What I've Learned from Being Shy

Being introverted isn't a disability (unless you make it one)
What I've Learned from Being Shy

As long as I can remember, I've been shy. I cringed as a young child at encounters other kids laughed off—like when a cranky neighbor yelled at us for accidentally hitting a ball into his yard. I nearly froze with terror in the presence of my first-grade teacher, an imposing woman renowned for her strictness. Hospitalized at age ten for a tonsillectomy, I was too timid to call the night nurse and let her know I needed to go to the bathroom. Since I couldn't get out of the criblike hospital bed, I spent the night marshalling my willpower to avoid wetting the sheets. And as a teen and young adult, my quiet reserve was often misinterpreted as aloofness and snobbery.

For years, I viewed shyness as a disability, something I was born with and couldn't help. I felt my personality "handicap" permitted me to sit back and wait for others to talk to me. It's up to the extroverts of the world to reach out to me, I thought. After all, can't they see I'm shy?

For years, I viewed shyness as a disability, something I was born with and couldn't help.

When I went away to college, I attempted to cover up my lack of social confidence by avoiding contact with people I didn't already know. I rarely ventured out of my shell to chat with other students at mealtimes or before and after classes. In the mistaken belief appearance was the key to being accepted, I never left my room without first laboring over my hair and makeup. I wore the trendiest clothes my limited budget would allow. And I never admitted, at least not publicly, to any uncertainties, weaknesses, or failings.

Member access onlyYou have reached the end of this Article Preview
To continue reading, join now for free and get complete access.
orJoin Now for Free

Read more articles that highlight writing by Christian women at ChristianityToday.com/Women

Free CT Women Newsletter

Sign Up For Our weekly Newsletter CT's weekly newsletter highlighting the voices of women writers. We report on news and give our opinion on topics such as church, family, sexuality, discipleship, pop culture, and more!

Read These Next

Comments

Join in the conversation on Facebook or Twitter

May 25

Follow Us

More Newsletters

Facebook
Twitter
Pinterest
RSS