The Struggles Of Being Painfully Shy

Being naturally shy can be both a blessing and a curse. On one hand, shyness often comes hand-in-hand with excellent listening skills and an openness to learn about the world around you. On the other hand, it can be nearly debilitating for those who are painfully and permanently reserved, especially when you’re forced to deal with public situations. If you’re one of those people, you’ll likely relate to the following truths that we all eventually come to learn.

  1. Some people think you’re just a bitch. For some reason, it’s hard for some to fathom that certain people could be shy based on their appearance and the assumption is that they’re just exclusive and bitchy.
  2. You worry that what you have to say isn’t worthy. You’re so in your own head on a daily basis that sometimes you overthink a thought and never express it at all.
  3. Social anxiety happens all the time. It’s not just walking into a party alone to meet friends; sometimes it’s hard to even say hello a colleague you see every day in the elevator.
  4. You’re actually incredibly thoughtful. You might not be shouting niceties from the rooftops, but you think before you speak and it keeps you on the more polite side of things.
  5. Some people will try to take advantage of you. You’re not the type of girl to scream and slash tires when a guy wrongs you, and guys who do bad things can see that about you.
  6. You often wish you could re-do a conversation or situation. Even ones that happened, like, 10 years ago. You’re often speechless in the moment, but you always think of stuff to say later.
  7. The people who matter will find a way in. Your best friend is your best friend because she just ignored your shyness when you met and continued to call, even when you rarely returned the favor.
  8. Asking for help is a challenge. You’d rather wander around Target all night than ask an employee where they keep the condoms.
  9. Every phone call can be torture. Does someone else want to call the phone company and complain?
  10. Other people tend to get credit for your work. By the time you expressed your idea, someone else has run to the boss with it and claimed it as their own.
  11. Your powers of observation are unparalleled. Being shy has given you the opportunity to observe a lot, and what you’ve observed is better than a lot of lessons you could have learned yourself.
  12. People assume you’re an introvert. In fact, there are a ton of shy extroverts, but you might not be one of them. You like being social, you just have the thought patterns of a shy type.
  13. People tell you to “speak up” all the time. Or make jokes about you never talk or worse that you never shut up. Ha ha.
  14. Shyness can make what you have to say more meaningful. The fact that you aren’t talking all day long means that when you do have something to say, it’s for a reason, and people tend to respect that.
  15. Public speaking is a no-go. You actually dropped a class once because your grade was mostly dependent on a oral presentation.
  16. You admire other people’s flirting abilities. It’s not like you don’t talk to guys, but how open and forward some girls manage to be totally blows your mind.
  17. People think there’s something wrong when there isn’t. Being shy is just how you are and it’s been serving you just fine in life so far, thank you very much.
Kate Ferguson is a Los Angeles local and freelance writer for a variety of blog and magazine genres. When she's not writing, the UC Davis graduate is focused on pursuits of the entertainment industry, spin class, and hot sauce. Look for article links, updates, (and the occasional joke) on Twitter @KateFerg or @WriterKateFerg, or check out her personal blog