When I was younger, I was painfully shy. At home, I was energetic and laughed as loudly as a child does. However, as I grew older I knew that in order to communicate with other people, I needed to be polite and speak to others. Even as a teenager now, I still have moments when I would prefer not to talk to someone, in order to avoid small talk. But, what I really want to address, is that Shyness and Introversion are two separate things. They are often combined, because indeed, some introverts are shy, but then again, some extroverts are too.
In elementsbehavioralhealth.com, it explains that Introverts:
- Enjoys time alone. Indeed, that is how they recharge.
- Needs less stimulation than the extrovert. An evening with a good friend of two is generally much more desirable than a large party, for example.
- Tends to have powerful skills of concentration and to prefer immersing themselves in one task at a time.
- Quickly wearies of small talk but often enjoys digging deep into a topic.
- Thinks before they speak and is often characterized as a good listener.
- May be socially adept but quickly tires of parties or group gatherings where they must be “on” for long stretches. Their social energy is limited, and they guard their supply.
There may be situations in business, entertainment, public speaking, conferences, acting and so forth, that an introvert may adopt aspects of extroversion in order to communciate their message. Shyness on the other hand is: a fear of negative judgment by others. As an introvert, if I had a choice to go out on a Friday night, I would consider whether I’d rather stay in or spend energy to socialise. However, a Shy person would think about how other’s might perceive or judge them.
I often wonder why is introversion still often looked down upon in the adult world?
I loved reading this excerpt from HelloGiggles that I can fully relate to:
So, you can say I’m quiet. It’s true, even when I do speak it’s not very loudly. You can say I’m a hermit. It’s true, I don’t venture outside unless I have plans with a friend, I need groceries, or perhaps I want a picnic in the park on a sunny afternoon. You can even point out my bitchface because I’ve seen it for myself. But, please, please, don’t dare call me shy, timid, scared, anxious, or weak. I am confident in my introvertness. I am strong. I am proud. I am capable of great things. You just won’t hear me say those things out loud, because, frankly, I don’t talk much. And that’s okay.
And even if someone is shy, please don’t make it sound like a negative thing. It’s really not. Often, we also forget that everyone’s personality is different and it’s not best to make assumptions. If someone is quiet, they are not necessarily shy. If someone is introverted, they are not necessarily shy. Shyness, Introversion, Being Quiet and having Social Anxiety are all different.