Yup, I’m shy. And that poster says it all :-). I have it on my desk at work and it’s so true. Us introverts have a really difficult time and get a bad rap for being stand-offish, snobbish and distant. Couldn’t be further from the truth. We’re the silent observers in the room. While everyone is busy chattering away, we’re watching and listening and evaluating all we see and hear. Maybe we don’t participate in the discussion but we think about it later, on our own.
We don’t like taking part in small talk but we prefer private, one-on-one, meaningful conversations with those we care most about. Being in groups is draining and tiring for us. It’s a lot of work to try and listen to all the conversations.
Don’t judge me too harshly, I do care about my friends, but I max out at about 3 people, over that I find it too difficult to interact (and this is where that shyness comes in) and usually shut down. I’ve gone to a lot of courses/training workshops and will not speak a word for the 2 days I’m there. Weird, yes?
I’ve found I need friends that are talkers (of course) and that pull the information from me. Although once we are close, I will open up more easily and talk more but usually it’s the other person that has to lead the conversation. Which I’m sure is tiring for them.
My mom used to always try and make me talk to others and be more outgoing like her. It didn’t work. I can’t change who I am as a person. But if you’re in my life, you know that you are important to me, even if I don’t say it :-).