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Discussion Starter #1
Shyness and Type​

I know that I've read tons of times in multiple places that "Being introverted doesn't make someone shy, and being extraverted doesn't make someone very social and outgoing."

I've also heard "I know (or I am) an extravert who's shy, or an introvert who's very social and outgoing."

And finally, I've heard "There's absolutely no correlation between being shyness and E/I."

I totally agree with the first two, but I just can't quite buy the third. I know that there are shy extraverts and that there are outgoing introverts, but I have a hard time believing that the percentage of extraverts who are shy is the same as the percentage of introverts that are shy (for example, I have a hard time believing that if 30% of all extraverts are shy, 30% of all introverts are shy as well).


Now don't get me wrong...as mentioned earlier, I'm not saying that an introvert is automatically going to be shy. I also think that some introverts use that as an excuse for shyness, which I also think is wrong. Nonetheless, I can't help but think there is some correlation between shyness and introversion.

I'm not as well versed as a lot of people with the MBTI, so I don't have proof for this, only my own theories. But that's why I'm posting this...I know there have been related topics before, but I've had a hard time getting clear answers in them, so that's why I'm posting, in hope that some people might help clarify all of this for me.



First off, I think a whole lot of it depends on what the definition of "shyness" is. For example, if one of my well known friends introduces me to someone I've never met before, I'll be very open and talkative, (unless of course I feel on the outside of the two of them, which is rare). Or, if someone on a plane ride engages me in conversation, I can be very talkative. Or, if I'm with a small group of friends that I know well, I'm very relaxed and talkative.

But, if I feel pressure in a situation, I'm very quiet. Every now and then this happens one-on-one, but it's rare...only if I feel the need to impress someone, like an interview or meeting a girlfriend's father or something. Much more often, though, it happens in a group...at a big social event where I only know a few people, or if there's a group discussion among 8 people or so and I don't know anybody.

I've had people tell me I'm shy because of this. But is this me being shy, or me being introverted?


So that's the first issue. However, even though I know the common definition of introversion is one getting energy from oneself, I've also read that some traits are usually common among introverts.

For example, I've read that introverts usually prefer one-on-one discussion as opposed to group ones. I've also read that introverts prefer to think and reflect before blurting things out, whereas extraverts can usually talk and think as they're talking.

These aren't really parts of the definition of being an introvert, but I would imagine they're related, right? These things in themselves can even come across as shyness to some people, and if not, can certainly be related to shyness. If you prefer a smaller group setting, then being put in a large one will lead you to be more quiet. Same if you like to wait and think before talking, you're going to come across as more quiet. Is this shyness, or is it just perceived unfairly as shyness?


Finally, if an introvert prefers to be alone, then they probably do spend more time alone. That means they probably won't get as much social experience as an extravert, which may make them more uncomfortable in social situations until they get that experience.

So those are my reasons for thinking there could be some connection, especially if these habits are developed earlier in life. If anyone can add more to this or even refute it in detail, I'd be glad to hear it.


But here's the other main point of interest I have (which is also why I called the thread "Shyness and Type" rather than "Shyness and E/I"): How do the other three letters affect shyness, if at all? Is it possible that certain types of introverts are more likely to be shy than other types?

If so, I think it would greatly help to explain why some extraverts are shy and some introverts are outgoing.

And don't get me wrong, I know that (a) there are plenty of other factors outside of the MBTI which relate to/affect shyness, and (b) that no one person is totally extraverted or introverted, and that some introverts are more introverted than others, and so on. So I know there's more to it than just what type someone is.

Nonetheless, I'd really like to hear people's input on all of this!
 

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Well...

I was shy as a child and depending on circumstances can vary from being in the middle of the action to hiding among the shadows in various group situations. Depending on the type of event that I'm attending determines a lot of factors to my mind. If I'm attending a support group of some form, that makes it much easier to find topics to discuss and conversation that seems more useful to my mind than just general small talk that is a load of manure mostly. In contrast, if I'm at a party that someone just threw together, this is where the "I'm a ghost" comes out in spades unless there is a game or discussion somewhere that I can discover to put this back within my comfort zone. My guess is that part of this is my J aspect rearing its head and that I want order, rules and structure. I want a simple answer for, "Why are you here?" that explains what got me to come to whatever it is that I wanted to attend. How many times I've been at a place before can also play a role as a new place can have me keep my guard up longer than some place I've been to a dozen times and will feel quite comfortable quite quickly.

