Joanne - What's wrong with being shy?

Dear ShykidsI'd like to know what's so bad about being shy anyway?  Everybody's always on me about how I should talk more and participate more and get out more.  I'm so sick of it.  I'm 16, I have some friends but they're really different than me., I'm a straight A student, I play the flute.  I don't like sports or dancing.  I think most movies out look stupid so I don't want to waste my time.  I know you're site helps a lot of kids, but I just feel like I like being quiet and why can't everyone just deal with that? I really am okay with myself.- Joanne

Dear Joanne, You bring up a really important point.  What's wrong with being shy? It is "wrong", or let's say something we wish we could live without, when it causes you unhappiness.  It's important to realize that being shy and being quiet, reserved and perhaps conservative are very different things.  The text book definition of being shy is "bashful" "timid" "easily frightened".  Shyness is generally considered an uneasy reaction in social situations.  Is that you?  Do you cringe when a teacher asks you to give an answer in front of the whole class?  Do you find it painful to talk to other teens or adults?  Or, do you simply use your

words carefully, prefer to be quiet and enjoy the brief but meaningful conversations you have with your friends, teachers, parents?

Although each community is different, the current popular trend is a real "in your face" style.  You can't be too loud, too brash or too hungry for the spotlight.  Throughout history, trends in behavior come and go.  It has always been a bit awkward for those personalities who don't fit in with current popular behavior.  

Also, keep in mind that quiet people sometimes do make other people uncomfortable.  They might wonder if you're unhappy or have a problem or simply don't like them.  Do give some thought to how your behavior impacts other people and how they treat you.  Do your friends ask you to the movies and you always say "NO".  If so, think about coming up with an alternative plan.  Maybe you have a favorite old movie you could rent and invite your friends over to see.  Start a book club and suggest the first book.  Sometimes when we are different from most other people, we pull away from them because we don't see a way to ever really come together.  Perhaps, rather than thinking about how you don't fit into their world, you could think of a way of inviting them into yours.

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