Introversion, shy, socially awkward, sensitive, timid, self-conscious – all these are personality traits that overlap with one another yet very different. All introverts are not shy, some introverts are shy and there are also some who are selectively shy. A large group of people fall into this third category and let us explore this a bit more.
Shyness attributes to fear of social interactions. Selectively shy people are confident in some situations at the same time they are shy in others. I belong to this category. A few days ago, I was reminiscing about my college days. My husband and I went to the same school and on one occasion I agreed to compere for a college function because he was insisting me to do it.
A normal me would never do that. If it was someone else or somewhere else, I would never dare to do this. But because I was familiar with the audience here, I felt less intimidated and hosted the whole function almost unprepared.
Here is another example. As a child, I enjoyed going to church everyday for daily mass. There were hardly 4-5people attending the mass on weekdays as opposed to more than 100 people on Sundays. The church priest encouraged me to do the daily reading for the weekday mass. (For those of you who are not familiar, the person doing the reading typically goes to the altar and stands in front of the people and reads a passage from the bible). This was very uncomfortable for me at first but I got confident eventually because I was familiar with people around me. However, Sunday readings was still a big no. In my whole life I would have done tons of daily readings but only 3-4 Sunday readings.
We might come across many such people in our daily life, some times a variation of such attributes. The worst thing you can do to them is make them more uncomfortable. Whatever you do never intimidate them. Never make them feel that they are any less than others. Lot of parents who are not familiar with this personality do this mistake and end up scarring the child for life. Never put them in a situation where they are forced to speak. These people are good listeners and they analyze a lot before they speak. They do not like talking just for the sake of it. When they have a brilliant idea and if they feel this needs to be told, they will make sure to talk.
Remember you can get the best of an introvert or socially awkward people by providing them an environment where they are most comfortable. Do not expect them to change. They will get confident as they know you better, you just need to give them time and space.