In some ways I can still be rather shy and it can take some work to get me out of my shell, but this is doable as I've seen this happen at least a few times. In some ways I do try to make every word I say useful and have often rehearsed whatever I say a half dozen times before saying it, so it has been checked plenty of times typically. Thus, my ability to keep up with a conversation can sometimes be to my detriment though at the same time, it can be a nice way to cool things down that I need a moment before answering someone.

Another element to this is how people see themselves and what beliefs are at the heart of their behavior. Some people can be like the bull in the china shop and plow into conversations and while they may make a lot of mistakes, they know this and compensate by cracking jokes here and there at times. Others may choose to save as much of their energy as possible and that can be a common trait of introverts at times.
 

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I've always been shy, but in recent years it's gotten much worse, but that's mostly due to the problems that I had in school with my peers. While I know that introversion does not cause shyness, I do think that introverts are probably more likely to be shy than extroverts.

I think that Introverted Feeling types are more likely to be shy than anyone else due to the fact that they (including myself) mainly want to be accepted by others, and are very sensitive to negative criticism or rejection from them.
 

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there's also a difference between being shy and being quiet which I think a lot of people confuse as well. Shyness usually implies timidity and nervousness while being quiet could mean that someone has no interest or value in offering anything to the conversation, or maybe they don't even know what to say because their social skill aren't that great, but it doesn't necessarily mean they are shy. I have read comment that some extroverts say even when they are being loud and the center of attention they are still really shy....
 

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Discussion Starter #6
there's also a difference between being shy and being quiet which I think a lot of people confuse as well. Shyness usually implies timidity and nervousness while being quiet could mean that someone has no interest or value in offering anything to the conversation, or maybe they don't even know what to say because their social skill aren't that great, but it doesn't necessarily mean they are shy. I have read comment that some extroverts say even when they are being loud and the center of attention they are still really shy....
I think this is an extremely good and important point, and I think it's a huge part of the reason why shy introverts tend to use their introversion as an excuse for shyness. Because sometimes if someone is who is quiet in a conversation is perceived as being shy, then the two are kind of unfairly equated, and so a shy introvert starts thinking "Oh, I want to be quiet in a group setting because I'm introverted. This makes me shy as well. That's why I'm shy."


I think I'm getting a better idea of what it means to be shy, and also how extraverts can be shy. I may be wrong here, but what I'm starting to think is that being an extravert and being shy is more difficult for a person, but overcoming shyness is harder for a shy introvert.

I think that makes sense because an introvert can enjoy themselves more by themselves. For a shy extravert, they want to spend time in group settings but find themselves getting nervous, so things are more miserable for them. And introvert can kind of just ignore it, spend more time by themselves, and get into a comfort zone where their shyness doesn't affect them as much.

However, when it comes to overcoming shyness, an extravert is at least motivated by the desire to spend more time with people and work on finding ways to deal with their social nervousness. For an introvert, if they have less of a desire to spend a lot of time in a group setting anyway, it's harder for them to find motivation to stop being shy.




The more I think about this personally the more I'm starting to re-examine the details of it. I guess I'm having a hard time figuring out in big social settings how much I display my introversion and how much I display my shyness.

I think for me a big part of it has to deal with me being an ISFJ and me dealing with my own confidence. I have such a strong Si that I tend to remember all kinds of details of conversations and social situations, and since Fe is my auxiliary function, I tend to be very aware of what people around me are thinking or feeling. So when I'm in a big social setting, I care so much about what everyone else thinks. It's like instead of being myself, I want to put forth an image that will please everyone else.

When I'm one-on-one with someone, this is easy. But when I'm in a group, it's like I feel the need to be a lot of different people, instead of just being myself. As a result, I end up feeling like I can't do that all at once, so I resign myself to saying nothing.

I guess this is shyness, too. But it also takes so much effort for me to "put on this act" that it wears me out. I've always felt like the reason why I get energy from being by myself is that that's the only time when I'm completely by myself.


