Why You Should Celebrate Being Shy!

It isn't a crime, it's not a perversion, it's not abnormal, it is not even unattractive. Yet with all the information to be found on the internet it is very rare to read a positive statement about being shy. And yet for a huge amount of the population, this is an everyday part of their lives. If we celebrate confidence, if we celebrate achievement, then what is wrong with celebrating shyness? There is such a negative hue surrounding this aspect of human emotion. Is it any wonder people who are shy build up high levels of anxiety and feel abnormal? Here are some of the more negative titles about shyness that I found on the internet:

"..get rid of being shy forever.."

"...shake off shyness..."

"...don't put up with shyness anymore.."

"..Shyness is a handicap you don't have to live with..."

I loved this one - "..don't be shy with guys and fall in love.." I guess this means that if your shy you're doomed never to fall in love or be loved? Take if from me, this is nonsense.

But added to the internet quotes, we have the dictionary definitions of 'shy' such as:

timid, distrusful, avoidance, anxious, easily startled, reluctant, wary, easily frightened.

But does this really describe shy people? Personally I don't think these definitions come close. Further more there is no sense of any kind of appreciation of who shy people really are. I was very shy when younger and still am to a certain degree, and I feel I can challenge what these definitions suggest:

Timid/easily frightened: No, I wasn't timid at all. I was quiet and I took time to absorb new surroundings and people, but I was never timid/frightened of them. Perhaps timid of certain social situations, especially if you feel you could make a fool of yourself? This is a yes. But is it only shy people who feel this? No, we all have moments like this.

Reluctant/wary: I'm not sure I really understand this. Does this mean of every situation? People? Life? If this is the case then it is definitely not true. Perhaps it refers to certain occasions being a bit reluctant/wary of how we will cope? Quite possible, but again I wouldn't say that shy people exclusively feel this emotion. At any rate is this actually negative? Very often the wise course of action is to tread warily or keep a little distance until you are sure of your ground and situation.

Avoidance: No, I didn't avoid people either. I went along with the rest and I was who I was. I certainly liked solitary pursuits such as reading, crafts and so on. But now I'm a 49 year old and I still like lots of time on my own and pursue the same hobbies. Besides, there are thousands of confident people who enjoy solitary hobbies and interests.

Anxious: Sometimes - but is it only shy people who get anxious? I don't think so.

Easily startled: Shouldn't this refer to very nervous people? Are shy people always nervous to the point of being easily startled? The answer is no. In fact I've known very confident people who jump fifty feet in the air at any sudden noise.

But the real point of this exercise is try to move away from this very negative viewpoint of 'shyness'. There is no harm observing in what situations your shyness might be letting you down. But equally you could view the other areas of life where it will be a bonus.

So what situations is shyness not a bonus? There certainly could be times when you feel that your shyness is holding you back a bit rather than moving you forward - a first date, a party, a new school or new neighbourhood. But can there also be a positive side to being shy in these circumstances? Yes there is. It isn't always a good thing to be overconfident when first meeting people. It can be intimidating and annoying. Being too confident when you are the new kid on the block can actually mean driving people away rather than helping to make friends. But there are other benefits to being shy.

Very frequently shy people do come across as being much more genuine and down to earth than confident people. Giving off an air of quiet modesty is never negative and can bring great benefits - for example in many types of jobs. People often feel much more comfortable and at ease with quieter people than they do with confident ones. Shy people do tend to be very good listeners - this is not only a positive point in your favour but it has always fascinated me the things people share with you because you are quiet. It is also amazing the stamina and some would say stubborness that shy people possess. This is not negative, many shy people have the staying power to achieve amazing goals that other people find difficult. In addition, because shy people tend to use their own personal resources more, it can make you more self-reliant in coping with life's obstacles. Problem solving can be easier and you tend to know your strong points and weaknesses better than many others. These are not only positive attributes, but essential for coping with life's stresses and strains.

So basically what I am saying is, that if you feel there are certain circumstances where your shyness is blocking progress, then by all means take steps to build up this area of your life. But don't be bullied by society to try and turn you into something you are not. We should all be free to be the people we are without having the pressure of being muscled into an absurd 'norm' that society has created.

I would suggest as well that instead of shy people always being the ones to have to change, it's about time the rest of society brushed up on their social skills in order to embrace people of different personality and emotional types. This is called accepting people for what they are, not sticking a label on them and expecting them to change. We could all benefit from improving our inter-personal and social skills. Not only to enable us to communicate effectively with all kinds of people, but to allow them to communicate with us. This last statement is very important for confident people to take note of. Very often with shy people, it is not their shyness that disables their ability to communicate, but rather it is the confident person's 'ill-at-ease' body language and sometimes lack of empathy that makes conversation difficult.

Do shy people achieve anything? Absolutely. There are thousands of famous men and women that we look up to that have described themselves as being shy. And yet look what they have accomplished? It has been said by others that they fought shyness to achieve what they have. I would suggest otherwise. I don't think they have achieved greatness because they got rid of being shy. Many have claimed that they are still shy. For example:

  • Ella Fitzgerald the jazz legend was basically a very shy person. You wouldn't think so when she performed on stage.
  • Bradd Pitt - common knowledge that this energetic actor is shy and protective off camera.
  • David Bowie - very shy off stage.
  • Elvis Presely - one of the greatest performers was basically a shy man. Did this make him less attractive or unmanly? Definitely not.
  • Harrison Ford - this great actor and very 'manly' performer is basically a shy guy at heart.
  • Julia Roberts - one of the best and most beautiful of actresses is reputed to be quite shy.
  • Michelle Pfeirrer - states that she is a shy person.
  • Nicole Kidman - describes herself as having confidence in some situations but shy in others.

 

Let shy people have the last word

How often is it that shy people get the last word? Not a lot that's for sure. But since this article has tried to turn everything on its head, I think it's only fitting that they should be the people to close this conversation. While we are at it, lets turn society on it's head. Salute our differences and begin by celebrating shyness.

