“Why are you so shy ?”

Friendship Together Bonding Unity Youth Culture Concept

Sometimes, people ask me this question and I don’t really know how to respond. Maybe if you’re also considered a shy person, this kind of situation can be relatable.

If you type “why are you so shy” on the internet, you get many pages on this topic (apart from Adele’s Someone Like You lyrics). Meaning that this question is very common.

I don’t find this especially annoying; I can understand that more outgoing and confident people just want to know why. But I just don’t know the answer, so it gets embarrassing for a few seconds. Then I reply something very stupid like:

“i…don’t know…i’m like that”

I shouldn’t have said that, because it implies a false theory:

  • i’m like that” = Shyness is who I am. It’s a part of my personality. It’s in my genes. I’ve always been shy. I sleep shy, I eat shy, I think shy. There’s something wrong with me.

The person to whom I replied this might not believe what I said to that extent. Actually, the problem has nothing to do with him, but rather with myself; in other words, I’m trying to convince myself that I’m a shy person.

I’m not.

I tend to be shy. I am shy on social occasions. But there are also moments when I’m not shy. For instance, I’m not shy with my parents. Therefore I think it should be more reassuring to say someone feels shy rather than someone IS shy. A phase (like happiness) rather than a personality trait.

But still, I’ll assume that I’m always shy, to the person who asked me “Why are you so shy?“.

Don’t you find it more difficult to hold your laugh when you tell yourself “Don’t laugh, don’t laugh, don’t !!!!!” ? Same thing goes for stress; when someone tells you to calm down, don’t you feel even more furious/anxious?

When someone implies that I am shy, I feel even shyer. 

The contrary is also true:

When someone seems to ignore the fact that I am shy, I get more comfortable.

I don’t really know why, I’m not an expert of the mind and not even on my own. Maybe it has something to do with the image you try to give to others. If you think you should act a certain way, you’re more likely to be cautious on your own thoughts and gestures.

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