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13 Things Shy People Will Never Tell You About Themselves

13 Things Shy People Will Never Tell You About Themselves

Being shy isn’t as straightforward as you might think. There are a lot of things shy people will never tell you—things you might want to know to better understand who they are. As a shy person myself, I feel somewhat qualified to say what those things are. Here are 13 things shy people will never tell you.

1. We’re not sure what to say

Just because we’re shy doens’t mean we prefer to be alone all the time. Shy people would never tell you this, but we might just not know how to contribute to a conversation, even if we want to. This is especially true in larger groups. Shy people tend to do fine in one-on-one convos, but once the conversation is with three or more people it starts to become more difficult.

2. We’re waiting for the exact right time to speak

When we do speak, we want to say something that has an impact. It’s entirely possible that we’re shy because we’re carefully looking for opportunities when we actually have something contribute to the discussion. We don’t want to say something stupid. We might want to impress you. If that requires staying mum most of the time, so be it.

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3. We’re not great conversationalists

We don’t like to admit it, but shy people often don’t have the gift of gab. Some people are good at small talk, but shy people are frequently terrible at it, which is one reason they might keep quiet.

4. We don’t like meeting new people

We just don’t. That kind of attitude is something shy people would never tell you about, but we’re often worried that we won’t know how to act in front of a person we just met. We need some time to learn how to behave around them, so that we don’t do anything “wrong.”

5. We don’t know if we can trust you

If we’re not talkative around you, it could be because we’re afraid of being judged. Shy people would never tell you this because it has nothing to do with you, but we’re often slow to trust people. Give us a chance to become comfortable around you and maybe we’ll start to open up.

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6. We have other things on our mind

Honestly, sometimes we’re quiet because we’re thinking about something else that’s more interesting or more important to us. Shy people would never tell you that listening to you isn’t their number one priority, but the less talkative we are the more likely it is we have our head in the clouds.

7. We’re not all good listeners

Following up on that, just because we’re not talking doesn’t necessarily mean we’re listening any closer than the average person. Sometimes shy people have more trouble listening. Many people on the autism spectrum, for example, are shy and have difficulty paying attention.

8. We sometimes prefer being a spectator to a participant

Even if everyone else is playing a game of pickup basketball, we may be happier sitting on the sidelines. Sometimes we would rather watch other people participate in an activity than get involved ourselves.

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9. We like our alone time

A lot of shy people would never tell you this because we don’t want to come across as hermits, but we often need more alone time than most people. You’ll find some people particularly shy when they’re exhausted from being around people for the whole day.

10. We’re not leaders but we’re not necessarily followers, either

Shy people don’t generally have the personalities to lead a team, but that doesn’t always mean we’re happy being part of the herd. Shy people would never tell you this because it might come off as antisocial, but we often prefer to work independently instead of as a part of a group.

11. We like to be behind the scenes

Shy people still want to have an impact on the world; just not in the spotlight. We’re more likely to be writers than actors, or sports reporters than athletes. Don’t push us front and center, because we’ll most excel when we’re not the subject of attention.

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12. We don’t like getting our picture taken

Shy people would never tell you this, but we’re extremely self-conscious about how we look, especially in still photographs. Don’t be surprised if we duck out of a selfie.

13. We’re extremely critical of ourselves

Shy people would never tell you about our negative attitudes, but we often struggle with our perceptions of ourselves. For example, you’ll find a lot of shy people have trouble taking a compliment. Yet another thing you should know about shy people.

Featured photo credit: Shy/lira pipa via flickr.com

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Matt OKeefe

Matt is a marketer and writer who shares about lifestyle and productivity tips on Lifehack.

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Published on May 4, 2021

How To Spot Fake People (And Ways To Deal With Them)

How To Spot Fake People (And Ways To Deal With Them)

They say we are the average of the five persons we spend the most time with. For a minute, consider the people around you. Are they truly who your “tribe” should be or who you aspire to become in the future? Are they really genuine people who want to see you succeed? Or are they fake people who don’t really want to see you happy?

In this article, I’ll review why it is important to surround yourself with genuine individuals—the ones who care, bring something to our table, and first and foremost, who leave all fakeness behind.

How to Spot Fake People?

When you’ve been working in the helping professions for a while, spotting fake people gets a bit easier. There are some very clear signs that the person you are looking at is hiding something, acting somehow, or simply wanting to get somewhere. Most often, there is a secondary gain—perhaps attention, sympathy, or even a promotion.

Whatever it is, you’re better off working their true agenda and staying the hell away. Here are some things you should look out for to help spot fake people.

1. Full of Themselves

Fake people like to show off. They love looking at themselves in the mirror. They collect photos and videos of every single achievement they had and every part of their body and claim to be the “best at what they do.”

Most of these people are actually not that good in real life. But they act like they are and ensure that they appear better than the next person. The issue for you is that you may find yourself always feeling “beneath” them and irritated at their constant need to be in the spotlight.

2. Murky in Expressing Their Emotions

Have you ever tried having a deep and meaningful conversation with a fake person? It’s almost impossible. It’s because they have limited emotional intelligence and don’t know how they truly feel deep down—and partly because they don’t want to have their true emotions exposed, no matter how normal these might be.

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It’s much harder to say “I’m the best at what I do” while simultaneously sharing “average” emotions with “equal” people.

3. Zero Self-Reflection

To grow, we must accept feedback from others. We must be open to our strengths and to our weaknesses. We must accept that we all come in different shapes and can always improve.