Re-produced by kind permission of some of my friends and work mates.

1. "...I don't think being shy should be seen as a negative. Often being shy you will notice things that other people don't - it can be fascinating. Left to your own devices in a room at a party, it always amazes me how I can step back and watch all the interactions - the competitiveness, the jealousy, who likes who and so on. People should use their world of shyness to their own advantage. If you ever find a situation where you think being shy won't help then do something about that. But don't change for anyone..." Debbie.

2. "...One thing that I would ask of people who are not shy - just because we are kind of in the background and listening, doesn't mean that we are not enjoying ourselves. I don't need to be the centre of attention to have fun. I don't need to talk endlessly to have fun. I am who I am. I do try to make things easier for people who think they don't know what to say because I'm quieter than other people. But sometimes I think that it is them who are the most embarrassed, not me. I have made conversation to cover a silence, to help them, because often it is them who dries up first..." Jill

3. "...I think I'm more introverted than shy. Having said this, I can be quite comfortable with a person when meeting them for the first time. At other times a person has joined a group I have been with and I just withdraw, I don't feel comfortable until they have moved off. It's not that I don't like them or that I'm scared of them. It's just that in some way they are out of my comfort zone. I handle this by being polite but quiet. It is a puzzle to me, but I've learned to accept it. I know a lot of people might say - do something about it? But I think nowadays - why? I wouldn't ask another person to change just to suit me, so why should I?.." Mark

4. "...I used to worry a lot about being shy when I was younger, especially being a bloke and all that. I'm not as shy as I was, but a few things used to really bug me when I was younger. LIke my older brother. When meeting new friends, he would introduce me and then add, 'but don't worry about jimmy here, he's just shy.' I didn't want anyone making excuses for me like I was defective or something - I wasn't and I'm not. But boy that can hurt and make you feel really screwed up when you are young. I am still a quiet person but that's the way I am. And the people that matter to me the most love me the way I am. I think we should just be accepted this way instead of trying to make every person the same..." James

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Comments 97 comments

Just Ask Susan profile image

Just Ask Susan 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

Great Hub! I was shy most of my life. People would think that I was being snobbish but I was just shy. My step-mother would always cut me down for being shy making me feel inadequate. I suppose in some situations where I do not feel comfortable I still am shy and I don't see anything wrong with being shy. Very good idea for Hub. voted up useful and awesome!


kashmir56 profile image

kashmir56 5 years ago from Massachusetts

Awesome hub, i was shy when i was younger but grew out of it later in life .


Seeker7 profile image

Seeker7 5 years ago from Fife, Scotland Author

Hi JustaskSusan - many thanks for stopping by and for your smashing comment. I had the same problem - and still do I think - that people mistake being shy for being aloof and stuck up. It's annoying at times, but as I've got older I don't worry about it. I didn't have problems with my family and being shy, but some teachers would almost bully at times and tell me to 'participate more' and 'become involved' - I was involved and participating I just did it more quietly than some. I realise now that those teachers were wrong, but they could make you feel like a freak at times. Many thanks again for stopping by.

Hi kashmir56 - many thanks to you as well for stopping by and leaving a comment, much appreciated. I think many of us do grow out of being shy, it's maybe more to do with when you get older you don't care as much what people think and you are more free to do your own thing.


Charlotte B Plum profile image

Charlotte B Plum 5 years ago

well written and i can identify with a lot that you wrote about!

thanks for sharing it, thoroughly enjoyed it. voted up! =)


Seeker7 profile image

Seeker7 5 years ago from Fife, Scotland Author

Hi Charlotte,

Many thanks for stopping by and leaving your comment. Glad that you enjoyed the hub. Like you, there is so much that brought back memories for me, especially when younger, and even now on occasions.


wendy87 5 years ago

i think i am still shy but leaving shyness day by day....


Seeker7 profile image

Seeker7 5 years ago from Fife, Scotland Author

Hi wendy87,

Many thanks for stopping by and for taking the time to leave a comment. If you are still shy then good for you. It's okay if you can leave some of your shyness behind if it is really blocking you in some areas of your life. But there is no need to change totally. Being who you are and being comfortable with that is the best way to get true self-confidence. Many thanks again.


marketingskeptic profile image

marketingskeptic 5 years ago from San Diego, CA

Great hub! Love the idea of celebrating shyness instead of looking down upon those who are shy =)


Seeker7 profile image

Seeker7 5 years ago from Fife, Scotland Author

Hi marketingskpetic, great to hear from you and for stopping by. I think it would be a better world if people in the main could just be what they are - shy, confident, whatever. It's the variety that makes life interesting.


meow48 profile image

meow48 5 years ago from usa

i like this definition. Being shy or introverted, means one experiences the world from within, by observing...

Extroverted means one experiences the world from outside interaction. Neither is wrong and neither is right. it is just the way one is and should not be considered negative in anyway.... thankyou for this positive hub. i really appreciate it, being one of those who experience events from the inside... so to speak. oh and thinkyou for answering my english question, take care.


Seeker7 profile image

Seeker7 5 years ago from Fife, Scotland Author

Hi meow48, many thanks for stopping by and for your excellent response. Like you, I also see and observe the world from an inner experience. And yes you are right again both - inner and outer - are correct. Many thanks again.


cathylynn99 profile image

cathylynn99 5 years ago from northeastern US

i don't think introverted and shy are the same thing. i was, am and will be an introvert. when i discovered that every human is equal to every other human, i stopped being shy.

it's unfortunate that some extroverts judge introverts as aloof. i'm very down-to-earth if you bother to find out.


Seeker7 profile image

Seeker7 5 years ago from Fife, Scotland Author

Hi cathylynn99,

Many thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment.

