I’m quiet and shy.
At university, I hardly said anything in tutorials unless the tutor asked me a question. Hanging out with others whom I barely know or just met, I usually don’t say much either.
When we’re shy, we feel confused. Words don’t come easy out of our mouths when others talk to us. Some of us are shy because we’re not used to being around others or certain people: it’s intimidating, and we don’t know what to expect.
We feel trapped when shyness comes over us. We feel the need to be quiet. Shyness can be a cultural thing. My Chinese-Malaysian parents brought me up to listen to others when they’re talking – and I needn’t respond to them. These days, I still hear this message at the back of my head.
When we’re shy, we feel afraid. Afraid of being social. Our mouth goes dry, our heart beats a little faster and our face feels flush. Sometimes shyness stems from anxiety or some sort of phobia.
It’s easy to disappear into the crowd when we find it hard to say a few words. Chatty people naturally talk to other chatty people and when we’re shy, it feels awkward to butt in or interrupt them as much as we want to. It feels like we’re missing out on things. We might feel relieved when others leave us alone, seeing we’re “not up” for small talk. But sometimes, it gets lonely.
Being shy isn’t all bad. When we’re not the life of the party, we watch. Listen to conversations. Become more self-aware of what’s going on around us.
When we’re shy, we keep to ourselves. But that doesn’t necessarily mean we’re not confident with who we are and what we do. We know that we’re shy; we know ourselves to some degree. When we shy away from people, chances are we go and do what we like and what we’re good at. For me, it’s writing and playing video games.
Sometimes it’s normal to feel shy. But sometimes being shy is a part of who we are.
Are you shy? What happens when you talk to shy or quiet people?