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1-Shyness 2-Honesty

1-Is shyness treatable? 2- (5m30s) I discovered that my husband watches gay porn.

(this is raw unedited text, computer transcribed directly from the audio, without voice inflection, pauses etc. Sometimes this results in the text implying the opposite of the intended meaning.)

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Here's a question that I received from Bertram. . .

Hello, Dr. Kenner, is shyness treatable? Can a person who is shy become a very confident person Scientifically speaking, I'm not asking for techniques to overcome shyness, though they would be welcomed. Just if it's scientifically proven that it's possible. Thank you, Bert.

Thank you, Bertram. Now, Bertram, you probably know people in your own life, you can see this firsthand someone who is shy as a kid and then gains a little more confidence. We even see it with pets a dog who's timid around people, and then maybe even a puppy and then warms up to people. So absolutely. You if you want the scientific evidence, you can look up a social anxiety at the Academy of, the Academy of cognitive website, and there's tons of research that's been done of people changing. If you change your ideas behind your Child's shyness, you can change now, why do I have so much confidence in my voice, because I was once a very shy kid. And maybe I didn't always look it on the outside, you know, sometimes you can look a little more at home on the outside, but you're dying inside, you're nervous, you're anxious around people, you don't know what to say.

I can tell you and my dad would certainly tell you this, that he was mortified by me. He was so hurt by me, at the very first father daughter dance that I ever had that was in grade school, probably fifth or sixth grade. And I absolutely didn't want to go I was, I'd be embarrassed to get up and dance. I didn't know how to dance. I didn't know what to do with my body. And my father is my father's so at ease around people that I would be mortified. Because he would want me to get up to dance. So listen to the type of thoughts that might have gone through my mind as a little kid, I can't go to the dance with dad, I feel mortified whether they're going to think of me I'm so awkward. Dad will embarrass me, I'll embarrass me. So of course, what's going to happen, I'm not going to be lying down, relax, my heart's going to begin to pound. And then I go, Oh, my God, I'm going to make a fool of myself. Everyone will be watching me and making fun of me. My heart's going to pound faster. And then I might think, Oh, my God, I can't dance. And if I refuse, he's going to be so hurt. And I'm in a no win situation. What do I want to do you know what I want to do? I want to get the heck out of that place. And notice that there are premises underlying core ideas underlying those surface thoughts. One of the thoughts . . .

Hey, I gotta interrupt this because we've got to pay some bills. 30 seconds. That's it. A very quick break and then Ellen will be back.

Romance. Oh, I wish guys knew more about what we want from a relationship. Boy, I wish I knew more about what I want. Where's that ad I saw? Here it is The Selfish Path to Romance - a serious romance guidebook. Download chapter one for free at and buy it at Hmm, The Selfish Path to Romance. That IS interesting.

Notice that there are premises underlying core ideas underlying those surface thoughts. One of the thoughts is about myself, I can't handle things. I'm I am someone who's weak, who doesn't know how to be with people, and my ideas about other people that they're going to embarrass me or that they're going to be very critical of me. So if you're carrying around some of that baggage, then here's where I'll give you some of the skills. You want to do just what I did. If you're a shy Bertram, you want to observe what you say to yourself. And if you have an inner critic, say you're always putting yourself down, then you want to look at those thoughts and look at the evidence for and against those thoughts and learn how to change your thoughts to a more realistic statement. For example, at the dance, I could have thought as a young kid, you know, I don't know how to dance. But maybe I can ask some people to teach me some steps. And that would make it a more interesting experience. Now, I've learned skills, and I'll bet other people are embarrassed to maybe, maybe I don't have to be embarrassed, maybe we can just goof around and have some fun.

