instead of wondering why typical people don’t rise to our standard, we chastise ourselves for being unable to think and behave like typical people. Whether we emulate their social behavior by trying to think like them or by mimicking it without understanding it, interaction with typical people tends to be overwhelming and exhausting for us. Many cerebral shy girls have no cerebral-shy-girl friends and so the girl feels utterly alone and isolated socially from, on her premises, the entire human race. It seems reasonable for her to assume she’s the problem, even though she is, ironically, not.
I have yet to see a cerebral shy girl become jaded and mean. Instead, worst case, we just isolate ourselves more and more, socially.
Here are some examples of cerebral shy girls being nice:
- Example 1: I was in a situation where one of my cerebral shy girl friends was having a very difficult time, personally. Her anxiety level was very high. She wasn’t just dealing with a lifetime of denigrating herself as a misfit — which, by typical standards, she is. She was also processing the additional information I was providing her, including that typical standards do her an injustice, and that she’s magnificent as a person — even though it’ll take her a while to integrate these new premises into something that will supersede the self-denigrating idea set that she’s assembled over a lifetime. It would take her even longer to experience the benefits emotionally. Until then, she was in for a rough ride. Somewhere amidst all this, she nevertheless made a point of focusing on me, and she sincerely said something so thoughtful, sensitive and kind to me that I was amazed at how benevolent and polite she is, even while an emotional tidal wave was engulfing her.
- Example 2: A new cerebral shy girl friend had a birthday. She received dozens of happy-birthday wishes on FaceBook, and what impressed me was her polite, sincere thank-you to each and every one.
- Example 3: Me. I’m a cerebral shy girl too. Most people would describe me as extremely nice and polite. I’ve had my share of romantic break-ups too, and I made a point of being nice and polite during those as well — in fact, especially then. I’m a software developer, and I’m not just nice and polite personally but also in a work context. One day, the company president of a client company in LA brought me into the center of his open-plan office. He, with his staff, and I had worked together for several highly productive months, while I was leading a team that was making custom software that would, as it turned out, enable his business to flourish. The company president paraded me around the open-plan office while getting everyone’s attention. When everyone was focused on what he was about to say, he told them to take a good look at me because I am, he said, doomed to fail in life, because I am too nice including being too honest. I’m not sure how this was supposed to inspire his workers. I found it very perplexing.
- Example 4: A musician who, I’d guess, is very much a cerebral shy girl too. From everything I’ve seen, when she writes informally on social media, she seems to generally have dispensed with her public persona, and the behind-the-scenes girl is visible — extremely nice and polite.
As for this musician, part of her career is public knowledge. Early on, she already knew that not everyone is nice. When she was 21 years of age, her quest for band-mates involved a recruiting poster with the explicitly stated requirement of “must be nice.” As she described in her song lyrics sixteen years later, when she met the gentleman whom she chose to marry, what appealed to her the most was that he was nice, with kind eyes and a nice smile.
If I’m understanding the information correctly, she continued being nice and benevolent, with various music industry people treating her unfairly. The band she’d co-founded became ever more successful, but instead of being able to enjoy its success, her stress level was sky-high. Whether as a solo artist or in the context of a band, there are many generally known examples of her being nice and benevolent and trusting, yet being treated unfairly.
Over the years, the musician’s life followed the official social pattern that had seemed elusive by the time she was in her early 30s. She was married, had and raised two boys, and her music career continued decade after decade (and still does). Yet, as I read what she writes, and even more as I read between the lines, she’s sometimes overwhelmed and/or deeply unhappy. In no way am I implying that this is a reflection on her or on whomever she’s with. Being unhappy isn’t a condition for which the first step, or any step, is to find someone to blame. Even so, I would delight in seeing this musician thrive emotionally, whatever that means she ends up doing. It’d be nice for the story line to take a turn where the princess is no longer lonely up in her emotional tower, isolated from the rest of the world.
As I came to learn more about this girl, and I realized she’s another cerebral shy girl, I came to feel more and more benevolence toward her. What had always bothered me about Robin Williams’s passing was that he had seemed so upbeat publicly yet after he’d passed away, it became apparent that he’d had, as someone phrased it, “a long battle with depression.” As I read more about celebrities passing away in their 50s or 60s, it seemed so ironic to me. With modern medicine and ample funding, someone could, all other things being equal, live a long and happy life. However, many far-too-young deaths seemed related to that stark five-word phrase: “a long battle with depression.” So, when I read more and more information from this musician that implies that she’s personally also had a long battle with depression, it gave me the chills.