I'm kind of rambling now but...I think my biggest issue is that as much as I try not to, I can't help but care what people think about me. I don't want to blame this on me being an ISFJ, but I certainly think that contributes to it, with the whole Si and Fe thing I mentioned earlier. If what I exhibit really is shyness, it seems like this is the source.

I'm still working on it a lot, and I am happy to say my confidence has really shot up a lot in the last year. To me that's my starting point, and I'm hoping me being able to brush off other people's negativity and bad impressions will start coming out from that.

Lord Xephere said:
I think that Introverted Feeling types are more likely to be shy than anyone else due to the fact that they (including myself) mainly want to be accepted by others, and are very sensitive to negative criticism or rejection from them.
I can't help but agree with you on this one. People talk about the huge difference between S/N all of the time, but I always feel a bigger difference between T/F and E/I. I always find it funny when I see people post about an ISFJ and an INFP not getting along, because I feel like I'm the most comfortable with INFP's, INFJ's, and ISFP's.

I think it comes from the fact that IF's tend to be so sensitive that we keep so much inside and come across as cold. That mis-communication makes it difficult for us to form relationships. Granted, the S/N and F/J differences do contribute as well...I know that ISFJ's can be rigid and stuck in their ways and have trouble seeing the big picture and beyond their current situations too.

But in terms of social situations, I think IF's have a lot in common, and like I said, I think I'm the most comfortable around them out of all of the types for sure.
 

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When I was younger, I would often express my frustration I felt in social situations.

To which the person would reply: Oh, don't worry about that, you're just shy.
Me: What? No, I'm not shy...I'm just reserved.

There is a difference. I've had my moments of shyness, but I would not describe myself as a shy person.
 
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I think I'm getting a better idea of what it means to be shy, and also how extraverts can be shy. I may be wrong here, but what I'm starting to think is that being an extravert and being shy is more difficult for a person, but overcoming shyness is harder for a shy introvert.

I think that makes sense because an introvert can enjoy themselves more by themselves. For a shy extravert, they want to spend time in group settings but find themselves getting nervous, so things are more miserable for them. And introvert can kind of just ignore it, spend more time by themselves, and get into a comfort zone where their shyness doesn't affect them as much.

However, when it comes to overcoming shyness, an extravert is at least motivated by the desire to spend more time with people and work on finding ways to deal with their social nervousness. For an introvert, if they have less of a desire to spend a lot of time in a group setting anyway, it's harder for them to find motivation to stop being shy.


you could be on to something- I also remember reading somewhere that extroverts need acceptance and introverts fear rejection. Thus, introverts are more likely to reject someone before that someone can reject the introvert whereas extroverts aren't as affected by rejection as long as they find acceptance. Could be part of it....
 

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I think I'm getting a better idea of what it means to be shy, and also how extraverts can be shy. I may be wrong here, but what I'm starting to think is that being an extravert and being shy is more difficult for a person, but overcoming shyness is harder for a shy introvert.

I think that makes sense because an introvert can enjoy themselves more by themselves. For a shy extravert, they want to spend time in group settings but find themselves getting nervous, so things are more miserable for them. And introvert can kind of just ignore it, spend more time by themselves, and get into a comfort zone where their shyness doesn't affect them as much.

However, when it comes to overcoming shyness, an extravert is at least motivated by the desire to spend more time with people and work on finding ways to deal with their social nervousness. For an introvert, if they have less of a desire to spend a lot of time in a group setting anyway, it's harder for them to find motivation to stop being shy.
I agree with this and have been thinking about the same things myself.. Makes me wonder if I'm more of a shy extravert or at least an ambivert. I know I'm more bothered by my shyness than many of my introvert friends. I like spending time with groups in good moderation and I've been frustrated with my nervousness in those situations because I usually want to connect more.
 

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Just wanting to add....

I agree with this and have been thinking about the same things myself.. Makes me wonder if I'm more of a shy extravert or at least an ambivert. I know I'm more bothered by my shyness than many of my introvert friends. I like spending time with groups in good moderation and I've been frustrated with my nervousness in those situations because I usually want to connect more.
I can relate to this quite a bit in terms of enjoying those groups and this tends to make me question if I'm as introverted as I think I am. However, there are times where I'll see some things that remind me how I am inward-focused and self-powered which is the key to the introvert. I'm in several Meetup groups and in the typical week probably attend close to a handful of Meetups on various topics ranging from games to spirituality, but each has at its core something that resonates enough with me that I want to be there and experience the give and take that can happen there.
 

