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Shyness: my definition
November 5, 2011
02:42
Randybvain
Cheltenham, UK

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Recently, I have realised that shyness is not the fear of being rejected or laughed at. Shyness is one's own attitude to others: dislike, xenophobia, hatred. To overcome shyness you must start liking people, feel empathy towards them, be sympathetic!

Native: Polski | Fluent: English Cymraeg  Français | Elementary and beginner: LATĪNVM Русский
I learned also a bit: Ελληνική γλώσσα Словѣньскъ Gaeilge I would like to learn: Català Deutsch Lietuvių 官话 Kaszëbsczi jãzëk
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The Minstrel's Glade

November 5, 2011
03:08
Chrystal G.
Las Vegas, NV USA

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Sooo, by your definition, shy people are xenophobes and hate others? Where in the world did you come up with that one?

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November 5, 2011
05:34
this_just_in
Toronto

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@ Christal LOL!
@ Randy Can you explain more?

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November 5, 2011
14:56
Martín Raúl Villalba
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You are eso trolling as right now.

November 5, 2011
19:36
Randybvain
Cheltenham, UK

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Well, I just discovered, that really warm-hearted people aren't shy. They are kind to others, really kind, not just out of cultural politeness. They like others and they don't see them as enemies. Shy people tend to lurk in the dark corners and they are full of negative thoughts of others, like: They're making idiots of themselves, This behaviour is inappropriate, They are my enemies and only wait to attack me, They will reject me, laugh at me, make me cry… It's like thinking of others as of monstrous evil predators. This is negative, xenophobic attitude. Fear is natural, maybe inborn, but the attitude to others is something we could have control over. If you change it, become sympathetic and kind, that fear cannot exist in the face of human love.

Native: Polski | Fluent: English Cymraeg  Français | Elementary and beginner: LATĪNVM Русский
I learned also a bit: Ελληνική γλώσσα Словѣньскъ Gaeilge I would like to learn: Català Deutsch Lietuvių 官话 Kaszëbsczi jãzëk
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The Minstrel's Glade

November 5, 2011
20:22
JWood424
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While I don't want to start an argument, I felt I needed to reply to this topic.  I have lived my life as an intensely shy person.  I am 30 years old, and one of my biggest regrets is not being able to get to know people because of my fear of initiating contact.  That being said, I don't think of myself as cold-hearted, nor do I lurk in corners thinking ill thoughts of others.  Often times my thoughts are more along the lines of, "I wish I could go talk to those people."  While perhaps there are those that are full of negative thoughts, I am rather offended you would simply presume that of anyone who considers themselves overly shy.  It may be an irrational fear, but it is a fear nontheless, and simply saying "Get over it," does not work.  I have made strides in my life to be more outgoing, but often in social situations I tense up and feel awkward.  I know that people are not looking at me any more than at anyone else, but I can't help but feel I am being watched.  It's not something anyone can explain, it just is what it is.  While I am not nearly as introverted today as I was as a teenager, I still struggle with talking to strangers, making phone calls, and yes, speaking in foreign languages.  I would like to find others to talk to, but I often shy away from contact beyond Instant Message conversations.  I can barely get up the nerve to talk to someone on Skype I know personally, let alone a total stranger.

Shyness most definitely is a fear of being mocked or laughed at, not an attitude of hatred.  I don't hate anyone and am greatly offended by that statement.  I have read Benny's post on shyness and I appreciate all his efforts to encourage others to get out there and speak, but this post has not encouraged anyone to do anything but be more reserved.  I'm not sure what you hoped to accomplish by posting this, but I hope those of us who do struggle with being terribly shy won't take this to heart.

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November 5, 2011
20:46
Chrystal G.
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I have to agree with JWood on this one. I am very shy in person and frequently stumble over my words when in the presence of others that I do not know. However, I do not "hate" people. I have no prejudices that I can recall, I am not suffering from any form of xenophobia, etc. Once people get to know me, they can certainly attest to the fact that I will absolutely bend over backwards for them! I wanted to know where you were coming from before I sent a true response other than

, "WTF?" I've met some outgoing people who are absolute idiots, I've met "shy" people who are rude and I've met the opposite. I don't think this is a good judge of character, but of course this is obviously your experience. While a shy person can certainly "get over" some of their shyness, they will most likely always be introverts in at least several different ways. For instance, I have trained a class of hundreds without missing a beat because I am discussing something that I am familiar with. I am comfortable explaining whatever aspect of a skill that I am training; in some ways, it is my way to show off. However, get me to a party or a concert and I will usually not utter more than one word responses. Is it because I want to be rude? Absolutely not! I just do not know what to say half the time. :) It is just out of my expertise, so to speak. I mean, you ask me how to set up a corporate e-mail and I will be the absolute chatter-box and explain everything you need to know (and more), but if you ask me what I like to do in my free time, I usually will not have an immediate answer!

