I havent posted anything in a while because I've been super busy mostly working at my new job. I really love the job but it is raising some questions and concerns for me.
My boss is very nice and I absolutely adore her, but she keeps telling me to "come out of my shell " and "be more outgoing". Now, I am a shy person and I'm ok with it. At work I talk to the customers as much as I can and I'm very friendly with them, but my concern is, why is being shy seen as a negative trait?
Being shy is who I am, I've always been this way and I HATE that people want to change that about me. I'm sure the outgoing extroverts are too busy chatting everyone up but, being shy isn't something to be fixed. It is not a disability and I am not an invalid. The more people try to "fix" the shyness the more I pull away and appear even more shy. And I hate when people ask me "why are you so quiet?" as soon as I meet them. When I meet people wht first thing I say is not "why do you talk so much, you need to shut up".
I'm shy and I like it and despite what people think I am VERY confident in myself. I know they mean well but people need to just stop....
Equations are the devil's sentences. -Stephen Colbert
Location: Texas USA Posts: 6237 Joined: 2008-05-25
So glad that you have a job you like. Thumbs up! Being shy isn't a negative trait, and I'm not sure that it's thought of, in general, as being a negative trait. I totally agree that being shy isn't something to be fixed. I called a friend on the phone today. She told me about something 'new', and I wanted to make a comment about it. I waited until she'd stopped talking before I began speaking, but as soon as she heard my voice, she started up again. I went through this two or three more times, and every time it was the same. It was as if, for her, hearing my voice reassured her that I was still on the phone and was a cue to her to 'keep talking, someone is listening to you'. I finally said, "Augh. I never get to say anything," though I doubt she even knew what I was referring to. And you know, even though I did comment on something else before we parted, I never did make that other comment I'd wanted to make. Talkativeness is far over-rated. - jus'
Location: United States Posts: 1861 Joined: 2008-11-14
Glad to hear that you have a job that you enjoy! As an extrovert, I'm not going to defend what your boss does, but I will try to explain it from my point of view.
One problem that many of us extroverts have is that we often confuse the natural behavior of introverts with shyness or discomfort. What I mean is that when I see someone who is quiet, observing, or otherwise not interacting loudly with the crowd like I am, I instantly think, "Oh, are they okay? Are they having fun? They don't look like they're having fun. I should go see what's wrong and try to help them have fun."
It often doesn't occur to me that for an introvert, maybe that IS how you enjoy yourself. I see things in terms of how I would interact with them - that is, I know that if I was quiet and withdrawn at a party, it would mean that I wasn't having fun and wasn't enjoying myself, that something was wrong. When I see other people do that, I assume something is wrong.
It is only when I step back and really look at the situation that I think, "Well, this person is more introverted than me, so maybe they really are having fun but they just don't show it the same way I do." But by that point I've probably already gone over and made the introvert very uncomfortable by getting in their bubble and asking them tons of questions about what's wrong, when there's really nothing wrong at all. Oops!
Please forgive us extroverts. We really do have the best intentions at heart, we just sometimes forget that other people don't display all of their excitement and joy in a social situation like we do. I only finally learned to realize this when I was dating an extreme introvert, and he had to sit me down and explain all of this to me so that I would stop asking him why he was never having fun when we went out with friends - he WAS having fun, he just doesn't show it like I do.
"The hardest arithmetic to master is that which enables us to count our blessings." - Eric Hoffer