In my own experience with shyness, obsession has been present. Perhaps people who have such rich inner lives and poorer outer ones (work, friends, partners) due to shyness desperately seek the outer but often get stuck in the inner.
For me in my early twenties, I used work and my obsession with computers to avoid dating and social activities. Occasionally my obsession would shift from computers to a woman who was unavailable to me. I would imagine asking her out, dating, getting married, and having kids — all sorts of things without even speaking to her in more than a passing way.
Neither the computer obsession, nor the obsession with unavailable women served me well. I felt that I was not good enough, so I always worked harder at my job for fear of failing. When I was interested in someone, I would hallucinate that this was the only chance I would ever have and that I was not ready. My life was full of anxiety and insecurity.
I noticed that when I let go of my obsession with work, often very creative solutions to work issues came to me with little effort. I noticed that when I could let go of my obsession with an unavailable woman, a more positive dating experience would present itself.
Obsession is different than passion because obsession is single minded and blocks other areas of your life. Passion, on the other hand, can be felt and expressed in many parts of your life. You can be passionate about your career and about your relationship and about music, for example.
On the surface, obsession seems to be serving us by trying to get us what we want, but in reality, obsession is a way of escaping. Obsession is used as a way of beating ourselves up, as we continually suffer from not having what we want, while at the same time, we are totally engrossed in either seeking or avoiding it.
When you realize you are obsessed:
- Figure out what is going on. Are you escaping from something? What is it that you really want? Do you want a relationship, creative expression or something else?
- Let go of the obsession. If what we are obsessed with is meant to be it will happen and obsession will only scare it away. Letting go makes room for what you really want to come into your life.
Obsession points the way to what is important —such as a creative job or a relationship. It is what the object of your obsession represents that is important, not the particular object of obsession. If you are obsessed with a person, what you really want are the ideals personified. If you are obsessed with work, you may really be seeking a creative outlet that your current work is not fulfilling or you could be escaping other areas of your life. Let go of the obsession to make room for what you really want.