Many people - as you likely know - confuse shyness with introversion or think they are one and the same. I suppose the common denominator with both is that shy individuals and introverted individuals are quieter, more low key people that most (read: extroverts). But as I have learned introvert is no more a synonym for shyness than extrovert is a synonym for bold and outgoing. In fact introversion and extroversion are hard-wired personality types for which brain chemistry plays a vital role.
I’m not going to get into the details of the science behind these types when Marni Lani Olsen (author of The Introvert Advantage) explains it so well. Let’s just say shyness is a different animal and introverts or extroverts can be shy or not. I happen to be both.
I always knew I was shy, but the introverted part came much later. It’s funny, because I always assume that once I was no longer extremely shy that I would want to go out and party all the time! When that didn’t happen, I wondered why it was I could never enjoy a raucous social gathering like everyone else when no anxiety was present. Now it’s clear.
I am a shytrovert. Are you a shytrovert? When did you know? How do you cope? Let me know in the comments.