I agree with you, introversion and shyness are not the same. Although when younger I was both. I still can be shy on occasion, but my overwhelming natural trait is being introverted. I think I can come across as being aloof at times, but in fact it is only because I am thinking deeply about something and don't notice what my body signals are giving out. But yes, people are so quick to stick a label on others, and most of the time those labels are wrong. But as you say, some people would know this if the bothered to find out.


akuigla profile image

akuigla 5 years ago

My friend has a bird,a love bird and she is shy!Every time somebody looks at her,she would cover her eyes with the wing!I love that bird and always try to look at her in a most dicreet way.

As for me, I always feel better in the company of a shy person, than anybody else.Shy people do not drain my energy.On the contrary.

So,yes,I will celebrate shyness!


Seeker7 profile image

Seeker7 5 years ago from Fife, Scotland Author

Hi akuigla,

Many thanks for stopping by and for leaving a comment. Your bird sounds absolutely beautiful! I agree, I think shy people if anything, restore energy, rather than zap it - so I will definitely celebrate shyness!


Bumpsysmum profile image

Bumpsysmum 5 years ago from Cambridgeshire

I had similar problems, I have been labelled as snobby, posh and stand offish, but I was really shy and quite wary. Once I got to know people I came out of my shell and then they found a funny, confident and articulate person.

Now I'm of an age I can be cantankerous, sarcastic and downright abrupt if I don't get service in shops, the great thing is I get away with it, most of the time! :-)


Seeker7 profile image

Seeker7 5 years ago from Fife, Scotland Author

Hi Bumpsymum,

Many thanks for stopping by and for your comment. It seems to be across the board that most people pick up on shy people in the totally wrong way. Thankfully most of them stick around long enough to see what great people they are.


Bumpsysmum profile image

Bumpsysmum 5 years ago from Cambridgeshire

Yes, for sure, I find that the ones that hang around long enough are the ones worth having as friends, the rest tend to judge the book by the cover too quickly, my view is it's their loss. Fortunately I'm very independent and I get by very well on my own, but having friends is nice if they are true :-)


acaetnna profile image

acaetnna 5 years ago from Guildford

Great hub. There is nothing wrong with being shy in my opinion. The shy ones slowly evolve and become the pillar of society.They tend to be very loving and caring in my opinion.


Seeker7 profile image

Seeker7 5 years ago from Fife, Scotland Author

Hi acaetnna (what a great name!), anyway, many thanks for stopping by and your insightful comment. I was thinking a lot about what you said and it has amazed me how many 'shy' people I knew from school are in really responsible positions - 2 policemen, 1 minister, 1 chargenurse and an engineer. And yes, you are right again, these folks are still very loving and caring, not only in their professions but in general.


Clairepeek profile image

Clairepeek 5 years ago

Loved your hub! I enjoyed reading. It was very informative too, which is bonus ^_^

It felt like I was reading about most of my childhood - and probably my adulthood. I would never dream of growing out of my shyness. Thanks for the share!


Seeker7 profile image

Seeker7 5 years ago from Fife, Scotland Author

Hi Claire,

Great to hear from you again - have you written any lovely poetry on being shy? If so let me know as I would like to read it. I'm glad that there are still people like you who keep their shyness because that is who they are and don't feel compelled to change. Many thanks for stopping by.


seriousnuts profile image

seriousnuts 5 years ago from Philippines

Hi Seeker7! It's such a relief to know that there are many shy people like me. You are right, being shy is worth celebrating. Although being shy might become obstacles to some things, so does being too confident. Each personality has its own pros and cons. We should just embrace ourselves and use our being shy to our own good. Cheers to all the shy people out there! =)


Mrs. J. B. profile image

Mrs. J. B. 5 years ago from Southern California

Seeker: My husband is shy were as I am not. Shy people have this dry like Dean Martin sense of humor that is amazing plus when you get to know them they can be so naughty! Yet they do not get caught. Its the outgoing ones that always get blamed.. I know this all too well. HAHA


Seeker7 profile image

Seeker7 5 years ago from Fife, Scotland Author

Hi seriousnuts,

Many thanks for stopping by and leaving a very interesting comment. I agree with you 100%. Every type of person/personality has the good and the bad. The best way to balance things out, is not to get rid of a part of yourself, but to balance them up. And learn to use your personal traits to best advantage.

Hi Mrs J.B. I know exactly what you mean. I have a friend who is very shy but his sense of humour and pranks are amazing - all in all he is actually a very amazing guy and I love his shyness. Many thanks for stopping by.


Mrs. J. B. profile image

Mrs. J. B. 5 years ago from Southern California

Seeker: You write great hubs and write about interesting things that I like better than say all those diet hubs! LOL. Have a fabulous Saturday!


spsingh profile image

spsingh 5 years ago from iwebeffects.com

Bradd Pitt is shy shocked !!! he is like me lolzzz


Seeker7 profile image

Seeker7 5 years ago from Fife, Scotland Author

Hi spsingh,

Many thanks for stopping by and for your comment. I was 'gub-smacked' as well to learn that Brad Pitt is shy - but I think it makes him more cute! LOL


Anne Pettit profile image

Anne Pettit 5 years ago from North Carolina

There is nothing wrong with being a little cautious. Nice hub!


Seeker7 profile image

Seeker7 5 years ago from Fife, Scotland Author

Hello Anne, lovely to hear from you and many thanks for stopping to read the hub. I agree with you, there is nothing wrong with being a little cautious, especially in today's high speed pace of life.


Lucky Cats profile image

Lucky Cats 5 years ago from The beautiful Napa Valley, California

Seeker, I'm with you on this one. I was very shy as a child and still carry that trait today; and I don't see it as a negative. Sometimes, people are too quick to "say the right thing," or "act the right way," or say and act in ways that are entirely false to their nature but do so because it is expected. I was never comfortable with this way of behaving...."small talk" and other babble just to be babbling was never something I felt right about; or that I felt was being honest; who I truly am. I think we are expected to be ever talking, ever animated even when it is unnatural to our character and, possibly, to the environment in which we find ourselves at any given moment. Shyness means, to me, that the person takes time to merge into a situation or to evaluate how one might relate to people/places/things rather than just jumping in, eyes closed.

