How to Get Shrinking Violets to Blossom

February 25, 2005 Premium content for subscribers. Subscribe Today

When I was 15 and 16, I tell Bernardo J. Carducci in his office here -- the cramped room that he calls the Shyness Research Institute -- I went every Monday night to a community dance.

The first week, I mumbled, "Can I have this dance?" to one of...

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