Self-reflection requires us to think, forgive, admit fault, and learn from our mistakes. But to do that, we have to be able to adopt a level of genuineness and depth that fake people don’t routinely have. A fake person generally never apologizes, but when they do, it is often followed with a “but” in the next breath.

4. Unrealistic Perceptions

Fake people most often have an unrealistic perception of the world—things that they want to portray to others (pseudo achievements, materialistic gains, or a made-up sense of happiness) or simply how they genuinely regard life outside themselves.

A lot of fake people hide pain, shame, and other underlying reasons in their behavior. This could explain why they can’t be authentic and/or have difficulties seeing their environment for the way it objectively is (both good and bad).

5. Love Attention

As I mentioned earlier, the biggest sign that something isn’t quite right with someone’s behavior can be established by how much they love attention. Are you being interrupted every time you speak by someone who wants to make sure that the spotlight gets reverted back to them? Is the focus always on them, no matter the topic? If yes, you’re probably dealing with a fake person.

6. People Pleaser

Appreciation feels nice but having everyone like you is even better. While it is completely unrealistic for most people to please everyone all the time, fake people seem to always say yes in pursuit of constant approval.

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Now, this is a problem for two reasons. Firstly, these people are simply saying yes to things for their own satisfaction. Secondly, they often end up changing their minds or retracting their offer for one reason or another (“I would have loved to, but my grandmother suddenly fell ill.”), leaving you in the lurch for the 100th time this year.

7. Sarcasm and Cynicism

Behind the chronic pasted smile, fake people are well known for brewing resentment, jealousy, or anger. This is because, behind the postcard life, they are often unhappy. Sarcasm and cynicism are well known to act as a defense mechanism, sometimes even a diversion—anything so they can remain feeling on top of the world, whether it is through boosting themselves or bringing people down.

8. Crappy friend

Fake people are bad friends. They don’t listen to you, your feelings, and whatever news you might have to share. In fact, you might find yourself migrating away from them when you have exciting or bad news to share, knowing that it will always end up one way—their way. In addition, you might find that they’re not available when you truly need them or worse, cancel plans at the last minute.

It’s not unusual to hear that a fake person talks constantly behind people’s backs. Let’s be honest, if they do it to others, they’re doing it to you too. If your “friend” makes you feel bad constantly, trust me, they’re not achieving their purpose, and they’re simply not a good person to have around.

The sooner you learn to spot these fake people, the sooner you can meet meaningful individuals again.

How to Cope With Fake People Moving Forward?

It is important to remind yourself that you deserve more than what you’re getting. You are worthy, valuable, precious, and just as important as the next person.

There are many ways to manage fake people. Here are some tips on how to deal with them.

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1. Boundaries

Keep your boundaries very clear. As explained in the book Unlock Your Resilience, boundaries are what keep you sane when the world tries to suffocate you. When fake people become emotional vampires, make sure to keep your distances, limit contact, and simply replace them with more valuable interactions.

2. Don’t Take Their Behavior Personally

Sadly, they most likely have behaved this way before they knew you and will continue much longer after you have moved on. It isn’t about you. It is about their inner need to meet a void that you are not responsible for. And in all honesty, unless you are a trained professional, you are unlikely to improve it anyway.

3. Be Upfront and Honest About How You Feel

If your “friend” has been hurtful or engaged in behaviors you struggle with, let them know—nicely, firmly, however you want, but let them know that they are affecting you. If it works, great. If it doesn’t, you’ll feel better and when you’re ready to move on, you’ll know you tried to reach out. Your conscience is clear.

4. Ask for Advice

If you’re unsure about what you’re seeing or feeling, ask for advice. Perhaps a relative, a good friend, or a colleague might have some input as to whether you are overreacting or seeing some genuine concerns.

Now, don’t confuse asking for advice with gossiping behind the fake person’s back because, in the end, you don’t want to stoop down to their level. However, a little reminder as to how to stay on your own wellness track can never hurt.

5. Dig Deeper

Now, this one, I offer with caution. If you are emotionally strong, up to it, guaranteed you won’t get sucked into it, and have the skills to manage, perhaps you could dig into the reasons a fake person is acting the way they do.

Have they suffered recent trauma? Have they been rejected all their lives? Is their self-esteem so low that they must resort to making themselves feel good in any way they can? Sometimes, having an understanding of a person’s behavior can help in processing it.

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6. Practice Self-Care!

Clearly, putting some distance between the fake person and yourself is probably the way to go. However, sometimes, it takes time to get there. In the meantime, make sure to practice self-care, be gentle with yourself, and compensate with lots of positives!

Self-care can be as simple as taking a hot shower after talking to them or declining an invitation when you’re not feeling up to the challenge.

Spotting fake people isn’t too hard. They generally glow with wanna-be vibes. However, most often, there are reasons as to why they are like this. Calling their behavior might be the first step. Providing them with support might be the second. But if these don’t work, it’s time to stay away and surround yourself with the positivity that you deserve.

Final Thoughts

Remember that life is a rollercoaster. It has good moments, tough moments, and moments you wouldn’t change for the world. So, look around and make sure that you take the time to choose the right people to share it all with.

We are the average of the five people we spend the most time with, so take a good look around and choose wisely!

More Tips on Dealing With Fake People

Featured photo credit: Priscilla Du Preez via unsplash.com

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