I like this: "Very frequently shy people do come across as being much more genuine and down to earth than confident people. Giving off an air of quiet modesty is never negative and can bring great benefits -"

You've touched on some very important and, concurrently, overt truths about the real meaning of and reason for shyness. I agree with you; it isn't necessarily or even at all a negative...it's a positive, in my book!

Thank you for a unique and thought provoking hub.

UP USEFUL, AWESOME


Seeker7 profile image

Seeker7 5 years ago from Fife, Scotland Author

Hi again luckycats and once more a huge thank you for your positive comments. I agree with you entirely that shyness is not negative at all and it is a trait where by people absorb their surroundings and others before rushing in. It is a worry as well, that because shyness can be viewed as negative, many shy people try so hard to be a different person to who they truly are. I think that this is very harmful to them and could lead to a high level of anxiety, possibly even mental health issues. We should celebrate our differences not become clones.

Many thanks again for stopping by I really loved your comment.


jami l. pereira 5 years ago

Shyness can be quite crippling in all aspects of ones life ... it causes an insane fear at times , thank you for this article , it is very informal and its an awesome read ! job well done ! i voted this up and awesome anduseful thank you for sharing:)!


Seeker7 profile image

Seeker7 5 years ago from Fife, Scotland Author

Hi jami,

You are so right - shyness can be crippling. From childhood right until about my twenties I was extremely shy and so nervous about making a fool of myself in front of people. I would lie awake at night worrying about what was wrong with me? It wasn't until I matured a little that I finally cracked it. I didn't stop being shy, after all that was part of who I am, but I didn't allow it to stifle me either. I took time but I got there.

Anyway, many thanks for visiting and for taking the time to comment - your kind support is much appreciated.


jacqui2011 profile image

jacqui2011 5 years ago from Leicester, United Kingdom

What a fantastic read. I totally agree with it. Shyness is often portrayed as a negative trait. I am a very shy person, you hit the nail on the head when you wrote this hub. I am quiet and get a bit nervous, but that's just my personality, not a disability. A truly great hub. Voted up and awesome.


marcoujor profile image

marcoujor 5 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

Seeker 7,

This is a fabulous article and some balanced information I try to keep in mind as a Nursing Instructor of adults. Some of the most beautiful and compassionate nurses are shy, on the exterior. I treasure and encourage one valuable comment from such a nurse during class. There are always other personalities to keep discussion lively. And, as your article says, I do not imply that such students are not listening or respectful.

As Mom taught me, still waters run deep. I will be sharing with some students in an effort to help them see this is a style, not an "affliction".

PS- we are even the same age!

Voted UP & UAB-- thank you very much, mar!


Seeker7 profile image

Seeker7 5 years ago from Fife, Scotland Author

1. hi jacqui2011. many thanks for your lovely comment and for stopping by. You are right - you are the person you are and you should be applauded for it, not made to feel inferior. Imagine how dull this world would be if we were all the same type and personality? What a bore that would be. It's the diversity within human beings that makes us interesting.

2. Hi marcoujor, many thanks for stopping by and what a wonderful comment to leave. I'm very surprised but delighted that you have found so much worth in it. I sincerely thank you. I also agree with you about nurses. One of the best nurses I ever worked with, among many, was my first nurse tutor. She was exceptionally shy, intelligent, empathic, loving and funny! She would always say that the way she was born into the world is the way she would leave it - she felt totally comfortable with being shy. She was such a gem and I she certainly helped me to come to terms with my shyness. Your Mum is very wise and the old saying 'still waters run deep' is very true. Oh and it's great to see that we are even the same age!!! How bizzare is that! I love it when things like this happen. I look forward to reading more of your own work and many thanks again for stopping by.


ravenlt04 profile image

ravenlt04 5 years ago from Atlanta, GA

Thanks for this hub, Seeker 7! Cute smileys!


Seeker7 profile image

Seeker7 5 years ago from Fife, Scotland Author

Hi ravenlt04,

many thanks for stopping by and taking the time to leave a comment. Nice to hear from you.


gmwilliams profile image

gmwilliams 5 years ago from the Greatest City In The World-New York City, New York

To Seeker7: Great hub. The power of quiet is very nice and should be celebrated. The world would be better off if quieter and introverted people ruled it. No competition or upmanship involved, just peace and cooperation.


Seeker7 profile image

Seeker7 5 years ago from Fife, Scotland Author

Hi gmwilliams,

Many thanks for stopping by and for leaving such a lovely comment. I also agree with you about quieter people ruling - I think all aspects of life from the environment to politics would be clean, fair, honest and open - at least we can dream!


Jazzie53 profile image

Jazzie53 5 years ago

Seeker-----beautifully done! I am,rofl, not a shy person, but I am the mom of a shyer child who is now a young man in his own right. As the parent of a shy child, I have found it is beyond important to respect who is, the person that is at the core of this young man, rather than try to make him over. His shyness has turned into a quiet confidence, he is a negotiator, he is not shy when he is around his close friends, and his friends respect each other deeply. So I think shy is important, shy is beautiful, shy is needful to tone down the excesses of those of us who are too blatantly outgoing, and need to learn to "talk less and say more" which is so beautifully demonstrated here. Well said!


Seeker7 profile image

Seeker7 5 years ago from Fife, Scotland Author

Hi Jazzie53,

Many thanks for stopping by and for leaving such a great and informative comment. I think the world needs all kinds of people the outgoing ones and the quieter ones. Different personalities work better at different things.

