The other day I had a conversation with someone that got onto an interesting subject. Being sort of a shy person, and suffering through its unique problems, I’ve found I have great compassion for shy people. I make great effort to try to be ‘easy’ on them. As a result, I have to read a lot into them based on my experience. Doing this over the years has made me notice something.
Let me first say that shyness is a misunderstood phenomena. Very few people, that I know, have displayed any understanding of it at all. For example, people, in general, seem to think that ‘shying away’ is a sign that people don’t want anything to do with you. My own experience and observation has shown otherwise.
I tend to believe that most shyness is an oversensitivity issue. What you’re dealing with, really, is a person with a tendency to be oversensitive to certain stimuli. Personal association is often one that is very much affected by this oversensitivity. What most shy people are doing when they ‘shy away’ is to avoid an oversensitive situation. There is nothing personal about it. Seldom have I seen a ‘shying away’ as being felt as a hatred, dislike, or repulsion to another person. In fact, it usually has nothing whatsoever to do with the other person, or their character, at all. It can happen to anyone at any time.
But, because of this situation of being oversensitive to social situations – shyness – a person usually has had problems as a result. They tend to find themselves struggling with loneliness, feeling an outcast, not feeling they belong, etc. In fact, many shy people will have to develop some point of view or explanation that explains their situation. In some cases, this can lead to personal problems, like feeling resentment, not trusting people, low self esteem, etc.
But, at the heart of this is that, deep down, most shy people want to associate with people. Because of their ‘problem’, this is denied them. As a result, the want to socialize is often felt with much more force than with many ‘socializing’ people. And so when they ‘shy away’ it often has the quality of disguising a frustrated want, which many of them are yearning for – to socialize. Because many shy people end up having difficulty socializing they often will not admit to that.
Being around shy oversensitive people, I’ve found that if I sense they are in an oversensitive mood I will quietly move away from them. Why? Because that’s what I want when I’m in that mood. Often, shy oversensitive people will get in a ‘private reality’ where all their surroundings are comfortable and not be bothered. I know . . . I’ve been there and am often there. When I sense this I quietly move away, with an understanding of what’s going on.
I will then continue to go up and talk to them from time to time. What I’m waiting for is when they are not in their shy oversensitive mood. When they are not in this mood I take advantage of it and get into conversations with them. What happens, sometimes, is like a door is opened and they reveal a lot about themselves. Behind their apparent shyness, which can appear like an apathy to some people, is usually a very active alive person. Many shy people hide hidden abilities and strengths no one knows about. Not only that, often is hidden a great caring loyal person . . . and a great friend. This is because many shy people want to associate with people, they want friends.
Because of this, many shy people look at personal associations differently than other people. Some may crave it so much that any association they have is ‘smothered’ by them and, subsequently, destroyed. But, many may put great effort in developing and keeping an association. Typically, too, many shy people are easily hurt as well. This is because of their oversensitive nature. Basically, because of the oversensitive nature it can be difficult to start and maintain an association with some shy people. But thats because of their oversensitive nature, oftentimes, not because they are asocial or dislike you, as is often supposed.