Sunday, September 13, 2009

Shy, not bored. Honestly!

Lately, it seems that many people have been surprised when I say I'm shy... Because I'm always very open/honest, people seem to think that that somehow cannot go along with introversion! And that assumption that I'm not shy, because of my openness, is not a good thing, since my shy behavior is then interpreted as me being aloof, distant, bored, or not liking the person in question, none of which are true!

Because I've recently discovered that multiple people have mis-judged me in this way, I've been thinking about it a lot... It bothers me, since I'm a very social person in many ways, and really do love people in general, so I want to come across as friendly, not bored! Sometimes my natural shyness annoys the f**k out of me.

I've also been thinking of how my honesty/openness relates to my shy side, and I've realized that it's kind of my attempt to balance things out. Since people can't usually figure me out simply be meeting or talking to me, and can often get the wrong impression of me, I'm very, very truthful when I talk or write about myself. I explain why I am the way I am, why I behave in certain ways, how I really feel, in the hopes that I can be understood better.

By the way, having recently taken the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator personality thingy (thanks to Michael for the link! :-)), and having come up with INFJ, I blame everything on my rather unusual personality type. ;-)

Hope you guys don't mind my mini-rant/explanation/this rather pointless post. :-P



  1. I didn't think you seemed shy or bored at all! I tend to worry that I come across that way too though. I can be pretty shy, but sometimes it's not even that - sometimes I just like to sit back and take everything in, and don't necessarily have anything to say. People don't seem to understand introverts, which is weird since it's not like we're that rare.

  2. I know that feeling, too. I am sure I come off as bored or uninterested at times, when really I am paying very close attention to what is going on and just taking it all in and thinking about it. That's in groups, anyway! One on one I could talk someone's ear off at times.

    And I must say that it is challenging, at times, to be an introvert mom to extrovert children. I sometimes wish so badly that I could NOT be an introvert because I don't want to be AWAY from my kids, just need to be alone. I've made sure to explain it to them that way, too, and to change my thinking to "I need time alone" rather than "I need a break" which implies that I need to be away from the kids.

  3. I will keep in that in mind when I meet you. I'll be the loud guy that you'll hear coming from wayyy up the hall.

  4. Being an introvert or an extrovert has much variety. You can be an introvert and enjoy talking. If the person and I have anything interesting to discuss, I can spend a few hours just talking. The shyness comes when having people I'd like to tell something of importance to. If I don't talk otherwise, it's either because I'm listening, I can't say much, or you're not of my interest (No offense, but I'd rather not talk to people who always talk about other people while asking me questions about school/college/work/social rituals).

    I also like alone time, which means "stay away from me for a while". Some see that and come back later. Those are fine to be with. But others don't understand and see me as a "centre of the universe" person. Of course I may "seem" that way. Why be open to people treating me like I'm evil? That discourages any kind of relationship.

  5. @Bonnie: I've only gotten comments to that affect from people who never or barely talked to me, especially those who talked to me in the first couple of days, when I was at my shyest! :-) I know, eh? Aren't introverts something like half of the population? We should be better understood! :-P

    @hippygirl: *Grins* I do best in small groups, personally. That way I'm not responsible for holding up an entire half of a conversation, but neither am I overwhelmed by too large a group! Small group conversations, where I can participate as much or as little as I like, are perfect to me! :-)

    Oh dear, that must be hard at times!

    @James: *Laughs* I actually really enjoy hanging out with extroverts, especially when I'm feeling shy! Most introverts I've heard comment that they find the opposite, but for me, understanding extroverts are usually the ones who can get me to come out of my shell more. Actually, it matters less whether someone is an introvert or extrovert, and more how talkative they are! Once I'm comfortable in a situation, I can talk anyone's ear off. While I'm still being shy though, talkative people are easier for me to get to know!

    @Netzi: For sure! I'm a very talkative person, just not when I'm first getting to know people. I'm actually what I've always referred to as a "social introvert"... I'm fine around people near constantly, and need virtually no "alone time" usually. It's only those large, high energy groups that really get to me! Yeah, introverts really do seem to be misunderstood...

  6. "Talkative" doesn't necessarily mean "outgoing" or "easier to know," although it would seem that way, and that's the shallow assumption a lot of people in our society make. Some people talk and joke precisely because they are afraid of relaxing and being themselves. They try to keep the focus on other things, or other people. I've known people who put on a very good show, but are not at all who they seem to be--for good or bad--when you get to know them better.

    You said: "While I'm still being shy though, talkative people are easier for me to get to know!" The irony is that we "shy people" want others to make the effort to get to know us before making judgments, but at the same time, we prefer people who seem easier to get to know as well! I can sympathize with people who find me difficult to get to know. If they hold it against me, though, I have no problem moving on until I find someone who doesn't.

  7. @cherapple: No, it doesn't, and that's a very good point. I've seen people who do precisely that, and know what you mean, but at the same time, I'll become really nervous if the person I'm talking to isn't talking much! I don't think I phrased that right when I said "While I'm still being shy though, talkative people are easier for me to get to know!". What I meant was closer to: I have a very hard time talking to people who are not particularly talkative when I'm feeling really shy... As soon as I relax a bit (often outgoing people can help me relax, simply be being outgoing and kidding around!), I can have a much easier time talking to EVERYONE, both quieter and louder! :-P

  8. Idzie, I think that makes perfect sense now that you clarified! I am like that, too. If I'm with someone else who is quiet or shy or introverted, it can be hard for us to get to know each other. :) It does depend on mood and how talkative I feel that day, but I see where that can be challenging at times.