Shy people can be introverted or extroverted, but no matter what they are, they tend to be misunderstood as arrogant. They are more likely to be judged negatively if they are also attractive, says Bernie Carducci, a psychologist at Indiana University.
We are taking a look at the reasons why our shyness can make people think we are indifferent and we share stories of people who are in the same boat.
Being Bashful Can Make Us Appear Like Snobs
If we feel shy, we tend not to talk much. But when we are quiet, it is difficult for people to know what we think. There is even a phrase: “They are the quietest to look at” as if we are quiet because we are hiding something.
Some more outgoing people mentioned that they find quiet people intimidating because they find them unpredictable.
Being socially anxious can also affect our body language, which can give the impression of being arrogant. And it doesn’t help if you have naturally “unfriendly” facial features.
It’s even worse if you’re an introvert too, which means you need time to be alone or you’ll burn out. Choosing not to date other people can make you seem distant.
Usually, when we do something people don’t expect or don’t do something people expect, they feel the need to come up with a reason for it.
So when we act differently with them than when we are with close people, they may feel that they think they are not good enough for us.
In our eyes, we are just nervous, but in their eyes, we are being bad for acting like we are “too good” for them.
It Happens To A Lot Of Us
In high school, a popular girl told me, “Wow, I thought you were cold, but you are really very sweet.” I was the most innocent shy dork, I just wore a lot of black eyeshadow. – TheLadyButtPimple/reddit
The first thing a co-worker said to me, about 4 months working together, was: “Why are you so mean?” Like, I don’t even talk, how am I mean? — wish-i-was-a-dalek/reddit
I’m shy and have a mark on my face that makes it look like I’m raising my eyebrows or rolling my eyes. I hear a lot: “I thought you were arrogant, but then I realized that something is probably wrong with you.” – rabbitwarriorreturns/reddit
Even Celebrities Face The Same Problem
Zendaya talked about trying to get over her childhood shyness, especially as an actress. Her stylist once told her that she looks a bit cold and that people think she’s mean because she doesn’t talk. But the truth is that I was too nervous.
Rihanna said that the biggest mistake about her is that people don’t know she’s shy. He admitted that she pretends it’s not happening so people think she’s confident. But, in fact, she’s so shy that she doesn’t want people to know she’s shy.
Zayn Malik confessed that he is not a very sociable person. Although he has a reputation for being a bad boy, he is actually an introvert who struggles with anxiety. He doesn’t mind being described as “misunderstood.”
But There Are Ways To Avoid Being Misunderstood
Since being reserved can make us look like ice queens and kings, maybe we can try to appear modest by praising other people or directing the conversation to focus on people who like to talk.
Whenever speaking is difficult, you can try speaking with your face and body by smiling, nodding, shrugging, etc.
However, if some people still misunderstand you despite all that extra effort, it may be time to move on. Sometimes it is better to be seen as arrogant than to be someone you are not.
Have you ever heard someone say that you look cold? What did you do to make others understand you better?