So you want to educate yourself about the cause of shyness and that would get into that the core beliefs that I talked about. You want to eventually get to a premise that my hubby has, which is nothing ventured, nothing gained and gives him a lot of courage to try new things. You can think of being your own best friend rather than that inner critic and the books I would recommend you can go to my website Mind Over mood, how to change your thoughts. To change your mood. And the other one is the loneliness workbook, it's a guide to maintaining lasting friendships. So it gives gives you a lot of hands on skills. So anyway, it is very possible to change I would not give yourself the instruction that you have to become very confident because that would overwhelm me. If you just want to get a tad more confident, a little bit more. And guess what a little all those little bits add up to a lot a big bit, and you will feel more confident over time.


Here's a question from Connie.

Hi, Dr. Kenner. I recently discovered that Gary, my husband of 24 years and father to seven children, has been watching gay porn for the last 19 years or so. He tells me that as a small child, an extended family member sexually abused him. Does that have something to do with the porn? Gary says he's not gay and he is attracted to me. I am having difficulty believing anything after years of secrecy and deception. Is he gay? Connie.

Connie, he is the only one who knows that isn't isn't that the case? I think the bigger issue rather than Is he gay is why did he keep that such a secret for two decades. For you. It's similar to discovering an affair. The person you thought you knew Gary was hiding a sexual secret that really makes a difference to you, and you wish he had never hid that. Now from Gary's point of view, it's very understandable when someone suffers abuse as a young kid, they may be very afraid to share it with anyone because what if you tell the world now you might not but someone else might. Or what if it breaks up the marriage now, you really should know that about your partner, it shouldn't be something you hide because the consequences of his being abused or obviously can or can show up in the relationship. I don't know Gary, obviously.

And also you're both suffering the consequences of his secrecy. So what might help you make sense of your marriage is number one more information. So the tendency is to shut someone out when they abuse you. If you could go to individual counseling for yourself, get some supportive therapy and guidance and also couples counseling and and see if he will open up if you don't attack him, you may get more information. Also, you can get the book Getting past the affair by Schneider and others. And that talks about how do you absorb the blow when you first find out that a partner has been deceitful. And how do you keep your family of seven kids going? You can learn how to stop the herding and let's get to those seven kids. My final note. You know with one kid people can feel stressed with seven kids. I wonder if he Gary was afraid of having sex with you again, because it seemed to lead to pregnancies so I don't know. You'll get the full story from Gary if he's willing to tell it.

And here's a little more from Dr. Kenner . . .

''I think I'm gonna give it all up. Why do people have to love people anyway? What do you call it when somebody keeps getting smashed up in automobile accidents? Bad insurance risk?

It's me with men. I was Jinxed from the word go. First time I was ever kissed was in a cemetery. His name was George and he threw me over for a drum majorette.''

And that's from the movie The apartment. And if you see a pattern in your life, it could be just being unlucky. Not jinxed, obviously. But unlucky. Just if you see a pattern could be in anything in your life. But we're talking about romance here. However, if you see a pattern in romance, where date after date is leaving you at the same moment or the same in the same type of situation. You might want to ask for an exit interview or ask your best friends would they tell you is there anything you're doing that's off putting it in romance or, or even in a friendship it could be that you hug the airwaves and you take 100% of the time and you don't let anyone have a word in edgewise. You want to find out more about yourself and then you won't feel unlucky, you will feel more empowered because I know for myself if I find that I'm doing something that's off base in personal relationships. Yeah, it's does sting. But it also gives me a glimmer of hope because if I'm doing it wrong, and I recognize it, then I have an opportunity of looking at something alternative looking at an alternative, something that I could do differently that could turn my life around and help me have better relationships and I'm stronger for it.

For more Dr. Kenner podcasts go to And please listen to this ad. . .

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Partners need to communicate constantly but no one wants a partner Whew chatters incessantly about nothing in particular, this drives one crazy and it leads to tuning out and if the jabbering consists of criticism the tuning out occurs even faster. Tell your partner about things that happened to you during the day being aware of what events might be most interesting. Talk about things you've read or heard memories of your childhood ideas for future vacations, recent experiences, news items, personal longings, ideas about morality, interesting relatives, your children, new movies or books. The possibilities are endless. Be creative.

You can download chapter one for free by going to, and you can buy The Selfish Path to Romance at