Dear Coleen: Shyness dominates my life and I’m worried my child will grow up like me

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Dear Coleen

I’m a gay guy who’s suffered from social isolation since childhood.

I never had any until I was 22. I guess I just accepted it as normal.

I’ve been with my for a few years and we’ve started looking into having a child together, but I’m worried my child might turn out like me.

Even now, when I’m with my partner and he gets up to leave the table for whatever reason, I’ll follow him because I’m uncomfortable being on my own.

What should I do?

Coleen says

I think it’s a good idea to start setting little goals to work towards – for example, the next time you’re out in a group and your partner gets up to go to the loo, stay and talk to the person next to you.

It’s not easy if you’re shy, but the more you do it, the less daunting it will be and the more confidence you’ll gain.

I don’t know how your partner feels about it, but there’s a risk he’ll start to feel suffocated if you can’t leave his side.

When you have a child, it often forces you to connect more with others. Your child will develop a social network for you – whether you like it or not.

Having a child could actually be the thing that helps you come out of your shell.

It’s pretty hard to be socially isolated as a parent because there’s so much going on at nursery and school.

More of our agony aunt Coleen Nolan’s advice on your , family, and problems

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