General Question

wundayatta's avatar

Were you shy as a child, yet are much less shy as an adult?

Asked by wundayatta (58599points) August 15th, 2008

How did you change? What made the change happen? How shy were you? How outgoing/gregarious/dramatic can you be now? Do you now seek to perform? Examples would be real nice.

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21 Answers

tabbycat's avatar

I was shy as a child, and I’m still shy as an adult, but I’ve constantly made an effort to overcome it, so perhaps I no longer seem as shy as I really am. If you are in business, or if you need to interact with others constantly for other reasons, you have keep forcing yourself to reach out to other people. It doesn’t mean you still are fundamentally shy.

lefteh's avatar

I’ve never been shy, and I’m not shy now.
I don’t see myself being shy as an adult, either.

syz's avatar

I was pathologically shy. I wouldn’t speak to strangers or even ask for the time. When I went to college, I would literally go for days and days without speaking to anyone. I gradually got better and then found my dream job, with the down side of having to do public speaking. But because I was passionate about the subject matter, I finally managed to almost completely overcome my (obvious) shyness. I still feel uncomfortable around people I don’t know and in some social situations, but I hide it fairly well (most of the time).

wildflower's avatar

I was very forward as a little child (would talk to/answer back to people I’d never met before, whistle along when the adults where having a sing-song before I could speak), then became quite shy, especially around doctors, photographers, etc. (once hung up on the doctor’s office when they called for my mum and clung to a street light outside the photographer’s studio when I had to have my pic taken).
As an adult, I’m not shy, but probably a tad reserved. I have no problem talking to people – individually or in crowds – I’m quite used to leading meetings and preso’s at work, I connect easily with new people.
But! It’s not completely ‘open book’ type thing, I guess.

wildflower's avatar

too late to edit and just noticed: where should be were

ruby's avatar

I was really shy as a kid. My face was in a constant state of blushing. Now it has gotten a little better, but I too have to force myself to talk, especially in group situations. Motivation has come from being tired of knowing an answer to a question (like in class) or having a question and feeling too shy to say it. And deep breathing helps…but my face still gives me away sometimes

mee_ouch's avatar

Oh ‘shy’ is sooooo yesterday…..Isn’t it social phobic now?

wildflower's avatar

It was shy when I was a kid, so shy it is!

mee_ouch's avatar

…..oohhh here’s one….anxiety neurosis

RomantismNightmare's avatar

I was so shy as a child that I wouldn’t answer someone if they asked me a question… I don’t think I would even look at them.
When I started becoming less shy, it was because I started participation more in social events. I was a member of Bible Quizzing, and you HAD to stand up in front of people to talk. I loved doing it so much that talking in front of people got easier.
Now that I’m an adult, I’m still very shy, but I am trying to overcome it. I hate feeling shy and looking shy to other people. In most situations, except when I’m around people I know really well, I would probably be considered a quiet person. (At least I don’t purposely ignore people anymore…)
I can be VERY outgoing to where it surprises me sometimes.

mee_ouch's avatar

I was a bit of an anomaly. There were times when I’d work myself into a state almost akin to catatonia if I was approached in a crowd. “Why me?” I would think to myself. Yet, I would dress off-beat….obviously calling attention to myself….
It would drive my mum nutty.

loser's avatar

Nope, I’m just as bad, or even worse now!

mee_ouch's avatar

I guess I was told to “Get the f*ck outta the way”....one to many times over the years.
‘Shy’ doesn’t factor into my character these days…..

MacBean's avatar

When I was very small, I was so shy that it would even take me time to warm up and speak to family members. Forget about strangers! When I started school, obviously that wasn’t going to fly. I learned to just suck it up and deal with it. By about 6th grade, I’d turned it into sort of an art form; I was really charming and outgoing even though I was still inwardly anxious about social interaction. I stayed that way through high school and my first semester of college. Then I experienced a downward spiral and I’m back to being silent and mousy in public. I’m working on fixing that, though…

aprilsimnel's avatar

I am more shy as an adult, but it’s only from awful home training. Getting myself out of that emotional and mental mess has been a very slow and maddening process

loser's avatar

No, I’m more shy as an adult.

amandala's avatar

I was loud as a kid, but shy when meeting new people. I was always afraid to introduce myself because I put so much pressure on myself. I wound up making bad impressions with my volume and my excessive sarcasm—those were, essentially, defense mechanisms.

I can still be loud sometimes, and I’ve definitely held on to some of my sarcastic humor, but I’m really outgoing and I make sure to listen to other people…conversations are, after all, all about give and take. I’m incredibly friendly and love meeting new people now. It’s so much more fun!

robinmichelle's avatar

I was super shy and awkward as a kid. But I have recently learned to overcome my shyness within the past couple years.
How did I change? When I moved from my hometown, I decided that I wouldn’t be shy anymore. I’d smile at people in public places (but not with my teeth. More of an “acknowledgement” smile). I would only smile after I got eye contact from them (but it’s pretty hard since innately people don’t like to look at each other like that). Also,I’d also hold open doors for people for a start. I would start by meeting 1 new person a day. Small talk is really hard at first, but you can master it after you force yourself to meet someone once a day.
How shy was I? In high school, I’d eat lunch at the library because I was afraid that people would see me eat alone. I would also pretend to be on my cell phone if I were at a public place alone.
How outgoing/gregarious/dramatic can you be now? Honestly, not all of the shyness goes away. There are times that I am still really awkward and shy. But for the most part I’ve changed. The best advice to give you is to be a really good listener, and if someone asks you about your day, give them something interesting to hear. Don’t just say “good” “okay” or anything with one word.

wundayatta's avatar

@robinmichelle Any examples of the kind of thing you say as “something interesting to hear?

robinmichelle's avatar

@wundayatta Actually, I take that back. haha. Saying something interesting isn’t as effective as making the conversation about the other person.

I’ll tell you now that I still have problems responding to open-ended questions with more than one word.

For example, if someone were to ask you about your day, you could say, “It was good. I only had to fight 5 pirates today.” However, no matter how interesting the subject you bring up, sometimes the other person will not take interest. Instead of putting all that energy into coming up with an interesting answer, use that energy to ask the other person how her/his day was, and really listen to their answer. Pick things from their answer to your question that you can relate to and/or like and bring it up when it’s your turn to talk.

example:
Him: “How was your day?”
You: “It was good. I only had to fight 5 pirates today.”
Him: “That’s nice.”
You: “So how was your day?”

Him: “Tiring. Physics was so boring. I had a hard time staying awake.”
You: “Oh man! I know what you mean. I took it last quarter, and I slept through that class. What are you learning now?”

This might be pretty obvious to you, to respond in this way, but one thing you need to remember is that the conversation needs to be about the other person, meaning, let them talk and let them feel comfortable talking to you. The more you let them talk and feel comfortable with you, the more comfortable YOU will feel opening up to them. This takes time, and doesn’t come over night, however, you will be better at keeping conversation in the long run. Practice this with one person a day.

Here is a website that I feel can really help you out, if you want to check it out: http://relationshipcapital.co/op/
I work as a communication specialist for the site, and I hope it helps you out!

Also, please keep asking questions! I’d love to help you, or anyone else out!

wundayatta's avatar

How did a shy person get into that business? Is that an occupational hazard, so to speak? And what is a communication “specialist.” That sounds a bit scary. I mean, I guess I’m just an amateur at communication, like most of us. Should we be hiring you to get the word across? Like if we’re having trouble with a spouse, do you come in and get us talking or something?

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