We experience life through our sense of sight more than through any of our other senses. When people meet us, the first thing they do is look at us. The second thing they do, if it can really be said to be separate from the first, is judge what they see.
We judge and get judged regularly. It’s not only the way that we look that others draw conclusions from, but also the way that we act that they make sure to take note of. Everyone is trying to understand those that he or she is surrounded by – it’s a survival mechanism.
The good news is that we can manipulate the way that we appear to others in order to manipulate the things they think of us. One very beneficial categorization, that is highly underrated, is being shy. Being a shy person, or rather being perceived as being shy, regardless of your true nature, has many benefits.
1. It adds an air of mystery.
Everybody likes a good mystery. Mysterious individuals are intriguing, beckoning us to wonder what is behind the silence. Being perceived as mysterious has quite a few benefits.
As already mentioned, it stimulates intrigue, it draws attention from others without seemingly asking for it, and, most importantly, it allows for people's imaginations to fill in the blanks.
Our imaginations are very powerful things, being able to tap into them and force them to work in our favor is a great skill to have. Coming off as shy allows for a great base to build off.
2. It allows you to do less talking and more observing.
It’s easy to get caught up in everything that is going on around us when we are actively trying to take part in the happenings. However, if we slow down and peer in from the sidelines, we’ll begin to see things that before were hidden in plain sight.
This is a great advantage regardless of whether you are standing and observing a conversation, which you are supposedly part of or whether you are simply observing all that is going on in your environment. Life is full of little surprises – we just rarely take the time to observe.
3. People automatically perceive you as being a good listener, and usually you are.
Because you’re introverted, you likely shy away from conversations. However, when you do find yourself in one, you’ll likely find it as stimulating – especially when participating in a conversation isn’t the norm for you.
Being a good listener is key to building strong relationships; it makes people feel valued. Oddly enough, when one member of the conversation is shy, it often leads to a more meaningful interaction. The other participant believes you care, so he or she will be more likely to care him or herself.
4. You spend more time getting to know yourself.
In essence, we’re all pretty chatty, even when we aren’t talking out loud. Those of us who talk less with others have a tendency to talk more with themselves, building a healthy friendship with the people they are.
It’s easy to lose ourselves when we constantly surround ourselves with the personalities of others. Being shy makes you more keen to take personal time when you need it.
5. Shyness is often seen as being closely related to being goodhearted.
It may not be true at all, but most people perceive shy individuals as being nicer. They’re seen as being, funnily enough, less egocentric and more loyal. Befriend someone who is incredibly social and the relationship that you will have is likely to be more shallow.
Befriend someone who clearly doesn’t have so many "friends" and you’d expect that he or she is more likely to be more honest with you and appreciative of you. This may not at all be true; it really depends on the individual. People tend to put their guard down around shy individuals; they seem less threatening.
6. Some people are really into shy people.
Some like outgoing, colorful and loud partners while others prefer the other side of the spectrum. It may seem like shy individuals are less likely to get lucky, but that isn’t necessarily the case. After interaction is initiated, being perceived as shy can be exactly what the other person is looking for in a lover. Like I said: Everybody likes a good mystery.
7. If you’re shy, or seen as being shy, people won’t expect you to be especially social.
It’s a great excuse for not wanting to interact with people you simply don’t want to interact with. I’m shy, on occasion – or at least that’s the way I like to come off.
There is no better way of avoiding conversations that you don’t want to have than by having people perceive you as being a shy individual. If they think you’re shy then they will both understand why you aren’t being super social and won’t feel insulted when you’re keeping to yourself.
Photo via The Sandlot