Did you know that shy is a synonym for introvert?
This was first pointed out to me by someone in a group I was a member of and I thought: This cannot be true!
Well, it's true.
I looked in every dictionary I could get my hands on, both hard-copies and online. And yes, 8 out of the 10 dictionaries that I looked in had that definition included.
In this week's podcast episode, we'll talk about what it really means to be an introvert and the many misconceptions that are out there (including that introverts are shy!
You can find it below (or on your favorite podcast app).
What you’ll learn in this 20-minute episode:
✅ Why there are so many misconceptions about introverts
✅ The difference between introversion and shyness
✅ The main difference between introverts and extroverts
✅ An unseen and powerful trait of introverts
✅ Why quiet time isn’t a luxury but it’s a physiological need for most introverts
Watch the video now
Thinking back now, it’s no surprise that I felt awkward when I was growing up and for much of my adult life.
"Don't be so quiet",
"Why don't you just join in?"
"Why do you look so angry?"
and later when I joined the corporate world:
"You should be more assertive"
were things I heard all the time.
The call to behave, no to be extroverted is strong and always around.
A long pause would fall in a conversation and my mind would go:
"Oh no, an awkward silence! Say something, say something!!"
When I was on my own, I didn't mind silence at all but I was always afraid to make other people uncomfortable with my silence. So, I spoke when I had nothing to say, I laughed to fill the gap or I made a joke. It all felt very unnatural and deep down I felt like I was acting a role that I hadn't read the script for.
I don't blame anyone for thinking that introversion and shyness are somehow related.
Introverts can appear shy.
Generally speaking, they don't always feel like talking, they prefer to spend time alone sometimes and they tend to think very long before speaking (hence the "awkward" silence).
But the root of shyness is very different; it stems from low self-confidence.
Introversion as a character trait stems from where you naturally place your focus (inward vs outward for an extravert).
There is another reason why introversion and shyness are sometimes linked.
Remember all those well-meaning comments and advices? "Don't be so quiet"
They send the message that being quiet is somehow wrong.
If you constantly hear that your natural tendency is "wrong" this can lead to low self-confidence.
And whether we admit it or not, introverts receive this message very often. Up to the point that shyness and introversion are in fact the same thing according to most dictionaries.
We are in need of an update don’t you think? 😉
Looking at all those dictionaries has reaffirmed my mission to help introverts realize that what they bring to the table is equally valuable as everyone else.
It starts with recognizing your own value and giving yourself permission to be just as you are.
You can do that by making space for your natural process as an introvert (if you’re curious what that means, watch the video above).
If you want to fully give yourself permission to be just as YOU are, then join my private coaching program. Together, we’ll discover your unique process and choose the productivity tools to help you increase your impact with less effort and more peace of mind.
Read more about my programs on the Work with me page.
Have you ever received (well-meaning) advice that just wasn't helpful? Leave a comment below if you've ever heard one of these things "Don't be so shy", "You should make quick decisions", or "Why are you so quiet?".