Being shy

I was a shy little kid. I used to hide behind my mom’s leg a lot, as a toddler. Which prompted people to say to my mom, “Look how shy she is!”

My mom would say, “She’s not shy.”

I wasn’t a shy little kid. I was shy around people I didn’t know. I was crazy outgoing around my family. When I was eight, I went to Hebrew School, and I sat in a classroom for the first time and had to raise my hand. I didn’t really mind it very much, but I didn’t really feel comfortable talking in front of everyone. I said a few things. I made a few quiet friends. But I mostly kept to myself.

At home, I was running around the house, yelling at my little brothers to follow me because we were going to have a musical parade. I never stopped talking. These days, I forget that I used to act shy at all. My mom has to remind me that I used to be quiet in any environment.

(This thing is the key to success for a musical parade. source)

Sometimes people worry that homeschoolers will get spoiled or coddled or denied access to realities that will later jump out of the bushes and attack us. We won’t know how to deal with our peers because we were around our families more than we were around our friends. We won’t know how to deal with authority. Or something. I’m not even sure how it goes. I do know that there were times in my life when I was overwhelmed by my peers. And for good reason. They are overwhelming! Have you heard the way kids talk about and to each other? It can get pretty bad, pretty fast.

But I’m not overwhelmed now. And the reason is that I was allowed to grow safely. I got a lot of space to be weird and awkward and whatever it was I felt like being at that moment. And so I went through stages without them defining who I was.

Now I can’t imagine someone describing me as shy or quiet. If they do, I’ll yell at them. Really loudly. Kidding (I know, I’m hilarious). But really- I won’t know who they’re talking about.

9 comments to Being shy

  • I agree completely. my kids go through their phases and they are allowed to change themselves when the mood suits them.

  • I was homeschooled all my life and am now homeschooling my boys. I see no difference between myself and the women that were “socialized”. Except maybe I have fewer scars.

  • I bet it’s even harder to homeschool when people blame homeschooling parents for not sending their shy children to school, to practice socialization with their peers. I agree school actually makes it harder to grow out of shyness and be self-confident. School kids can be really mean and not tolerant for differences.

  • Suzanne

    “I was shy around people I didn’t know”…totally describes myself and my four children. Love that. Very validating!!!!1

  • I’m actually really confused about the definition of shy.

    Like, I usually say that I also am shy around people I don’t know, but outgoing with my family and friends. But… isn’t shy and not shy dependent on how you are in NEW situations? Otherwise, I feel this applies to a good percentage of people… maybe I’ve just confused myself further..

  • “And so I went through stages without them defining who I was.”

    Yes, exactly that. Thank you.

  • Val

    Yeah, I was told my homeschool sons were coddled and were going to be unable to function in the world. (They didn’t seem actually CODDLED to me at the time, but whatev’s.)

    That was fun.

    And also just wrong, wrong, wrong. They’re fine adults, functioning in the world just fine–without me holding their little paws at work or in their marriages.

    Be who you are and fear not. So many people have so much to say about what they know nothing about. love, Val

  • I wish I would’ve had that type of environment growing up (I’m 21 now). I was exactly like that but except that I was extremely shy. As I grew older, the severety of the shyness diminished, I think it was because I got to hang out with more like-minded peers (I went to public school but I wish I hadn’t). Really, the only trouble I have now is initiating a conversation and joining a conversation (somebody help!). But really, I’m actually not shy and quiet and I hate it when people say that.

    I’m a highly sensitive person, and I’m different from everybody else, and school just makes it harder for these types of people to be themselves and feel confident and as a result they get shy.

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