Thursday, August 11, 2011

On Not Explaining Myself

I find myself explaining too often that I'm not shy, and I realize that I shouldn't be making such a fuss. It's really only a matter of semantics, and not everyone cares as much about the distinction in meaning as I do. Plus, why should it matter to me what others think? Especially when I'm not all that close to them?

The next time someone says that I'm shy, I'll remind myself that it's not important to disagree. Perhaps I'll just play along. Why resist? Why not simply agree and say that I am shy? And then maybe excuse myself because I'm too shy to continue talking with them.

Or I suppose I could just let it pass and then continue on to some other topic. It's not as if I can change anyone's mind. Still, I guess I'd rather take an interest in someone who's willing to understand my perspective as much as I'd be willing to understand theirs. But I know this is idealistic nonsense. And maybe it's not always worth the effort.



Mei Lian said...

A small smile is what reply with. ;)

Zeri Kyd said...

Mei Lian, you are kinder than me. That would be the simplest thing.

Clouds said...

This is something that bothers me too.

A lot of times people will call me shy or refer to me as shy, as if I had some inner outgoing person who was repressed because I was nervous.

The reality is that I don't want to be there at all, I'm only there to let people think I'm marginally normal, so of course I have nothing to say and don't want to engage.

There's a difference between someone who's shy and someone who would rather be alone.

The Silent One said...

I remembered my ex introduced me to her friend and said "he's kind of shy" and her friend replied "aww, don't be shy around me, you'll open up".. That pissed me off so badly I blew up in her face about it later that day.. She probably didn't mean any harm and I kind of felt bad for doing that.. I think we take things to heart where no harm was meant.. I still hate being refered to as shy though but I have to check myself sometime and come to the conclusion that they will never really "get us" and I'm fine with that :) Great post as always!

Zeri Kyd said...

Clouds, there is a difference; being introverted is not the same as being repressed or shy. Most people think of shyness as either something to be avoided or something that is cute; either way, I'd rather not have that word pinned on me. It's just not accurate.

Silent One, yes, I understand completely. It's such a small thing, silly even, but somehow it still feels like I'm being wronged when a label like that is attached to me.

Jim Harper said...

This is from Wikipedia

"In humans, shyness (also called diffidence) is a social psychology term used to describe the feeling of apprehension, lack of comfort, or awkwardness experienced when a person is in proximity to, approaching, or being approached by other people, especially in new situations or with unfamiliar people."

"Apparent shyness, as perceived by others, may simply be the manifestation of reservation or introversion, character traits which cause an individual to voluntarily avoid excessive social contact or be terse in communication, but are not motivated or accompanied by discomfort, apprehension, or lack of confidence."

I actually have a theory that a good majority of people out there probably don't know what introverted even means - and the reason for this being that since a good majority of people seem to be extroverted, (at least from my perspective) they're not exactly interested in researching terms that describe themselves, not really in their nature. So they just lump everything under the word shy because its the most common I guess.....just a thought

Zeri Kyd said...

Jim, I agree: most people don't know what "introverted" means; not even us! On the other hand, some people are simply lazy -- the word "shy" is much easier to use than "introverted", if only because it has fewer syllables.