ForumsWEPRThe Shy

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Skyla
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Skyla
292 posts
Shepherd

A topic that fascinates me.

Why is it that shy people are usually seen as depressed or anti-social? A question that has puzzled me for a while. Why is it that when people are looking to make friends, they stray away from shy people, and go for the outgoing people? I have noticed that when shy people have loyal friends, they never get into fights with them! I believe that shy people would make excellent friends - loyal and trustworthy. It is improbable that a shy person would gossip or be hostile.

The shy expect the least from their friends, they are not demanding, they strive to maintain a relationship once they have found a friend. I always think shy people are intelligent. Indeed, they are usually deeper than other people. They are not continually bragging about themselves.

So, we established that the shy have excellent qualities, why is it that people go for the outgoing people, rather than these extraordinary people? Why is it that there are many programs and guides to make people overcome shyness, when it is such an excellent attribute? Why is it that shy people wish they were outgoing?

  • 42 Replies
Squalick
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Squalick
68 posts
Peasant

I agree and disagree.

Shy people, introverted people, tend to have a lot of good qualities that outgoing, extroverted people, lack. In fact, if I had to choose someone to live on a desert island with, I would tend to pick a shy person over an outgoing person because I know that I'd need quality communication rather than quantity communication. But the outgoing often possess good qualities that the shy do not.

It all depends on why a person is shy or outgoing and where their personality comes from. Are they nervous? Are they arrogant? Do they have low-self esteem? Do they look down on everyone else? Are they thoughtful? Are they confident? Are they compassionate? Are they passionate? Are they indifferent? A thousand factors mixed together determine whether someone is shy or confident overall, and the shy aren't necessarily the good.

But still, I take shyness as a positive indicator. Where I see thoughtfulness, consideration, willingness to listen, depth and trustworthiness I am more likely to see a friend. I will always be wishing, though, that this friend will gain confidence in him or herself to transform situations and people positively. Where I see fear I will always want to see change. Shyness nurtures many good qualities, but it can also serve to hide them and, ultimately, in extreme circumstances, to suffocate them.

Skyla
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Skyla
292 posts
Shepherd

Introversion is not a synonym for shyness.

An introvert enjoys solitude, they may be happy. They may not want to form relationships with other people. A shy person is forced into solitude. Shy people want to be closer to other people, but don't know how. An introvert may enjoy their way of life. A shy person intensely dislikes their way of life. Sure, an introvert and a shy person may have some things in common, but they are quite different from each other. It is possible for someone to be an introvert, and still have no trouble interacting with others when needed.

I agree that some shy people can be odious, but I was talking about the majority.

Squalick
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Squalick
68 posts
Peasant

Anyone can be odious, everyone has specific shortcomings. I wasn't talking about some shy people being odious, I was talking about the shortcomings that generally apply to shy people - and the shortcomings that generally apply to outgoing people.

I didn't mean to make a direct equivalence between shy people and introverted people, but I did lump them together for the sake of dichotomizing them from outgoing and extroverted people (which are also distinct from one another). There is a lot of overlap and causality, though; introverted people often develop shyness because of their lack of desire to communicate with others and the absence of social practice that comes along with that... while shy people often develop introvertedness because the inability to communicate with others easily necessitates a rich internal life.

But I have to say that I really disagree with what you said about shy people intensely disliking their way of life, I think that there is so much variance among the shy that statements like that are utterly impossible, even as generalizations. I don't think that shyness excludes creativity, intelligence, willfulness, or any of the qualities that can help a person to build a way of fulfilling life within their interpersonal boundaries. Shyness can be an asset in many ways, especially when it comes to sending signals to like minds.

Are you shy?

Skyla
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Skyla
292 posts
Shepherd

I wouldn't consider myself a shy person. Having said that, everyone feels shy at some point in their life.

A shy person intensely dislikes their way of life.


Okay, I am guilty of exaggerating. What I meant is that shy people often want to be able to express their thoughts but their shyness is like a wall blocking them from doing that.
Squalick
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Squalick
68 posts
Peasant

Yeah, shyness can be quite debilitating, I'm sorry that I didn't address that side of things. Shyness can keep people locked in a box, and there's only so much that even a very creative and determined person can find to like about the inner walls of a box.

[quote]everyone feels shy at some point in their life.
[/quote]

I think that I go in and out of shyness regularly. Sometimes the shyness can serve me well and preserve the sanctity of my inner mind, and sometimes it feels like a trap. But I'm glad that I'm always going in and out of different states, it gives me perspective on things. I'd hate to be locked into any sort of extreme shy mode or interactive mode, one-dimensionality has a way of preventing people from making any personal development at all.
Strop
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Strop
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Herald

I can't help but butt in here

This conversation has focused on the shy, so it's only natural that the generalisations about the extroverted AND the 'not shy' have gone overlooked...

