The Shyness Project

Apologizing for Shyness

Sometimes people feel a need to apologize for others’ shyness.  (or their own)

I distinctly remember in 8th grade when we had to do a self-defense unit, and my teacher said “Brittany doesn’t talk” with a smile to the instructor who was complaining that I didn’t yell loud enough when practicing attacking her in front of the others.

The sad thing is that I had that teacher for two years and thought I had talked to him quite a bit, especially the year before.  I was quiet in his class, but I talked to the friends I made, so I wasn’t silent.  That was the class where I went over and introduced myself to a girl who had just moved here from Brazil and was by herself.  Ever since then we’ve been good friends, and at one point the closest of friends.

People often would say that I don’t talk, even when I’ve talked to them or talk to my friends.  I guess they mean I don’t talk as much around them.  Because in every class I’ve been in I have talked, just maybe not enough to be considered talking to them I guess.

I’ve let some things slip that I later kicked myself for though too.   Last month I told a stranger that my neighbor’s dog Dexter was “just a little shy” when the other dog Penny raced up to the stranger while Dexter hid behind my legs.

I don’t know why I did that; I didn’t have to justify his behavior.  So now if that happens again I won’t say anything about that, and if they ask, I’ll simply say that he likes to take his time getting to know people.  When you apologize for shyness it makes it seem like a bad thing, and you’re also labeling that person (or animal in my case) as shy, making them think that they must be shy then.  It’s important to be careful to avoid doing that, as it has a greater effect than you might think.

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6 thoughts on “Apologizing for Shyness

  1. I think those teachers should at least attempt to say something like “____ is a good student” …

    Seriously, why is it that the squeaky wheel gets all the grease? I think I always thought that particular quote because I felt like teachers barely acknowledged my presence and I wasn’t one to stand out in class. At least, you were acknowledged here… Feel proud of that if nothing else 🙂

    PS… I’m GLAD I never had to practice self-defense in front of class… THAT deserves serious recognition in your shyness project!

    • Yeah, I think they should try and say something positive like that too.

      I know, I don’t fully understand it either. It seems like the students who talk the most are the most liked, even if the kids are being rude or challenging them. I don’t know why the squeaky wheel has to get all the grease, that phrase has run through my head a lot too.

      Haha yeah, I was definitely dreading my turn when I had to do it. I used to take karate when I was younger and had to yell then, but this was several years after that and was more on the spot and embarrassing than yelling while you’re doing a kata or something. It’s hard to just suddenly act like you’re being attacked and start yelling.

  2. Words are powerful. I don’t see/perceive you as shy in the least @ this point. by the way 🙂 On a completely sort of related note…
    Have you seen the movie Cool Running? There’s a part where the timid son of a rich man is standing in front of the mirror practicing to mouth the words of who he intends to be.

    • They certainly are, a lot of words still stick in my mind over the years. Haha, I’m just trying to not let shyness hold me back and overtake my identity, though on the inside the feelings are still there. I guess that’s all shyness is really, a feeling or an emotion.

      I actually did see that movie many years ago, but since I don’t remember that part I might just have to watch it again. 🙂

  3. Just keep moving forward, young lady!

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