Meanwhile, this being 2016, the list of celebrities passing away in their 50s or 60s has become long and stark. I recall seeing an interview video in which the musician girl was being questioned during an interview in Japan, in 1986. She was being asked about which famous musician she liked. She mentioned Prince, someone else mentioned George Michael … and today, in late December 2016, both of these musicians have passed away while in their 50s. This musician girl, whom I like so much, is also in her 50s.
I confess that part of my benevolence towards her is an implicit concern, and the hope that she will soon deeply thrive, and live a long and happy life. My writing has a steadily energetic pace because I hope that my articles reach her, in every sense of the word. She is one of the people whose obituary I never want to read. By the time she passes away I hope to be very, very old so that I can’t even read an obituary any more.
I like heroism, especially female heroic figures. I recently tried to find a picture of a tall, muscular, blonde warrior queen, confidently holding up her hand and arm in a “stop” gesture to halt the Grim Reaper as he shuffles towards a slender brunette lying some distance away. “Not this one — not now and not soon,” would be a good caption. That’s how I feel about it.
Ironically, in my own 2016 journey, I’ve met several other wonderful cerebral shy girls, and I’ve enjoyed their benevolence, and providing them in turn with well-deserved benevolence too, in the hope that each of these girls will, as the late Leonard Nimoy would have said, live long and prosper.
How can I help? One way is to provide insights that each cerebral shy girl can integrate with her own idea set to the extent she chooses to. In at least one example, my insights have made a major positive difference, and I’m delighted. When it’s a cerebral shy girl with whom I interact in person, we talk a lot. For the intended benefit of all the other cerebral shy girls, including the musician girl — I write these articles.
Why this image to illustrate the article? Well, the band that the musician girl co-founded is a rock band … and for many people, “sex, drugs and rock ‘n roll” was a package deal. Not for this girl. I don’t know about her sex life, but if she was sexually wild, she hid its evidence well. As to drugs, she explicitly expressed a lack of interest therein. The only part of the “sex, drugs and rock ‘n roll” in which she was interested involved rock music.
This musician was, and still is, highly lusted after by vast amounts of people, so if she’d wanted a wild sex life, it was certainly available. No doubt, so were drugs. If she didn’t have a wild sex life or used drugs, it would be due to her having exercised a choice. She chose to maintain integrity with whatever her values were and are. This is the opposite of what is meant by “selling one’s soul.” So, in her case, she kept it, instead of selling it.
Not that I’m saying there’s anything wrong with having a wild sex life — and as to drugs, some of the most ethical people I know personify the phrase “better living through chemicals.” But if one’s value system excludes these, then integrity demands: do in fact exclude these.
Choosing this life path was not for lack of awareness of the alternatives. For example, she likes the Sex Pistols, who have refined social rebelliousness almost to an art form. In fact, if I read between the lines correctly, she did execute something brilliant as such in 2012. It was the sort of emotional-prison-break attempt that, if it didn’t pan out, would remain undiscovered. In the subsequent few years, her energy level seems lower, but I’m not counting her out. In fact, I’m cheering her on.
As to what might empower her for her next emotional-prison-break attempt: somewhere along my journey, I enjoyed one of my cerebral shy girl friends telling me how difficult and lonely her life was until she met another cerebral shy girl friend (and she didn’t mean me, but a different girl). Also, I enjoyed another cerebral shy girl friend telling me how difficult and lonely her life was until she met me — because having a cerebral shy girl friend was a new, empowering and soothing experience.
Simply not feeling alone any more is a huge step already, but it seems to help each cerebral shy girl to ponder the possibility that her unusual brand of personal weirdness isn’t inherently bad, just different — and then to ponder that if the entire planet were to consist of cerebral shy girls, it’d be a much, much nicer place, hence her unusual brand of personal weirdness is good.
Watching a cerebral shy girl come to realize that she’s wonderful instead of deficient … that has been most rewarding for me, personally. As to what happens next, when a cerebral shy girl becomes aware of her own value and strength … who knows what trails she might be inspired to blaze. In one case, a cerebral shy girl had been working at the same place for many years, even though she was miserable and her boss was appropriating the academic credit for her scientific work. She seemed to become more confident and empowered, the more that she and I discussed life. Eventually, she quit her job, and found a new place where they worship the ground she walks on, and her salary is literally three times as much, and she enjoys the work more. In turn, she also inspired me. It is in large part thanks to her influence that I found the confidence to live openly as a trans girl.
This sort of mutually beneficial dynamic ties into the theme of a movie I enjoyed this weekend: Cloud Atlas. The movie makes the point that every mean thing and every good thing we do has consequences into the far future. Cerebral shy girls benevolently empowering each other … that’s a good example.