The Shy Girl’s Guide to Life

**Addendum:  My mom told me this post made her depressed because she didn’t know a lot of these things had happened.  She never thought of me as shy, just quiet.  But then she asked me if I knew what the “Shy Girls Bible” was?  I said “no, ” she said “wine.”  Amen to that!  Please read this post with humor, not sadness:)

I’m shy.  I wasn’t always shy, but when my family moved it was extremely devastating to my fourteen year –old psyche.  Even though it was only one town over, I was forced to actually make friends, something I hadn’t had to do since entering kindergarten.

I remember being panicked the first day of ninth grade because I didn’t know who I was going to eat lunch with.   I didn’t want to mess with the lunchroom hierarchy, but I did get invited to sit at a table with a mismatched group of girls who became my friends that year.  I say mismatched because we were all very different and didn’t really hang out much outside of school, but we came together at lunchtime, giving each of us a place to sit and a sense of belonging.  Our own little Breakfast Club.

Even now, almost thirty years later, I still have moments of shyness, and I certainly won’t be the loudest one in the room.  If you’re shy like me, you’ll probably relate to some of these shy girl facts of life, if not, be careful; we make excellent observers and listeners.

Shy Girls Guide to Life

If you’re shy:

1.  You’re Perceived as Stuck-up, a Bitch, or a Mean Girl

You probably won’t say “Hi” first, so you’ll wait for the other person to do it.  But they won’t say it, so you won’t, and unfortunately, you’ll come out of it looking like a Bitch, even though they didn’t say “Hi,” either.  This also works in the case of waving to neighbors, and any other form of salutation and/or greeting.

2.  You’re Invisible

You’re easily forgettable because you didn’t dress like a prostitute at the office Christmas party. Shy girls are more modest than that.  People will constantly pass you over, basically because you’re not the squeeky wheel, so they forget about you.  If you’re lucky, you’ll make a commercial about it with Matt Damon.  If you’re not lucky, your name will accidentally be omitted as a surviving member of your family in your father’s obituary.  True story.

3.  You Won’t be a Cheerleader

You may be able to kick like a Rockette, smile like the Mona Lisa and push it like Salt ‘n Peppa, but you’re not making it as a cheerleader.  You can use the rejection as inspiration for that book, TV series, or movie you’ll write later in life.

4.  You’ll Be Bullied

Let’s face it, you’re an easy target.  You may even turn around and bully someone yourself, but you’ll grow up feeling awful about it.  Shy girls have a conscience.  Don’t be a pushover.  Make sure you stick up for yourself {and others,} because you may be the only one who will.

5.  You’ll Be Mediocre at Lots of Things

You’re shy, so your mom is going to put you in a lot of different activities trying to find the one that “clicks.”  Most likely you’ll just want to sit and read a book, but you’ll just roll with it.  In the end, you’ll know how to do a cartwheel, kick a soccer ball, ice skate backwards, read sheet music, pirouette, and do a few cheers.  This only makes you a better-rounded individual.  No, really, it does.

6.  You’re No Wallflower

People will automatically assume you’re a wallflower because you choose to speak only when it’s worth anyone’s time.  Instead, you’ll kick back, relax and observe as others talk over each other, one up each other, and speak only to hear their own voice.  Then you’ll file it away in your brain and laugh about it when you’re having a bad day.

7.  You’ll Constantly Have to Prove Yourself

Because people think you’re a wallflower, they’ll think you have nothing to say.  When you do speak up, you may not be heard.  It’s not pretty, but you may raise your voice to be heard and if that doesn’t work, well then, you’ll need to become slightly aggressive.  When that happens, they’ll think you’re a B.  Refer back to #1.

8.  Your Boss Will Talk to you as if You’re an Idiot Before Sending you Off to a Client Meeting Alone

Even though you’re well into your thirties and have made it this far in life, and proven yourself in your position, your boss may pull you into his/her office to gently remind you how to conduct yourself in public.  Tips like, be sure to speak when spoken to.  Be sure to ask questions and keep the conversation going.  Be sure to insert yourself into situations with the “big boss” as often as necessary.  You’re shy, you’re not an idiot.  Shy girls are a micromanager’s dream.

9.  You’ll get Passed Over for Promotions/Raises at Work

This probably has more to do with the fact that you’re a woman then the fact that you’re shy.  Most shy people are very hard workers who can weed through BS better than most outgoing people.

10.  You’re Way More Amazing Than Most People Realize

Princess Diana was painfully shy and she changed the world.  Enough said.


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  1. Jamie says

    I have a daughter who is somewhat shy and I am sad to say that she has chosen to not participate in things I know she would enjoy and be good at because of it! I know how amazing she is and I try to be very conscious of others who are shy. This is a great article!

    • Angela says

      My daughter is the same. I try to coax her into doing things I know she’ll like, but I don’t want to push her. She’s very much an introvert!

  2. Colleen @MommieDaze says

    I’m totally a shy girl and this is so spot on. Sometimes I wish I weren’t so shy, but then I think I must be this way for a reason. I can be hard to cope with they way other people see you when they don’t understand that you’re just shy and not a jerk.

    • Angela says

      It’s true! I always try to remember someone may just be shy and not be a jerk! And a lot of the time when you get to know them, that is just the case.

  3. Drama Queen's Momma says

    I was very shy growing up. I guess I was lucky that my parents didn’t push me out of my comfort zone. I learned in college how to open up more. Now I am the life of the party most of the time. I think it took me coming to the realization that what other people think about me doesn’t matter in order for me to be freed from the “shy” chains that bound me. In order to not care what other people thought, I had to learn to love myself. That was the hard part… to know that I DO matter. Now people can’t push me around anymore.

    Great post. Stopping in from #Blogger52Project 🙂

  4. JoAnn says

    #1.. man that was me growing up. My dad always told me that people would think I was a snob if I didn’t talk to them. And its true, that what’s people thought. Although he was right, his comment was ineffective in getting me to change my behavior. I see a lot of my shy traits in my daughter and I’m trying to find other ways to encourage her…. mainly because if you stay shy, you do get passed up for a lot in life, even though you are amazing! Shy people are wonderful, deep thinkers and can change the world 🙂 We just need to speak up.

    • Angela says

      I see a lot of it in my daughter as well. We just need to make sure they know to stick up for themselves and speak up when they need to!

  5. Chrissy says

    I am fortunate to meet many wonderful “shy” children through my work and, without a doubt, having a supportive network is one of the most important ways to understand one’s feelings of shyness. There is absolutely nothing wrong with being shy. There are many wonderful attributes and as parents and friends we can help accentuate the positive.

    Opening up about what the experience has been like for you will undoubtably resonate with others.

    Stopping by from the #blogger52project 🙂

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