Imagine that you clean houses for a living – I don't, but humor me. You will probably know how to scrub something out of the grout, how to get a certain stain out of the carpet and which chemicals to use. If you ask that same person how to set up a global network database, they will probably ignore you! :D At least, I would…but it's my mentality: if I don't know about something, it is none of my business to attempt to explain it to you. This is where the simplistic answers come in: I don't know. Most likely, at this point, that person would move on to another person to talk about what they want to talk about.

Native: English Learning: German (active), Polish (active, secondary)
November 6, 2011
00:50
Randybvain
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JWood424 said:

Shyness most definitely is a fear of being mocked or laughed at, not an attitude of hatred.  I don't hate anyone and am greatly offended by that statement.  I have read Benny's post on shyness and I appreciate all his efforts to encourage others to get out there and speak, but this post has not encouraged anyone to do anything but be more reserved.  I'm not sure what you hoped to accomplish by posting this, but I hope those of us who do struggle with being terribly shy won't take this to heart.

OK, I didn't want to offend anybody personally, just make people think. For example: don't you think, that assuming that others would look you down, mock or laugh at, isn't it offensive for them? Assuming that I wrote this to offend you or Chrystal or anybody else, is it kind opinion of me? The thing is: could you control these thoughts and negative opinions? Could you change your attitude despite the fear? Could you be sympatethic and warm-hearted? The answer is: if Benny could become Brasilian, everybody can.

@Chrystal: you wrote that

I am very shy in person and frequently stumble over my words when in the presence of others that I do not know.

but later

but it's my mentality: if I don't know about something, it is none of my business to attempt to explain it to you.

So I don't understand: you are afraid of others or you don't see anything common with them or what to talk about?

Native: Polski | Fluent: English Cymraeg  Français | Elementary and beginner: LATĪNVM Русский
I learned also a bit: Ελληνική γλώσσα Словѣньскъ Gaeilge I would like to learn: Català Deutsch Lietuvių 官话 Kaszëbsczi jãzëk
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The Minstrel's Glade

November 6, 2011
02:24
logie100
New Zealand

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For me , shyness is:

  • Not thinking of things to say, because the discomfort of being around people you dont know.
  • Freaking out because you think that the other person expects good company
  • Finally thinking of something to say, but not saying it in fear of what you say not opening up a conversation, or being judged by the person you are with.
  • Thinking that people dont want to be questioned; sometimes I can think of many thinks to ask a person, but I feel like they will feel uncomfortable if I ask them a lot of questions.
  • I think shyness is a lot more trying to make others feel comfortable, than feeling comfortable yourself.
Native: English (New Zealand English) Advanced: Spanish (Latin American Spanish) High Beginner: German                         Indonesian
November 6, 2011
02:55
Kevinpost
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With +7 billion people on earth ALL shy people are the same! (yeah right)

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November 6, 2011
03:42
NKellyEmerald
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In my experience, I am quite shy sometimes, but other times I am quite fine with people, I would never say I am an extrovert (I prefer staying at home with my books…). I suffer from what I can only call 'Periodic depression'. Sometimes I feel so bad I can't even leave the house, thankfully I can't think of a single bad period for all of 2011… I'm hoping to finish the entire year without an episode… so far, so good! :D 

 

In saying all of this, I am generally very shy. This is more down to simply not being a huge conversationalist, as demonstrated by a lot of friends of mine, or some that I am in the process of becoming friends with. All of my friends see me as a chatterbox, or someone who has a lot to talk about, but I can only seem to do this with people I am comfortable with (my aunt for example, constantly thinks I could 'talk for Ireland'). It takes me a while to get to the stage where I can be Noel (the chatterbox). And this is how I… function, really… Meeting people and making friends is a 'process' for me, not just something I can jump into.

 

I will admit, there are times I have thought "I just dislike that person." or "They just won't talk to me, they don't like me.", but I have never really felt any hatred for anyone, at least not to those who haven't done anything particularly bad to me. But I don't know… some of these thoughts could be the depression, some may not be… I don't know! All I can say is, you're half-right. Wrong in the sense that you're being too general in saying that, right in the sense that I'm sure there are those who think in exactly the way you've described.