I think you are a very wonderful and amazing Mum to be able to see the real person that your son is and all the good things that being shy makes him. You have celebrated shyness before I even wrote this hub so give yourself a huge gold star!!!LOL. Many thanks again for stopping by it was lovely to hear from you.


Dee aka Nonna profile image

Dee aka Nonna 5 years ago

I happened upon your name when I was reading the comments section of a hub I was reading. When I came to your site the title caught my attention. I see I am in good company when I say I too am shy...was painfully so when I was a child. The only time now that I am not is when I am in control of the event..when I host the party, etc. I make sure everyone is welcomed, personally by me and make sure they feel as comfortable as possible through the event. I also am not shy when I am giving a speech of some sort....I love doing that. This is a great hub, enjoyed it very much..voted up.

By the way, will come back and read the one about Ghost next...ghosts...I think is a fasinating subject.


Seeker7 profile image

Seeker7 5 years ago from Fife, Scotland Author

Hi Dee aka Nonna,

Thank you so much for leaving such a great comment and giving us all more insight into being shy.

You are right when you say that you are in good company -the majority of shy people are wonderful human beings - look at the way you yourself look after your guests when you organise an event? This is one of the best traits of shy people. They have deep insight into how to make others relax and feel welcome - it is an extraordinary gift. As you say when we are in control then our shyness takes on a different form. Rather than thinking and feeling inwards we feel outwards in order that other people will enjoy what we have created. This is the same with your public speaking - I admire you by the way as a public speaker, I was never any good at that.

It was a pleasure to meet you and hopefully we will have more communications over hub pages.


Phil Plasma profile image

Phil Plasma 5 years ago from Montreal, Quebec

What Jill says in her quote is so true - outgoing people will often try to encourage a shy person to get involved while the shy person is perfectly content, if not fully comfortable and happy to be and stay on the outside, observing.

Depending on the circumstances and my mood and the time of day, I'll either be reasonably outgoing or I'll be quite pleased with sitting quietly and listening in.


Seeker7 profile image

Seeker7 5 years ago from Fife, Scotland Author

Hi Phil,

Many thanks for stopping by and a great comment.

I agree with Jill as well and this has happened to me on numerous occasions. People have actually asked me why don't I join in more etc. When in fact I'm really enjoying just listening to the conversations or watching what is happening around me - but some people just don't get it.

And Yes - you're right. A lot of how we react or don't react in company/situations is due to our mood, company, place, event and so on. I can be very 'out' at times. But just as often I'm in the background and very happy and content to be there.


Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 5 years ago from North Carolina

Great hub Seeker7-I think you nailed it here with the thorough explanation and then the quotes from other shy people was sheer genius! Loved it.


Seeker7 profile image

Seeker7 5 years ago from Fife, Scotland Author

Hi Denise,

I was very shy when young and every definition I read about shyness didn't explain who I was or what I was feeling. Therefore you can grow up thinking very negative things about being shy, when in fact it's not.

Lovely to hear from you and glad that you enjoyed the hub.


Dyhannah profile image

Dyhannah 5 years ago from Texas

Great Hub. "Shyness" gave me such wonderful incite to life. We are the silent observers and I love Hubpages as a way of finding our voice.


Seeker7 profile image

Seeker7 5 years ago from Fife, Scotland Author

Hello Dyhannah,

Yes - shyness does give a wonderful insight into many aspects of life. I think that's why I love Hub Pages as well, you do find your voice and a great way to express what we have to offer. I see it time and time again just how much depth and wisdom shy people have. And places like Hub Pages provide a wonderful platform to share this.

I loved your most interesting comment and observation.


ubanichijioke profile image

ubanichijioke 5 years ago from Lagos

I totally agree with you inasmuch as shyness may be frowned at, it does have advantages. Shy people are more easily approachable than proud and presumptuous individuals etc. Thanks for this eye opener. Great hub


Seeker7 profile image

Seeker7 5 years ago from Fife, Scotland Author

Hi ubanichijioke,

Many thanks for stopping by and glad that you enjoyed the hub. I agree with you that for me as well, shy people are much more comfortable than the OTT ones - they tend to irritate me and zap my energy levels very quickly!LOL!


Rehana Stormme profile image

Rehana Stormme 5 years ago

I enjoyed reading this hub - very well written and insightful.

I agree that it is wrong to generalize that shy people find it harder to get a partner or that shy people are 'timid' but I still think that if your shyness is hindering you from achieving your goals or conflicting with your other interests, it is worth it to invest in acquiring traits that will show you as a non-shy individual.

That being said, there is no need for anyone for anyone to feel that being shy is abnormal or 'wrong' in any way. For me, making conversation, cracking jokes, looking someone in the eye while talking are very easy things to do, yet I still come across as 'shy' because I choose not to hang out late at night, or choose to keep quiet and think about my next hub rather than join in a pointless conversation.

I used to get furious when someone would call me shy but I am now more accepting of it. Infact, if someone asks me why I didn't do something, I say, "Oh, you know Charlie, I'm shy like that!!" Lol!

Celebrating shyness...ah, it's a refreshing change from all those 'overcome shyness' etc articles.


Seeker7 profile image

Seeker7 5 years ago from Fife, Scotland Author

Hi Rehana,

Lovely to hear from you again and many thanks for your very positive comments about the article.

I certainly agree with you, as I mentioned in the hub, that if shyness gets to such a level that it is hampering your life rather than enhancing it, then steps should be taken to work on the areas of life where shyness is not a bonus. I would of course say the same to a person who was over-confident and part of their personality was causing them difficulties with other people.

I think I really wrote the article because, like you, I was fed up reading all sorts of negative things about shyness. Not only that, I felt there was a lot of nonsense written about being shy as well - like shy people were defective in some way. Which is of course untrue. Shy people are the silent back-bone of any community and without them we would be much poorer indeed.


jenn-zee profile image

jenn-zee 5 years ago from Toronto, Ontario

Wow, this is a great overview on shyness. You have an easy-to-read writing style and lots of good insights. Keep up the good work!

