Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Shy people: They're just like us

I can't tell you how much I wish I were like Jennifer Lawrence. Funny, charming, and outgoing in all situations. Uh, NOPE.

As much as it pains me to say, that just ain't in the cards for me.


I know, it's sad. 

But growing up, I was always shy and, though I've become better, I'm still a rather shy person. Not a quiet person. Just a shy person. By that, I mean, once I'm comfortable with somebody, I'll talk their damn ear off. But until I'm comfortable with them (and the reality is there are some people I'll never really be comfortable around), I probably come off as quiet, and, honestly, dull.  

So, I'd like to clear up some common assumptions that are made (rightly or not) about shy people. (And I promise not to sound too whiny. No promises on not being dramatic). 

1. Shy people aren't dry husks of human beings lacking in personalities. I know we can seem super dull, but it's only because social situations make us a little more nervous than other people (like, gah, J. Law). The reality is, I usually respond to people in kind. If you're overtly outgoing, I probably won't be as shy around you. But if you are super quiet, well then, we're pretty much screwed. (Though I love when I can feel like the outgoing person with someone even more shy!) Oh, and if you don't seem like you have a genuine bone in your body, then no, you'll never see my sparkling personality. Unless I'm drunk and then you'll see all of it.

2. Shy people aren't as timid as we seem. I mean I may look/sound timid, but I swear in my head I'm not! So, though when I speak it may sound like I'm questioning myself, in my head, I'm not. At all. (Yeah, I don't know either, it's annoying). 

3. Shy people aren't super nice as a rule. "Oh Katie would never say something mean or do anything bad!" Okay that's not totally verbatim, but I've heard comments like that more than once in my life and, let me tell you, it's a total crock. I mean, I don't mind people thinking I'm nice (yay?) but the reality is I think mean thoughts all the time. Like, well not everyone, but plenty of people. 

4. Shy people aren't weak. This is basically in line with the timid thing, but just this weekend I overhead a conversation between a guy complimenting an outgoing girl for being "sassy"  (i.e. loud) and saying how he hates girls who aren't and she was all, "oh yeah. They're pathetic." UGH. You're not special for being loud. I'm not special for being shy. Truce? 

5. Shy people don't need to be handled carefully. This probably also goes along with the timid thing too, like people think they need to handle me like an antique vase. But... well, actually this kind of comes in handy sometimes. Carry on.

6. Shy people aren't anti-social. Not at all. I love being around people. It just makes me a little anxious when it's around lots of people I don't know. 

7. Shy people have opinions. And lots of them. We just don't always choose to voice them.

Am I done? Let's say I'm done. (Ugh, I hate ending on uneven numbers.)

Okay here's one more:

8. Shy people aren't awkward. Hah. Just kidding. Yes we are.

But the nice thing is, shyness isn't a lifelong affliction and you can take steps to become less so. I keep telling myself one year it will just click, and I won't be shy anymore.

At the same time, I feel like I can get unfairly pegged as being shy by people I didn't even realize I was being shy around simply for not constantly talking. Like my dentist. C'mon, your hand is in my mouth for 90 percent of our interaction. What do you know?

Anyone else have frustrations with being shy? Or could you be a stand-in for Jennifer Lawrence? (Ugh, I hate you but let's also be best friends).

Also, I just realized that I admitted to being the Kristen Stewart in this whole here metaphor.


You know what? It's cool. I've got this.



  1. haha I totally relate to this. I'm shy too and it is crazy when shy 1 meets shy 2. unless something happens to get us out of our shell TOTALLY SCREWED. that's life though. trying to move past it.

  2. I know, and you hear about all things that can help bring you out of your shell (join a club! take an acting class!), but it's never really that simple. It's funny-- with some people I'm not shy at all and then with others, it can take ages to come out of my shell. Maybe as I keep getting older and caring less about what others think, it will get better and better!

  3. Katie, I love this! I was insanely shy as a child (like would not speak to anyone outside of my family and three friends) and am still very shy as an adult (though I don't come across as shy to many people, I am on the inside). I read Quiet: The Power of Introverts and it changed how I few shyness and introversion. I highly, highly recommend it! It made me understand how I function in social/work situations and why it is totally and completely okay.

    Also, I love shy people because once I get to know them, they usually become the funniest and sassiest people in the room who I want to hang out with all day long!

  4. Thanks, Amy! I was painfully shy up until college, when I started to get a little better and then my last job (working as a reporter) definitely helped, but I'm still pretty darn shy. I'll definitely have to check out that book, and you know what, I totally agree--a lot of times the shyest people I know end up being some of the most interesting people I know. We just have to get past that "oh no new person" barrier and then we're pretty awesome (if I do say so myself)!

  5. Heck yea, Momma, preach! I can vour about your sassy persona and I like to think that I'm a stand in for Jennifer Lawrence so maybe that's why we are besties....OMG, I'm a stand in for your love, aren't I?!

  6. Hahah. YES. You are absolutely a stand-in for my love.

  7. I KNOW! I was thinking about that as I wrote the more recent post. I'm so sick of thinking about shyness as something that needs to be fixed! I need to quit that.

  8. YES. I have to say, I take a certain pleasure in surprising/terrifying people with my temper because they think being shy means I'm a doormat. Just gives me a little extra oomph. And sometimes I'm quiet because I think no one around me can handle my awesomeness, and then I just sit in a corner trying not to snicker.

  9. Haha, yes, the surprise temper. What?! Being shy doesn't mean you're quiet ALL the time? I'm over people thinking they know who you are and what your personality is based on the social situations they see you in. Like no, when I'm at work I'm not going to cuss a lot or be loud and brash. Doesn't mean I act exactly like I do at work at home.