Thursday 21 November 2019

'Shyness is a terrible and a debilitating thing' - Diarmuid Gavin on overcoming his insecurities

Diarmuid Gavin on the Late Late Show
Diarmuid Gavin on the Late Late Show
Relentless passion: Gardener Diarmuid Gavin at his Outer Spaces shop at Dunnes Stores, South Great Georges Street in Dublin. Picture: Caroline Quinn
Caitlin McBride

Caitlin McBride

Gardener Diarmuid Gavin has detailed his "debilitating" shyness which he struggled with throughout his entire life.

At 54, the popular broadcaster is finally in a place of self-acceptance, but it took a lifetime of pain and insecurity to get him there.

"I don't like any attention being drawn to myself. I remember being a teenager and in my 20s and in my 30s, walking down the street, and if anybody looked at me, I'd go bright red," he said on the Late Late Show.

"I don't have the social skills - I suppose there's an insecurity there - and having to justify yourself in life is a weird thing. Even into my 40s I had it. I remember the day after 9/11, I went to South Korea making a television programme and we were there for about a week, the crew left early, and I didn't come out of my room for two days.

"I was scared. I didn't know how to handle myself. This would happen quite often when I was in relatively big television shows."

His turning point came in 2011 which was spurred on by his father's death seven years ago.

Relentless passion: Gardener Diarmuid Gavin at his Outer Spaces shop at Dunnes Stores, South Great Georges Street in Dublin. Picture: Caroline Quinn
Relentless passion: Gardener Diarmuid Gavin at his Outer Spaces shop at Dunnes Stores, South Great Georges Street in Dublin. Picture: Caroline Quinn

"My dad passed away in 2011 and almost overnight, for some reason," he explained. "He was much more of a straight boy, a corner fighter because he had to be, he grew up in that environment and something happened to me. I realised it was something holding me back, 'I'd love to do this, I'd love to do that, I'd love to ask such and such a person about this' and I never would.

"And then it all just changed."

Gavin, who recently launched a house plant collection with Dunnes Stores, said it's a combination of elements that contributed to his newfound social confidence, but can't pinpoint one thing in particular as being the impetus for his change.

"Shyness is a terrible thing, a debilitating thing. It was fairly dramatic, it wasn't overnight but in the last few years, certainly I have gotten over it and not cared so much."

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