It's often said that 'empty vessels make the most noise' but at the same time, I'd like to point out that those that appear garrulous may not necessarily be 'empty' in that sense. Then there's also those for whom an extroverted persona is an acquired skill- I'm sure you will be familiar with the expression of 'wearing a mask to the world'.

steevo15
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steevo15
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Shepherd

I am a pretty shy person, i do have quite a few friends, but i am most definetly NOT outgoing. I think my main problem is that i do not like to come out of my comfort zone very often, and with my other friends i always come across as the cautious one that never wants to get in trouble or do any of the "fun" stuff. So i guess skyla, when you ask why shy people would want to be outgoing, it is because being outgoing is usually associated with having alot of friends and being able to do all the "fun" stuff, and being able to stick out in the crowd without people thinking that you are weird.

drakokirby
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drakokirby
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Farmer

Just like Steevo,I am a shy person and have few real friends. I am for sure not outgoing. I just go with the flow and not bring too much attention to me. I like my comfort zone very much because I know that I will always fit in that way. I am intelligent and I am a loyal friend so Skyla got one thing right. After school though, I go to my alter ego with my more known and better friends. I have friends that are girls to where I go and I am more relaxed at where I go then school.

Ninjacube
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Ninjacube
590 posts
Peasant

I have been called shy, introverted, and anti-social before. Like the two posts above, I probably wouldn't be called outgoing. I have a few loyal friends, and alot of enemies. I wouldn't have it any other way though. Although the other extreme extroverts probably feel similar, too. Some people think that extroversion and introversion is something you're born with. Others think it is acquired. Like Skyla, I think that there is a correlation between intelligence and introversion. I'm not sure why, but I've got an idea. Shyness and similar terms are often measured by friends, how much you talk, and things that go along with those two. The correlation could occur that there are obviously less geniuses out there than otherwise. So, the gifted tend to band together and be friends since they are all so similar. Again, there are less of them, so they have less friends, and less people to talk to. As a minority, they are called introverts, which has a negative connotation, and otherwise are extroverts.

More evidence that there may or may not be a correlation there, Like I said above, I have been called shy before, and was also voted most intelligent in my class two years in a row in the yearbook.

woody_7007
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woody_7007
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Shepherd

have been called shy, introverted, and anti-social before.


I think that there is a correlation between intelligence and introversion. I'm not sure why


and was also voted most intelligent in my class two years in a row in the yearbook.


You just think what you want to think. You belive there is a connection because you are introverted and want to think there is a connection with intelligence so you think you are clever. Good luck with that theory. Just because you are voted clever in your year book doesnt make you intelligent. There are plenty of extroverts who are intelligent aswell. Until you whip out some facts i cannot agree with you.
Strop
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Strop
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Herald

One has to be careful to observe the proper definitions of introversion and extroversion, as Skyla has been doing!

Well, there's a few trends in perceptions forming here. I wonder why these trends are forming- one reason I can think of is that certain types of intelligence is not valued by mainstream society.

However, not only do trends have exceptions, but trends can also be weak. I personally believe that the correlation between intelligence and introversion is either a weak trend or is subject to confounds because perception is interdependent with social dynamics.

Steevo15 wrote:

and being able to stick out in the crowd without people thinking that you are weird.


This is a very interesting way to put it, because it makes me think of trend-setters. Studies have shown in certain domains of behavior that people who are purposeful and have a definitive direction that they confidently present tend to take the lead and about 95% of a queue that forms behind them are people who have somehow latched on/gotten sucked in. Which makes me think that this kind of confidence speaks very closely to the core of social dynamics.

To counter Ninjacube's personal example, I'm very socially active and extroverted, physically active and have lived a life of public performance. Whether or not I'm intelligent I'll leave it up to you to judge.
woody_7007
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woody_7007
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Shepherd

I would also say that i am extroverted and i managed to pass the rigorous mental and physical tests needed to get where i am today in the RAF. So the way u portrayed u point ninjacube was very flawed.

Squalick
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Squalick
68 posts
Peasant

Let's not get hostile, fellas, we all like to pat ourselves on the back every now and then, some are just less subtle than others :P.

I agree that there would be some correlation between introversion and intelligence, but not necessarily shyness and intelligence. An introvert has cultivated a rich internal world, full of ideas and imagination, and as such possesses an active mind - the brain is a muscle that gets stronger with exercise. A shy person could be very unintelligent if their shyness comes from nervousness, insecurity, self-image problems, inability to understand other human beings, etc.

Strop is right that we've undertalked and downtalked the extroverted and outgoing. To their credit, they often possess a well-developed social intelligence. Talking isn't easy, nor is navigating the social world. Also, I believe that thinking, for an extrovert, is a semi-external process: unspoken thoughts are aborted thoughts, they need to be expressed so that they can be tossed around by the group mind. An introvert can internalize the process of discussion, creating ideas and questioning them and modifying them and so on - without speaking a word. Both approaches have their shortcomings and strengths, and I think that a truly intelligent person would have mastery of both modes of thought/communication.

Ricador
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Ricador
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Farmer

Well most people go for the outgoing friends because the are more fun to be around. They will go out and public and go places with you and have a good time and not just sit there and be quiet. And also, shy people can be seen as "emo" or sad because they just sit there and are quiet and just want to be alone and just hang out with themselves.

Strop
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Strop
10,835 posts
Herald

Both approaches have their shortcomings and strengths, and I think that a truly intelligent person would have mastery of both modes of thought/communication.


Ah, a versatile mind. This appears to head towards 'wisdom' based models of intelligence, and would thus be one of the most sophisticated definitions.

I suppose in addition, though I'm not sure about it, this would imply that introversion carries with it a certain self-awareness, which I personally hold central to a wisdom-type definition of intelligence.
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