Why Being SHY is a Gift and Not a Curse


Being an Introvert is not a bad thing.

Those who overlook Introverts are missing out!

Not at all shyI’m an extrovert/introvert.  I get a lot of energy by being around people and talking to them. I love speaking, and teaching, and being the center of attention, BUT … I also love seclusion and quiet. I am comfortable being in the spotlight or being behind the scenes. What matters most to me is what people are receiving. 

Most of us have noticed that we attract the opposites in our life. Naturally, I’ve attracted many introverts into my world as an extrovert. The best part of surviving youth is that there are many lessons to learn from. In my case, the quiet people who stood with me through thick and thin, have every right to say, “I saw that coming … or I told you so.” Yet, not one of them has ever rubbed it in my face. (How they ever put up with me for so many years, I’ll never know, but I praise God for them every day).

Here is something I have learned that I LOVE sharing with my introverted friends as I give thanks for their presence in my life: 

S =  The “S” in shy stands for SEEING CLEARLY.

H = The “H” stands for HEARING DEEPLY

Y = The “Y” stands for “YOU BENEFIT” 

This is one of the lessons I want to share with those who think that being ‘shy’ is a bad thing. It is not. It is a rich gift for all of us – if we will TAKE THE TIME to receive. 

A shy person needs time. They will not tell you their thoughts quickly. They are careful and studious … They see things and hear things that the rest of us miss on a continual basis. 

Their energy is reserved and careful as they plot out where they will invest their time, energy, heart, and mind. 

Most of us are in a horrendous hurry to experience the rush of life and attention. We compete for the spotlight and to be heard. The shy person gratefully sits in the background, amused and thankful that there is enough distraction from the spotlight that it won’t be turned on them! 

Yet … they DO yearn to be heard, seen and received.  

ThoughtfulWhen a person will pause long enough to change their energy and focus to calm down their mind and heart and truly listen … massive wisdom, insights, and observations will pour out of a shy person’s mind and heart. But never before they know it is safe, and well-received. 

Because their eyes are so open to the world around them, they are well aware of the ‘dark side’ of that world, and it isn’t something they care to entertain or make room for …  so there are many walls and obstacles to navigate through before the extrovert can benefit from this wealth of wisdom and insights. 

A shy person is pressed through life to be “more open” to be “more competitive” … to be “more seen” and “speak up!” … and much to the detriment of who they are, they conclude that to be shy is to be horribly defective and “wrong”. They then spend the rest of their life wishing they were anything else but SHY! 

What a grave injustice we do to those who are not extroverted! How sad it is, to have some of the richest resources on the planet so close … yet so unseen. 

When speaking to the wife of an extroverted entrepreneur, I encouraged her to attend her husband’s networking events with him. “Oh no! NEVER! I’m nothing like him!” She declared. 

“He nodded his head and smiled and said, “That’s for sure – she’s scared of her own shadow!” She hung her head and said, “I’m better off at home, keeping the house clean and the kids happy.” 

I looked at both of them and said, “Don’t you know that you are a perfect fit?” I already knew that she was very interested in his business, and even though she didn’t understand all of the ‘ins-and-outs” of it, she had insights that were incredibly valuable to him – but which he had never heard from her, as I had. 

I saw his challenges and his victories, his defeats, and disasters, and I had also heard her comments behind the scenes and observations of wisdom that came from her discerning eye.

Team workHe needed her more than either of them knew! Looking him straight in the eye, I asked him a few questions that I knew would have been common for them to experience in their marriage. Things that extroverts do that introverts won’t, and visa versa. They both nodded and laughed at the “I told you so Honey” moments that she enjoyed and he dreaded.

I told them that being one way wasn’t right while the other was wrong. That we need each other to balance out one another, in order to live life fully and to share one another’s burdens while building a life together as a team, and not as opposing forces. 

Noting the blank stares in their eyes, but their attentive ear, I described how they could work as a team together at a networking event. 

He as the entrepreneur and extrovert would be the aggressive one. She would simply play the role of wife and partner … and ‘shadow’ spy.  What he would not notice because of his personality, she would.  She would observe how he spoke, how he was heard and received – or not; what he noticed, and what he didn’t notice.  She would also observe the body language of the people he spoke to, and what was being said. She would have permission to just observe and not be pressured to contribute anything but her observations at a later time when she had space to process her information. These observations are extremely valuable and help to identify whether others are in integrity or not.

Many times an extrovert will get so caught up in the moment of being in the spotlight, that they are blinded by what they want to see, rather than what is truly happening–right under their noses.

Micro-facial expressions, body language, responses, words, reactions, etc. are clues and information that an introverted person takes in, but being unsure of their own value and worth, may or may not realize the importance of.

Being given permission to just observe and not say anything is a massive relief for an introvert. The wealth of information and feedback that can be given later in a quieter atmosphere is pure gold for a wise extrovert.

This is teamwork, and this is honoring and accepting the strengths and weaknesses of not just ourselves, but of those around us. Acknowledging that a person is who they are, and making room for that is honoring them and valuing them as the priceless human being that they are and need in our life. The rewards are life-changing for both, as value is received on many levels.

The next time someone comments about your shyness, tell them thank you. Embracing who you are and understanding the value of who you are, will help to teach them how to SEE you.

dreaming and happyKnowing that you do not give quick answers, but will share your well thought out and paced answers is something that they need to know about you and will be well worth the wait!

It’s then up to them to open the door and receive your wealth of insights and discerning observations, as you are not one who will bang down the door to force someone to listen. You will give to those who will receive, and who will receive with gratitude.

Intuitively, an introverted person already knows the wealth that they hold within. Too often, though, they struggle with believing that they have the RIGHT to own their wealth, so they are challenged by doubt and fears that they are wrong in whom they are.

You are who you are from birth – there is no right or wrong. There is only you–as you were born to be. What a glorious gift we give to the world when we can see ourselves and each person as the unique individual and gift that we are!

2 thoughts on “Why Being SHY is a Gift and Not a Curse

  1. Meagan Alexander says:

    This was written so beautifully. Your words ushered in a very necessary sense of freedom, love, and acceptance for who I am created to be. Thank you.

    • Shannon Parish says:

      You are more than welcome Meagan. You are unique and one-of-a-kind. Just think. Not one person, from the beginning of time has existed who is exactly like you! Enjoy being the gift you were intended to be and rejoice that you don’t have to be anyone else. (That’s so much harder, isn’t it?) It’s way more fun just being who we were born to be!

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