I love it that you are challenging the universal assumption that shyness is bad. I get especially irritated when it is suggested that one should become less shy and more outgoing to fall in love. If you try to pretend to be someone else and present an inaccurate picture of yourself to the world, how could anybody you meet fall in love with YOU? People wouldn't know who you are, because you're pretending to be someone else!


Seeker7 profile image

Seeker7 5 years ago from Fife, Scotland Author

Hi jenn-zee,

Great to hear from you again and many thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment.

I do feel it's important for people to accept other people as they are. Why should it be the case that everyone should be the same type? Variety is the spice of life and we're human not clones! Shyness, when it is holding you back in certain areas can be worked on. But on the whole the shy person has many wonderful attributes that more confident people may not have.

Shyness is a way of being not a fault. And no wonder so many, kids and young folk in particular, have so many hang ups about themselves when they are constantly hearing how defective they are? Therefore I felt the need to write a hub and correct this and tell them, just for a change how wonderful they actually are.

I agree with you 100% to give out a false persona of who you are can only lead to problems. It also confuses the person about who they really are. Be yourself at all times is definitely the way to fall in love.

Many thanks again for the visit and for leaving such an interesting comment!


Bronterae profile image

Bronterae 5 years ago from Nor Cal

Great hub. I can be shy too and this is a great way to look at it. Thanks!


Seeker7 profile image

Seeker7 5 years ago from Fife, Scotland Author

Hello Bronterae,

Many thanks for stopping by and glad that you enjoyed the hub. There are many of us shy folks - a real force to be reckoned with! LOL!


Injured lamb profile image

Injured lamb 5 years ago

I was once very shy but learned to overcome as there are situations sometimes that we are not encouraged and advised to be shy...and I did it of course though there are times happened that I still not comfortable with...(feel so release that being shy can be celebrated...)thanks for this great sharing hub Seeker7, appreciate it much.


Seeker7 profile image

Seeker7 5 years ago from Fife, Scotland Author

Hello Injured lamb,

Many thanks for stopping by and glad that you enjoyed the hub. And you are right - it is a release knowing that we can be shy and celebrate being the people we really are without having to conform to what society feels we should be. Everyone should be celebrated for their differences, not for being the same.

Many thanks again for your visit.


Admiral_Joraxx profile image

Admiral_Joraxx 5 years ago from Philippines

Being shy is not that bad after all. So I might consider being shy sometimes. =) Also to be able to relate well and put myself into the side of shy people. You got another great work here Seeker7. Nice discussion on shyness. I kinda become shy for being so confident about myself. 1 vote up, useful and interesting for this.


Seeker7 profile image

Seeker7 5 years ago from Fife, Scotland Author

Hello to you Admiral_Jorrax,

LOL! What a wonderful comment to leave - I really appreciate your fascinating insights! Many thanks once again for stopping by and the vote up!


lakeets profile image

lakeets 4 years ago from London

Wow great post, I love the fact you wrote about this. It seems that there is so much emphasis on being loud and outspoken that shy is almost seen as inferior. I think it's so endearing and humble to be shy. It's just a shame that others do see those qualities.


Seeker7 profile image

Seeker7 4 years ago from Fife, Scotland Author

Hi lakeets,

Many thanks for stopping by and for leaving such an interesting comment. You are right when you say that the emphasis is put on being 'loud and outspoken'. Frequently in life being loud and outspoken is the wrong attitude to take. If the whole planet was filled with loud folks and no quiet ones, imagine how much the noise factor would increase in this already noise polluted planet! But seriously, this world, human beings, need all kinds of people in order for society to function properly. Shy people, with their unique qualities, are just as essential as the more obvious people are!

Many thanks again for your visit, I enjoyed reading your comment!


That Grrl profile image

That Grrl 4 years ago from Barrie, Ontario, Canada

I was a shy kid until after high school when I decided to fake not being shy.


Seeker7 profile image

Seeker7 4 years ago from Fife, Scotland Author

Hi That Grrl,

Many thanks for stopping by and taking the time to leave a comment.

That's very sad but also very common that youngsters feel they have to hide their true selves in order to feel more accepted.


JimmieWriter profile image

JimmieWriter 4 years ago from Memphis, TN USA

Interesting topic for discussion, for sure! I am far from shy, but I am basically an introvert. Those are very different things altogether. I am amazed that actors could be described as shy. Very mystifying to me. I've never understood being shy because I'm not, but I would like to understand the shy mentality. It seems to me often to be rooted in insecurity. If not, it is simply mis-labeled introversion.


Seeker7 profile image

Seeker7 4 years ago from Fife, Scotland Author

Hi JimmieWriter,

Many thanks for stopping by and glad that you found the hub interesting.

being introverted as well, yes I would agree that shyness can be different to a certain extent. However, I don't think being shy is necessarily rooted in insecurity at all times. Shy people can be insecure about some things, but you can also have other folks, who seem to be the life and soul of the party who are very insecure about certain aspects of themselves - very often their looks. My agrument is, is that shyness is a way of being not an insecurity. As to being mis-labled as introversion, this is a good point, and I'm sure some shy people would agree, but possibly not all.

On the face of it, yes I agree, it would seem that actors would be the last people to be shy. But if you listen to what they say, often the very act of putting on a different persona/role/character is enough to put their usual quieter side into the back ground, at least for a while.

Many thanks again for stopping by and for leaving such an interesting comment - I enjoyed this response.


Cardozo7 profile image

Cardozo7 4 years ago from Portugal

Great hub. I consider myself to be shy but i do agree with you that in most situations it is a positive thing. Looking back i can see some situations where my shyness maybe didn't work so well, but in general i believe it to be quality


Seeker7 profile image

Seeker7 4 years ago from Fife, Scotland Author

Hi Cardozo7,

I do agree with you about shyness that most of the time it can be a bonus. But when shyness is causing a negative response in life then yes, we should do something about it. Having said that, there are mamy times when over confidence is just as much a liability, but we don't seem to hear that much about this side of the personality. I wonder why?