 

Just my $0.02! :)

Native:   Gaeilge,  English Studies:  Polish On Hold:  Spanish Next:  Italian
Is cainteoir dúchais Gaeilge mé. Same with English. Zacząłem uczyć się polskiego, y ahora, he dejado aprender el castellano.
November 6, 2011
03:46
NKellyEmerald
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logie100 said:

For me , shyness is:

  • Not thinking of things to say, because the discomfort of being around people you dont know.
  • Freaking out because you think that the other person expects good company
  • Finally thinking of something to say, but not saying it in fear of what you say not opening up a conversation, or being judged by the person you are with.
  • Thinking that people dont want to be questioned; sometimes I can think of many thinks to ask a person, but I feel like they will feel uncomfortable if I ask them a lot of questions.
  • I think shyness is a lot more trying to make others feel comfortable, than feeling comfortable yourself.

Oh, and I also +1 this, entirely! Couldn't describe the feeling better, myself. ;) It really (for me, at least) is a feeling of "I hope they're not bored with me." or "I hope they're having a good time.". They're counter-productive, and I end up freezing up and 'being-shy' with them! :S

Native:   Gaeilge,  English Studies:  Polish On Hold:  Spanish Next:  Italian
Is cainteoir dúchais Gaeilge mé. Same with English. Zacząłem uczyć się polskiego, y ahora, he dejado aprender el castellano.
November 6, 2011
04:02
Chrystal G.
Las Vegas, NV USA

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Randy:

I'm not sure how my two statements have confused you as they are entirely different sorts of my being shy. First, I never said that I am afraid of people. I just don't like to be the center of attention when someone is asking me something that I either do not want to talk about or have no interest in. It makes me uncomfortable. Also, I cannot always find subjects to speak about when around people. I am not a conversation starter. I never can tell if I have something in common with someone if I don't know them, so that is not relavent.

I never said that I thought you were posting your subject to offend people, and I wasn't offended, persay, I just do not how you came to your conclusion because, to me, it makes no sense whatsoever.

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November 6, 2011
04:38
Chrystal G.
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Sorry if my above post(s) came across as harsh; that isn't how I meant it! :D I re-read what I'd written and I kind of sound like a, well, not a nice person. Lol. Just trying to be to the point was all. :)

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November 6, 2011
05:34
this_just_in
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For myself I am shy mostly out of judging myself not judging others.

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November 6, 2011
06:01
Chrystal G.
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this_just_in: Yeah, I can relate to that as well. Sometimes it's like: oh, man, if I can't answer this one question, or if I say this one thing wrong, I will feel so dumb.

It's funny, too, because I find the more I stumble through a conversation, the worse it seems to get because I am noticing my own faults. I'm socially awkward, I suppose. Sometimes I truly do say some of the dumbest things! :D

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November 6, 2011
07:23
this_just_in
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LOL!

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November 6, 2011
18:10
Matt.s

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I guess I am shy because I been trying to reply to this thread since yesterday. I think the OP is just really insecure though, to think that shy people aren't social because they don't like him and they MUST, they NEED to like him to over come their shyness. I mean that's just wow… 

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November 10, 2011
11:41
kuikentje Jar-ptitsa
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Randybvain said:

Recently, I have realised that shyness is not the fear of being rejected or laughed at. Shyness is one's own attitude to others: dislike, xenophobia, hatred. To overcome shyness you must start liking people, feel empathy towards them, be sympathetic!

I don't agree at all. I'm very shy, so shy that therefore they put me in the special school, which is a boarding school.First, they had said a different thing, I mean reason for that, but I haven't that more, since about 2 years and probably they had made a mistake or a person, probably the nasty teacher was in my old school had manipulated their thoughts and put that idea which was a quite big problem but I don't see the nasty teachers more what a relief, yes some of the teachers were nice, and anyway now my problem is only the shyness. But I've got my school diploma now therefore i havne't to be in the lessons more, although still live here, mostly.

 

I don't dislike the others, or some yes I dislike them but not all, and I havent' xenophobia at all, and hatred only for the nasty ones.

 

Shyness has nothing to see with the absence of empathy!!!! In my opinion the shy people are very sensitive, and have much empathy, but shyness is not possible to overcome. Maybe the not-shy people find the shy people unfriendly because we can't have the normal conversations, or look in your eyes, but it's not because of not like the others, but it's for the concentration, not the distraction or also many things in your head, and much anxiety.

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January 10, 2012
16:54
cordovez
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Well now that Randy has explained shyness to us, we can all stop being shy and counselors around the world can thank Randy for finding the solution.

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