Introvert != Shy;

It’s possible to overcome your naturally shy disposition.

Seems like Business Insider is celebrating April Fools Day fairly early, unless they are serious about a recent article on the website.


A little shy to show our faces, are we?

BI put their ignorance out to dry on Facebook when they club the headline of a recent article ’ How to be Outgoing if You’re a Natural Introvert’ with shy.

Excuse me, are you implying you managed to creep under a rock when the internet exploded with Susan Cain’s (very helpful) TED talk?

Being introverted is not the same as shy. I find the obsession to ‘connect deeply with people’

‘I used to be very awkward and anti-social, but those who know me now refuse to believe it.

I was that kid in middle school with sweatpants and bifocals who got picked last at every sporting activity and had no friends to speak of.’

Whatever this is, is certainly not introversion, which is when you do not like too much of stimulation gained through group activity and seemingly pointless small talk apparently aimed at building relationships. We recover our spent energy in solitude. That’s not shy or anti-social.


The tone of the article seems to suggest that introverts aspire to a greater degree of extrovert behaviour so that they can have ’ have a full and healthy social life, many close friends, and am able to sustain long-term and meaningful relationships with women. I have worked hard on becoming the person that I want to be.’

Do we forget that not everyone will have the same aspirations?

‘1. Have a deep desire to connect with people’

Since they gone ahead and confused shy and introvert already and assuming they intend to advise introverts and not shy people, this is confusing advice.

It is not as if introverts lack the desire to form relationships with people; only their approach is different from the usual gregarious standards of interpersonal interaction.

To ask the reader to take risks, not be discouraged and all is decent advice though.

Here’s hoping people put in a little more thought while writing. I mean, hello research; hi there internet, you’re my best friend.



6 thoughts on “Introvert != Shy;

  1. Sometimes it’s best to look at the opposite of a word to understand its meaning. The opposite of introvert is extravert. The opposite of shy is best described as outgoing.

    Introversion does not necessarily equate with timidity whereas timidity is definitely a characterisitc of shyness. Introversion can just as easily be associated with someone who prefers their own company, and genrally keeps their opinions to themselves, but that doesn’t mean they’re afraid of expressing them, whereas a shy person mostly is.

    When a was a toddler, like many small children, I’d hide behind my mother’s skirts, and was described as shy. By the time I was a teenager I was at art college and extrovert to the point of eccentricity at times, yet I still enjoyed solitude, I still do.

    Anyhow, that’s my take on the subject, for what it’s worth.

    • Thank you for your two cents, Bryan. I feel… I do not know. Offended is too strong and negative a word, but disappointed with how easily they club the two together.
      It is almost like a personal accusation, to be called shy.

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