I'm really glad that you enjoyed the hub and many thanks for your visit - it is appreciated!


Sunshine625 profile image

Sunshine625 4 years ago from Orlando, FL

I used to be shy...believe it or not! Once I hit age 25 the shyness vanished and never returned. Now I can't shut up! Haha!

I agree shy people could still be very successful. Both country singer Tim McGraw and Keith Urban and extremely shy...that's hard to believe, yet it's the truth.

Fantastic hub!!!


Seeker7 profile image

Seeker7 4 years ago from Fife, Scotland Author

Hi Sunshine, many thanks for stopping by and glad that you enjoyed the hub. I was very shy as well when younger and you're right, once you get older you do tend to loose that to the point you don't care what people think of you! But at the end of the day, I still think there is a lot of positive things that can come out of being shy, it's just a case of getting a good balance.

LOL! I have to admit that I find it very difficult now to 'shut up' as well!!!


iamaudraleigh 4 years ago

Helen, I like to read refreshing hubs like this one!!!

I have become more shy over time. I love to talk a lot!!! However, I talk better through the written word...less anxiety.

You said it best..."don't be bullied by society to try and turn you into something you are not." I agree!

Voted up and shared!!!


Seeker7 profile image

Seeker7 4 years ago from Fife, Scotland Author

Hi imaudraleigh, many thanks for stopping by and glad that you enjoyed the hub. You are right - don't let anyone change you. The world is a much more interesting place when we have all types of people!


Gracia Baliw-an 4 years ago from Tabangaoen,La Trinidad Benguet, Philippines

When I was younger I am a very shy person. I can't talk easily to people whom I'm not close with. I always have stage frights. Now I'm doing hard on building relationships to other people. I want to get rid of the Shy Monster inside of me.


Seeker7 profile image

Seeker7 4 years ago from Fife, Scotland Author

Hello Gracia Baliw-an, many thanks for stopping by and for leaving a very interesting commnent. That's great that you are building up on relationships. I was shy as well when younger, so I know what the down side of shyness can be. But on the other hand don't feel that you have to change completely in order to 'fit in'. Shy people have many, many positive qualities. By all means, get your confidence to a level where you feel happy, but don't think you have to entirely change or be like everyone else.


Victoria Lynn profile image

Victoria Lynn 4 years ago from Arkansas, USA

Great point! It's okay to be shy! I, too, have seen so many things on how to overcome it. How about how to overcome being too outgoing?! LOL. You make some great points. Awesome hub. Many votes!


Seeker7 profile image

Seeker7 4 years ago from Fife, Scotland Author

Hi Victoria Lynn many thanks for stopping by and glad that you enjoyed the hub. I think that's why I was inspired to write this hub, I was getting fed up of seeing all the negatives when there are just as many positives.


articlesocean profile image

articlesocean 4 years ago from London, United Kingdom

I've been shy in all my years of school, shy of making friends at school and people thought i was mean, and in my 1st year of college i was shy too but then there came a time when i thought that people are taking advantage of me being shy and quiet! now I'm just straight forward to people, however still a little shy in some circumstances. but i think i'll be out of that too! Great Hub ! Loved it Voted up and interesting!


Seeker7 profile image

Seeker7 4 years ago from Fife, Scotland Author

Hi articlesocean, many thanks for stopping by and glad that you found the article interesting! One of the down sides of being shy can be that people take advantage because they see you as a soft touch - they're not long in getting a shake when they realise that being shy doesn't automatically mean that you will allow yourself to be walked over. Good for you for standing up for yourself!!

The thing about celebrating being shy is to take all the positives that it gives you and, like you are doing, dump all the bits that hold you back.

Many thanks for the vote up - really appreciated!


articlesocean profile image

articlesocean 4 years ago from London, United Kingdom

yes, many people overcome this situation, and it gets really frustrating, so its better to avoid being shy and be straight up. but always respect the elders, in my opinion you can be shy with elders, i call it respect.


Seeker7 profile image

Seeker7 4 years ago from Fife, Scotland Author

Couldn't agree with you more and yes, our elders always should have respect.


Laura10 4 years ago

Thankyou for this article, it's always a breath of fresh air for me to read something positive about shyness or introversion. I came here from a google search to see if there was an official day for either introversion or shyness, and while I couldn't find one for shyness, I just wanted to let you all know that there apparently is a "World Introvert Day" on January 2 each year. The logic behind the date is that it's when all the holiday parties are over and you can just go home and breathe and spend some time on your own. Christmas in July (July 25) would be an alternative date to celebrate.


Seeker7 profile image

Seeker7 4 years ago from Fife, Scotland Author

Hi Laura10 - many thanks for stopping by and glad that you enjoyed the hub.

The main reason I wrote this hub was because, like yourself, I was sick and tired of reading negative things about shy or introverted people, when in fact there is so much to be positive about.

That's very interesting about January 2nd being 'World Introvert Day'! I will need to mark this date on my calendar. I'm in Scotland, so 2nd January is still a holiday so I'll maybe hang off until the 3rd so that I can peace to enjoy my 'introversion day' LOL!!


thattersley profile image

thattersley 4 years ago from Australia

i really like this. every word you said. i am an introverted person, i have a lot of trouble socializing, especially in small groups. but my biggest dream is to be an actor. i have told a few peope this and you can guess what they say to it...."but aren't you a bit quiet and shy for that" personally the only reason i am this way is because i cant stand myself, and who i am, that's why acting has always been something i enjoy, because i just love the idea of "being someone else". i was painfully shy all through high school but was awarded as the best actor in our drama class....my teachers, family and friends have always been baffled as to how "good i was on stage" and they said stuff like "what happened to Tim?? who was that person on stage"....i wish society could accept us and give us a chance...thank you so much for the hub (sorry for rambling) :-)


Seeker7 profile image

Seeker7 4 years ago from Fife, Scotland Author

Hi thattersley, many thanks for stopping by and for sharing such a great comment. You weren't rambling at all, so no need to apologise. You've told a very familiar story to everyone who is introverted.

