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Thread: Shyness

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Nov 2003

    Default Shyness

    Recently DH & I were in a shop with Kynan and when the lady said hello to him he ducked his head and burrowed into my shoulder. It led to a conversation about kids and shyness and the lady mentioned that there was a little 5yo girl who came into the shop with her father and the girl would hide behind her dad's legs every time, wouldn't make eye contact, say hello or smile. The lady seemed really kind of negative about it, saying that at Kynan's age it was okay but that at 5 years it was wrong and that kids should have grown out of it by then and the parents should be making her say hello etc.

    What are other peoples opinions on it? Is shyness a really bad thing? I ended up feeling a tad defensive after she went on about it for a while, probably because I was really shy when I was little and even now I'm still pretty quiet and reserved IRL.

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    In Bankworld with Barbara


    Gee, she was being a bit judgemental. I think people don't realise how hard it can be to overcome shyness. Lindsay is quite shy and wouldn't talk to strangers in shops if they said hello or anything. It is only since he has started school that he has overcome that, but he is still shy with strangers at first. When people would speak to him he would hide behind me a little, but I would ask him to say hello to be polite (depending on who it was ) but would never force the issue if he didn't want to talk.

    I don't think it is a bad thing because that's just the way some people are - to tell them to not be shy or that shyness is a bad thing makes it worse IYKWIM?

    My Dh is a bit shy and quiet too. I'm sure that the night we met he never would have talked to me if he hadn't been drinking and had some 'dutch courage' under his belt.

  3. #3


    That was a bit mean! My sister was always the shy one, hiding behind mum's skirts before she knew who the person was, whereas I would talk to everyone. I think mum was sad that I didn't "need" her so much (I made her cry a lot by not getting upset with her going at playschool/school), but annoyed that my sister wasn't so independant - you just can't win!

    I don't think shyness can be learnt or un-learnt, it's a personality thing - so don't listen to that mean old woman! I would try to get my children to say hello and not hide when they were able to, but not if it caused them distress. I know DH wouldn't try (and would happily run away and hide behind me too), and he's lovely so I wouldn't worry too much about it. Like Sherie, I met my DH after he'd had a few drinks...

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Jun 2003


    I think it depends on the child and the situation. I've known kids to use *shyness* to get out of doing things, and as an excuse for bad behaviour or rudeness (and I know this because I've seen them be extremely extraverted when it suits iykwim?). But I've also known children who have anxieties associated with being shy and thats certainly not fun for them. I don't think a checkout chick could really know a situation by meeting a girl a few times in a shop so honestly I think that was extremly judgemental and more rude than a shy child! And I also think its not good to PUSH a child into the open when they are shy, its better to teach them how to deal with situations that make them uncomfortable and try and fix that then tell them to just get over it sheesh!


  5. #5
    Sal Guest


    Saying being shy is a bad thing is the same as saying having red hair is a bad thing! How silly, being introverted or extroverted is a fundamental part of our personality and is present at birth. Mothers of outgoing or shy children will be able to tell whether they have a shy/outgoing child almost from when their bub was born.

    People are so ignorant. It is true that you can 'train' a child to act less shy, but it will be just that, an act, and the stress they feel whilst acting outgoing is probably doing them some psychological damage.

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