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I'm definately Intoverted and also shy

I don't know if I have ever seen a shy Extravert. It might be hard to spot.

I wonder if they only experience a short period of shyness, before they automatically start making small talk.

On the other hand I've seen and read about Intraverts who are very afraid of people, and who even in comfortable, secure settings stll don't talk much.

One of the things about Intraverts is that when they are comfortable, like with their close friends, or sitting in their own office, they can look like Extraverts. They can talk a lot. They can talk rapidly, and they can be loud. But put them in an uncomfortable situation, like a small room full of strangers, and they will go quiet. Where an Extravert will think, great, I have a room full of people to talk to.

One intersection of shyness and being Introverted is when the personality type prefers to not like small talk. There are times I wish I could make small talk. Sometimes I can force myself to make small talk and chit chat. But there are times when chit chat is impossible. I'd call that shy.

But, I have never seen my Extraverted friends have trouble making small talk. Seems like they have a direct high speed link between their brains and their mouths.
 

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I am not THAT shy, actually, or too quiet. There are times when I am in certain situations though, and it is easy to see, that I am.
 

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It would be interesting to concider whether natural fluidity of social interation makes one want to gather energy from such interations, or if the degree of social interaction is already ascribed innately in our personality. Again the proberbial question of the chicken and the egg! what came first shyness or introversion? I believe that if some people were not plagued by shyness at the time of their identity development (for most late teens and early adulthood) they would be more inclined to type themselves as an extrovert than otherwise. But shyness is not the only insecurity that could have an effect. Dependency would have the opposite effect, turning somebosy that, through individuation, could have typed as a more solitary person, as an extravert that needs his/her energy fix from social interation. I also believe that both the needy E and the shy I can then become balanced versions of each prefference, if the individual in question moves his/her identity this way. Also there are those that through keen self awareness can see through their social shortcomings and see what they desire to be at a subconcious level and why. Anybody agree with any part of this hypothetical rant?
 

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Again the proberbial question of the chicken and the egg! what came first shyness or introversion? I believe that if some people were not plagued by shyness at the time of their identity development (for most late teens and early adulthood) they would be more inclined to type themselves as an extrovert than otherwise.
I don't know the answer to where shyness comes from and what causes it.

However, Type theory states that by the age of ~2 you can determine a persons Type, and that Type will stay the same through the entire life, right through old age.

So this suggests a person is born Introverted. Shyness is another separate layer. Maybe something learned.

I can remember being very shy at an early age. < 5 years old. I've overcome most of it, except when it comes to the small talk with certain strangers.
 

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This is a very interesting thread...and many of you have brought up points that might never have occurred to me.

I suppose in theory an extrovert could be shy, and an introvert might not be shy. That's because the real difference between introverts and extroverts lies in what "energizes" them...spending time with people or spending time alone. Under that definition, I am definitely an introvert, because extended time with people drains me. But in limited contexts I don't appear to be shy at all...for example, at my job. I have been working there a very long time and so most of my coworkers are well within my comfort zone.

When I was a child, I was painfully shy, even among relatives. I think that may have been for many reasons: my mother is not very socially adept, my interactions with other kids at school were mostly negative, and I preferred reading to interacting with people anyway. And as someone else on this thread commented (unleashthehounds?) what impetus would an introvert have to overcome shyness, when she gains strength from solitude and reflection?

Working helped me overcome some of my shyness. I was in introvert pig heaven my first two years of graduate school, when I was a research assistant to two professors. What's not to love, doing research and living in a library cave? But the third year they made me teach Freshman English. I tried very hard to beg off, telling them that I couldn't teach a course that I had never taken myself. But they were tough, and told me "teach, or pay your own tuition." The first day of class was a disaster. Kids from the back of the room yelled loudly, "SPEAK UP!" That was baptism by fire...

In my current job (librarian) I also have to deal with the public, so that has also helped. Nowadays I'm less shy, but still an introvert...busy days can be draining.

