shy? introverted? arrogant?

I just read this article by Sally Brampton: SHY GIRL, and just thought maybe I’d weigh in on this issue. She said that shy people are more self-absorbed than they realise, because they’re too busy worrying about how other perceive them to be involved in the conversation, and this in fact makes them arrogant because they put their needs before those of their interlocuters.

It seems a bit of a reach to say shy people are arrogant. Self-absorbed I can understand, but arrogant seems to suggests a degree of obnoxiousness. Shy people aren’t obnoxious, they’re just terrified of not being included as part of the group, part of normal, although normalcy remains an elusive concept.

I’ve been an introvert my whole life. It’s just how I am. I don’t like to talk about how I feel, especially if I’m upset. Any discussion regarding my mother makes me itch to hop on to another topic. If I think you’re being a dick/bitch, I’d just walk away instead of laying out everything I feel. When I’m pissed, I shut down and look out the window in steely silence. Usually the other party would cave in before me, and fill up the silence with his or her own rants. I just draw the blinds while they’re at it and let my mind drift to a happier place.

I don’t know if it’s an inherently Libra trait, peace-loving to the extent of being conflict-avoidant. But it seems easier to agree and eke out a smile than say no and fight for your way. Maybe it’s just that I’m too timid to express myself. I’m too worried about what other people will think about me. But in group discussions and tutorial, I have no qualms about offering my opinion if I think it can stimulate a discussion or generate more ideas – even if I don’t get points for participation. If your idea is unfeasible, I won’t hesitate to point out the problems and offer a counter-solution. I seem to be able to compartmentalise my emotions and behaviour according to circumstance. Is that sociopathic of me?

See, I’m worrying too much about how I may be perceived again. That’s self-involvement right there.

I want to think that I’m too used to being alone that I can’t be bothered about what people think about me unless they’re people I care about. But that’s not true. Truth is, I do care. I care what my potential employer thinks about me, so I trip over my words and try desperately to please. I care about what my father thinks about me, so I do whatever I can to make him happy. I care about whether people think I’m boring or weird.

Investing emotions in something or someone is proof of me giving a shit. Social gatherings always reveal how social awkward and inept I really am, so I’d rather hide in my room and act busy just so I wouldn’t be forced to make small talk about shit I don’t care about and have to pretend I do. It just seems too farcical – what’s the point?

No. Shyness is not arrogance. It’s caring too much while arrogance is not giving a flying crap. Shyness the antithesis of arrogance. Does this make me arrogant or shy, then? Do you think shyness is narcissistic and arrogant?

Here’s what I want to do: I want to be more bold, less inhibited in expressing my opinions. I want to stop caring what other people think about me. I want to look less like a creature that crawled out of its cave at every family gathering or social function, and interact like a normal human being. No, that’s not subscribing to herd mentality or succumbing to social conventions. It’s the desire to less doubtful of myself, to stop thinking about how I fare in others’ eyes and just be.
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