The Shyness Project

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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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