A side question: can an introvert change into an extrovert? Have you seen those dopey Google ads that promise to help with this "problem"?
 

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there's also a difference between being shy and being quiet which I think a lot of people confuse as well
^This. With me usually I am very quiet because I don't have the "energy" to engage in most conversations with other people, even if I did want to engage in conversation, I would quickly tire of it for a while(but I still like the deep conversations in doses).

But I don't think I fit being shy, I'm not the least bit scared of being around other people or worring about other people critizing me, I don't give a shit!!!:tongue:
 

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^This. With me usually I am very quiet because I don't have the "energy" to engage in most conversations with other people, even if I did want to engage in conversation, I would quickly tire of it for a while(but I still like the deep conversations in doses).

But I don't think I fit being shy, I'm not the least bit scared of being around other people or worring about other people critizing me, I don't give a shit!!!:tongue:
I don't want to look into type too deeply here, or makes too many assumptions...but as I mentioned earlier, I can't help but wonder how the other three parts of type beyond E/I play into type.

You're an INTP and I'm an ISFJ. We're both introverts, but the other parts are all different.


Firstly, as mentioned earlier, I can't help but think the T/F plays a part of it. I really think feelers tend to be more aware of how others are feeling at the moment, as well as their own feelings. I've noticed that T's just don't seem to be as deeply affected by all of that. This kind of came up in another thread comparing ESTJ's and ISFJ's...ISFJ's just seem to be way more sensitive and self-conscious than ESTJ's.


But the other two I think play into it as well. S's tend to be more focused on and aware of what's going on around them, N's don't seem to care as much. I don't think this is a huge thing, though, since I picture INFP's as having a lot of potential for being shy.

Same is true for J and P. ISFP's kind of strike me as the type most likely to be shy, though that's just a hunch of mine, I don't really have anything to back that up with.


Again, I'm not trying to pin shyness on type...I'm sure there are shy and outgoing people of all 16 types. But I've always gotten the impression that INT's don't seem to care as much what people think about them as ISF's, and I know at least for me, a lot of my shyness in situations comes from the fact that I care too much about people's impressions of me usually.
 

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Being shy depends on the person's mood, environment and feelings towards other people......... Life doesn't revolve around MBTI, MBTI is just a very hazy way at trying to put all the puzzle peices together with very disoriented and scattered ideas of MBTI, puzzle peices..

Which is why i wouldn't recommend using MBTI for real life situations... everything varies from person to person and once you become more accustomed to people you will have your own internal system not some generalised MBTI system.


I think MBTI is for socially inept people, and since they are inept they cant the the truth and therefore assume this is the truth.

enjoy your lies :)
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Being shy depends on the person's mood, environment and feelings towards other people......... Life doesn't revolve around MBTI, MBTI is just a very hazy way at trying to put all the puzzle peices together with very disoriented and scattered ideas of MBTI, puzzle peices..

Which is why i wouldn't recommend using MBTI for real life situations... everything varies from person to person and once you become more accustomed to people you will have your own internal system not some generalised MBTI system.


I think MBTI is for socially inept people, and since they are inept they cant the the truth and therefore assume this is the truth.

enjoy your lies :)
When I read this post, my natural reaction was that the person writing it must have been an ENT. Of course, based on this post, that means absolutely nothing to you, so I mention this pretty much for my own sake. :)
 

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I'm an INFJ, and pretty true to type.

I would agree that IxFx's are probably least likely to 'make waves' due to type. I would also argue that as a 'J' and someone who uses Fe (extraverted feeling) (which ISFJ's also use) I have a need to interject myself into situations and even confrontations. In other words, some people can go '"la la la la, I'm oblivious to so much''. Extraverted feeling means I have a desire for everything in my environment to be peaceful.

So, my argument is that Fe probably causes a great deal of shyness amongst introverts. I think a really strong J would also be bad, because it prevents the 'try and see' sort of conversations. P's seem more easy going.

Lastly a personal observation. I am very loud and outgoing in two situations: 1) where I know everyone 2) where I know no one. Anything in between, and I am kind of awkward. If the situation or conversation is charged with emotion - I am more likely not to talk. I am also very very very shy around members of the opposite sex that I like (and I am 25 - so it's kind of pathetic rather than cute :))
 
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