Yes, it would be great if society would just accept and praise people for what they are, not what society thinks they should be. That is the real reason so many shy people don't like themselves, because basically they feel that there must be something very wrong with them. Well, there isn't anything wrong at all with shy people. It's society as a whole has one-sided, negative view of what we should all be like. Well, I don't agree with society at all. What would the world be like if we were all the same? If there were no people to do the deep thinking? No people who have the deep sensitivities to instinctively know how to put things right? This world would be a much more confused and painful place if it wasn't for the introverts.

It's not uncommon at all for actors to be shy - in fact many of the very best actors will tell you that they are shy and that acting does help. Also, once they are up on that stage in front of an audience, they don't have any difficulties at all. I think you have a great future ahead of you in acting and I wish you well in your career! Many thanks again for taking the time to reply to the hub.


FW Keyes profile image

FW Keyes 3 years ago

Love this hub and thanks for addressing the issue of shyness. It seems well meaning friends who try to push shy people out of shyness, do not realize they are accomplishing the exact opposite. Some people are not shy just introverts. Check out the book.. The introvert advantage: how to thrive in an extrovert world. This sheds a lot of light on shy vs. introvert.


Seeker7 profile image

Seeker7 3 years ago from Fife, Scotland Author

Hi FW Keyes, many thanks for stopping by and glad that you enjoyed the hub!

The book you mention sounds very interesting and I will look this one up - thanks for the tip! I agree as well about 'well-meaning friends' and that's my point about shyness, that if people accepted other for who and what they are then shyness would start to be 'celebrated' rather than looked on as some kind of social issuse that has to be rectified. When I was in my young teens, and shy and introverted, I really did get fed up with people making excuses for me like I was defective and I think most shy and/or introverted people feel the same way.

Many thanks for the great comment and once again for the tip!!


skysky1 3 years ago

I love all of these positive comments. I am talkative but shy. I would not consider myself quiet but I am reserved. I personally love being around talkative, shy people.


natcat121 3 years ago

Would you consider being shy and being a wallflower the same thing?


Seeker7 profile image

Seeker7 3 years ago from Fife, Scotland Author

Hi skysky1, huge apologies for taking so long to reply. I haven't been around Hub Pages as much over the last few weeks as I've had other work to do.

Many thanks for your comment and I do know where you are coming from. When younger, if I was with a group of people that I felt very comfortable with, then I could be very talkative as well. I think for shy people, it's not just other 'people' that can make us draw back, but often the sense we get from the environment itself. I've sometimes been with folks that I know and like, but the place we were in just didn't seem comfortable and made me reserved.


Seeker7 profile image

Seeker7 3 years ago from Fife, Scotland Author

Hi natcat121, apologies for taking so long to respond. I haven't been around Hub Pages for a few weeks.

I think being shy and being a wallflower can be the same, but it depends on the person's own feelings. I know shy people who are still confident with their abilities, but there are many types of people who are 'wall flowers' because of lack of confidence rather than being shy.


moonlake profile image

moonlake 3 years ago from America

I'm old now but I was very shy as a child and teenager and I'm still shy. It does hold me back some because I hate walking into a room full of people.

When I was young I had no trouble with boys, my friends were out going and fun but I was in the background watching and listening to all their fun. Boys didn't seem to mind that I was shy and ask me on dates.

I have been called a snob when I never mean to be one I'm just quiet. I have a hard time walking into banks, restaurants and places like that. It is painful for me to think of something to say to a stranger.

Voted up on your hub.


Seeker7 profile image

Seeker7 3 years ago from Fife, Scotland Author

Hi moonlake - huge apologies for taking so long to respond to your - very interesting - comment. I've been taking some time away from Hub Pages to catch up with other things.

Since I've got older - I'm 51 now - I'm not as shy as I once was. However, like you, I can still find it difficult to go into certain situations where there are groups of people. In some cases I feel fine, if the feelings I get when entering seem okay, but on other occasions, like you, I would rather not have to do it.

In addition, I'm also a loner and very happy to be one, so this usually means, that although I like people a lot, I only usually tolerate them in short bursts. I'm in heaven sitting on my own with a good book or movie, while others go out to socialise. To be honest, it took me a number of years just to accept myself for what I am. Sure, people do think that shy people, folks that are loners etc are either snobby, as you rightly say, or odd. Well my way of looking at it now, is that, if they think we're snobs or a bit odd, that's their problem and not ours. We accept the foibles of out-going people without question, therefore, the same respect and thought should be given to us.

I think the problems for shy people often lie in societies inability to accept people for what they are, instead they try to pigeon hole us all into what they think are 'normal' boxes. If you don't fit the box you're either weird, eccentric, anti-social or stuck up! In fact shy people are just as normal as those that are out going, and in many cases much more so.

Many thanks again for your interesting comment.


TimArends profile image

TimArends 2 years ago from Chicago Region

As a shy person, I think the best definition of shyness is "having trouble communicating or connecting with other people." There is also a difference between shyness and introversion, and I think that at least being an introvert helped keep me out of trouble as a kid. I have shared some of my experiences here of being a shy college student. On the other hand, my best moment was in reaching the point where I could accept my shyness rather than trying to change it.


Seeker7 profile image

Seeker7 2 years ago from Fife, Scotland Author

Hi TimArends, many thanks for responding to my hub and for the fascinating comment. I think the important point being 'accepting my shyness' and hopefully the community at large will also start to accept shyness and the positives it can bring to society.

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