Who Wants to Be an Oyster?

One final word about preventing and removing emotional hurts. To live creatively, we must be willing to be a little vulnerable. We must be willing to be hurt a little, if necessary, in creative living. A lot of people need a thicker and tougher emotional skin than they have. But they need only a tough emotional hide or epidermis, not a shell. To trust, to love, to open ourselves to emotional communication with other people is to run the risk of being hurt. If we are hurt once, we can do one of two things. We can build a thick protective shell, or scar tissue, to prevent being hurt again, live like an oyster, and not be hurt.

 Or we can “turn the other cheek,” remain vulnerable and go on living creatively.

 An oyster is never “hurt”. It has a thick shell that protects it from everything. It is isolated. An oyster is secure, but not creative. It cannot “go after” what it wants, it must wait for it to come to it. An oyster knows none of the “hurts” of emotional communication with the environment, but neither can an oyster know the joys.

Curled from Dr. Maxwell Maltz’s Psycho-Cybernetics


I became clued to this quote when I saw it because I realized it was a behaviour pattern I held onto at a point in time; and there are a lot of people I have come in contact with, who are still holding out as the “oyster” described by the late Dr. Maltz in his book.

I realize that often the fear of taking the next step, or making a very crucial decision hangs on the assumption that the individual involved will be hurt in the course of the action, or he might be assailed by the fear of failure, and often always this leads to the person abandoning whatever “golden plans” he had; and like the oyster, retreat into his “protective” shell.

These kind of people don’t venture into relationships, especially if they’ve experienced hurt in a previous one; and don’t make new friends easily.

They hesitate on their proposed business plans or new ideas for fear of failure.

As a limitation, this oyster-character often hinders an individual from advancing, being creative and adventurous.

From the above, I would rather not be an oyster, would you?

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One response »

  1. […] last year I published a post with the title: Who Wants to Be an Oyster? In which I highlighted the behavioral pattern of some people (myself not exclusive) who tend to […]

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