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  • Writer's pictureJohn J Lowe

Shy is good

Updated: Mar 8, 2022

Many shy people would love to be that extrovert who can walk into a crowded room and say hello to everyone in that positive, confident way. The shy person may find it difficult to engage with strangers at the party as they are not sure what to say and don’t want to sound silly.

The shy person will avoid situations in which they are the main focus. Their friends will be few but close ones.

The opposite to a shy person is the outgoing, gregarious, extrovert and seemingly very confident individual. In the extreme form it can manifest an arrogant and boastful persona. But we are all different and there is no right or wrong personality type.

I have found from my coaching experience that shyness is a positive trait. It is often the trait of a thoughtful, deep-thinking personality which fits the Analyst type. Analysts react from a rational perspective and spontaneous small-talk is not their forte or focus. This explains why small-talk is not within their thinking construct. They need a base from which to develop an interactive conversation.

My heading “Shy is good” endeavours to allay the misconception that shyness is a negative trait but rather the manifestation of a particular personality type. So no longer envy that brash, outgoing party type. Be your shy, thoughtful self.

When I review my experience of coaching and interviewing thousands of executives and asked them to describe their personality, shy was the most common response. ‘I find it difficult making small talk with strangers’. Yet when talking about their job they were very animated and talkative which is understandable as it is related and well known territory.

I view shyness as a personality trait and do not make a valued judgement though society can wrongly consider it to be a personality weakness.

If you are the shy type I would say be shy as from my experience you are in very good company.

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