I am that woman who sits quietly on her own at parties. I suppose you would say I am shy, and I know people look down on me for it. Even though I am happily married and have a good job.
Should I try to change?
There is no need for you to change, especially as you have a good job and a happy marriage. Even if you do usually sit quietly by yourself and feel too shy to speak up.
Because there are lots of people just like you, even though these days that is not very fashionable.
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Modern life somehow favours noisy people. We are expected to work in teams, sit in open-plan offices, and develop our ‘people skills.’ Action, risk-taking and certainty are admired more than thoughtfulness, doubt or caution. We are told talkers are smarter, more competent and more appealing.
And yet some of the greatest people who have ever lived were shy. Such as Darwin, Einstein, and many great writers. Great scientific theories and novels do not get written at parties!
You can see shyness even in the tiniest children. Some children watch everything from their mothers’ laps, while tomorrow’s little noise makers rush around the room. Shy children are careful and perceptive and learn by observing rather than doing.
They may be more timid than other children, but they also work more thoroughly, stay on track, and are more accurate and conscientious. They are less likely to cheat, even when they believe they won’t be caught, and win more scholarships, even though their IQ is no higher than their noisier friends.
They do better for a very simple reason. The more time children spend socialising, the less time they spend learning.
And many of today’s most creative people are quiet. They tend to be happier working alone and are not comfortable working in teams. But they are empathetic, good listeners and good leaders.
So do not worry about being shy. Get your husband to help you improve your social skills if you want. But also enjoy your life and do not worry about what others think.
All the best,