Shy/introverted GAGers - How do you view your shyness?

I recently published my second Shyness and Confidence article. I reference a book called The Introvert Advantage: How to Thrive in an Extrovert World. In one chapter, the author mentions her having interviewed fifty people for the book. Forty-nine of them said they felt "reproached and maligned" for being introverted. She mentions how three college dictionaries and a thesaurus all define shyness in a very negative way.

She also mentions earlier on that theoretical differences between psychologist Sigmund Freud, who was very influential in the development of modern psychology (for those who don't know who he was), and his colleagues caused him to write extensively that introversion is a negative thing.

So my question is how do you feel about your being introverted? How do your friends and family view it?

And if you have not read either of my two articles on the matter, please do... link and link

  • In a positive way/At least not negative
    40% (4)25% (3)32% (7)Vote
  • Neutral
    40% (4)58% (7)50% (11)Vote
  • In a negative way
    20% (2)17% (2)18% (4)Vote
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Extroverts - How do YOU view introverts?

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Most Helpful Guy

  • I think there is a difference between introverts and people who are shy... You're drawing a parallel but I'd say introverts are just people that internalize their thoughts, enjoy alone time, thinking, and self reflection. That doesn't mean they are afraid to socialize or that they are even bad at it. I might even fit into that category as appose to extroverts who need other people around to feel happy, and feed on conversation with others. Shy people tend to have a social anxiety about them. There's not so much reserved as they are afraid/nervous. There's a difference.

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    • Most psychologists would agree with you. There is a difference between being shy and being introverted, but a lot of people seem to use them interchangably (spelling?). Lately, I've tried to start describing myself as "introverted" more than "shy".

    • I really don't know how to describe myself, because I can be socially very outgoing at times and people would look at me as an extrovert, but many times I'm very reserved... I have never felt the need to have people around. I don't get lonely... I don't feel a need to socialize and bring people into my life, though I do with those I feel are worthwhile. I do however feel a need to constantly think about new things and reflect on ideas. I'm very confident, and walk up to people all over the place

    • and talk to them and socialize and there's no fear there. I guess I'm a hybrid or something. Best of both worlds. =P

What Girls Said 5

  • It's a positive thing for me. I like myself and I don't really mind if other people have a problem with it. It's only hard when I have extroverted friends who don't understand why I would rather stay home on the weekend or I don't feel like yakking with them after a long day. I've ended up distancing myself from them because they kept pushing me.

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  • I think you are getting being shy and being introverted confused. They are not the same thing. I am both actually which means I have basically no social life and I like it that way, but most people are one or the other or none at all.

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  • I do not mind being an introvert. The only times I don't like it is when I start to think that that is the reason why guys never talk to me.

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  • Neutral

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  • Negatively. Personally, I don't think there's anything wrong with being shy and introverted since everyone is different, but I guess I've internalized a lot of negative feelings from living in a society where it's looked down on to be this way. I had a friend who said shy people annoyed her, because she didn't understand why they had to be that way.

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What Guys Said 5

  • I'd say neutral, but more of a slant towards negative(at least for me)

    I'm shy and avoid public discussions or approaching new people because it makes me feel uneasy, that in itself isn't bad

    but taking an interview for a job, making new friends or asking someone out is where I think it's bad as I have no confidence or experience to deal with those situations

    I know that I over-think people's reactions and assume the worst even when I know it's totally irrational

    My family have asked me a few times why I haven't had a more active social life, but I always just dismiss the question

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  • I'm introverted and as long as I can have my space while not having people bother me so much, then I'm not bothered by any connotations placed on me. If anything, I can act however I like and people will either expect it or be surprised by it. Either way doesn't matter to me because like I said- I'm selfish and just want to act how I want to.

    I used to feel so different and un-wanted for being quiet and introverted. Now I've become much more comfortable saying as I please which causes me to answer straight up when people ask why I don't talk much. I'm not rude to them (mostly), but it's more of a Calvin Coolidge approach to things.

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  • Stop lumping shy and introverted people in the same category, it's annoying as hell.

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  • Sometimes I'm okay with it. Other times I'm not. It depends on my mood.

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  • Honestly, I once thought shyness was a negative quality - why can't I just start talking to people normally, like everyone else?

    Then I realized, it's because I just don't trust people unless I know they can be trusted. So many people in this world are deceived so easily because they trust others too quickly.

    Also, extroverts seem to be looking for such external inputs to "keep them truckin'" that they resort to substance abuse, or overall harmful and malicious activities.

    I think I should consider myself lucky. Many people are just weird and do stupid stuff that I don't feel like doing and probably won't do either.

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