Struggles of growing up shy | The Daily Star

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12:00 AM, September 07, 2017 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, September 07, 2017

Struggles of growing up shy

I grew up as the “shy and silent” type, got INTP in my personality test, and envied my outspoken counterparts. Why couldn't I make conversations as easily as they could? Soon enough, “I am just shy” became a euphemism for me. It took me a while to eventually get out of my shell after enduring a plethora of struggles, some of which are listed down below. If you grew up with a reserved attitude like me, you will be able to relate.

Being the Wallflower

Growing up shy meant I was one of those wallflowers who always find themselves in the corner of a room during social situations, seeing everything but faded into the background. I talked only if anyone approached me, otherwise I just stayed silent. It was not like that I preferred being alone, but I blame my terrible social skills. Sometimes, I just couldn't find anything scintillating to say!  There were also times when I didn't feel interested in conversations because they felt bland. It got really annoying to listen to “Why are you so shy?” over and over again.

Dancing? Singing? No, no

Taking a cringe-worthy trip down the memory lane, I remember my mom and friends were hell-bent on getting me out of my shell. At every single occasion or party, my friends would drag me to the stage to dance with them or my mom would force me to sing, my reluctance making things go awkward. At the end, I always felt downright mortified.

Holding in Nature's Call

I felt uneasy in having to ask the teacher “May I go to toilet, please?” and rise up and walk out of the classroom in the middle of the class. It would draw too much attention.  

Being Mistaken as Stuck-up

Some people never understood the fact that I was just shy, so they would interpret my aloofness as being stuck-up and rude. Often, I felt the need to justify myself to others. How would I explain to them that I was just shy? Plus, I had always dreaded icebreakers.

Forever the Third Wheel

I must say, no matter how much I claim to have gotten over my shyness completely, I still have some of the habits. I don't usually initiate conversations, and flirting? Forget that completely. Shy people like me get stuck as the third wheel, or worse, the fifth wheel. However, I am totally not complaining if there is free food.  

Zarin Rayhana is a self-aggrandizing ambivert who ponders over philosophical epiphanies during rainy evenings and waits for her crush to jump straight out of her favourite novel. Treat her with novel suggestions at

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