Looking back, growing up shy seems like simpler times. You rarely talked to people if it wasn't on your terms, and for the most part, this was accepted by the adults in your life. The friendships you did have were something special because you rarely gave anyone the time of day. Spending time on your own wasn't scary; it was actually kind of exciting.
However, there were some people, young and old, who just didn't get it. They would say whatever they could in the hopes of suddenly making you social.
1. "Why are you so quiet?”
Being a child doesn't make that question any less rude. I either don't feel comfortable around you, or I've been listening in on all your secrets.
2. “You never pay attention!”
Actually, I am perfectly capable of paying attention. Your monologue just wasn't worth a response.
3. “Remember, participation is 30% of your grade. You need to talk more.”
My lack of conversational skills has nothing to do with my ability to join the class in gluing magazine cutouts onto a poster board.
4. “How do you expect to get a job one day if you can’t even talk to people?”
While I appreciate your concern, I don't believe this is something to worry about in the third grade.
5. “When are you finally going to come out of your shell?”
Honestly, whenever I feel comfortable around someone or like there's something worth saying. I'll make sure to page you when it happens.
6. “Oh! I didn’t know you talked!”
Why yes, I do have a voice box. Thank you for noticing and making me uncomfortable in yet another social situation.
7. “Do you even have friends?”
Of course I do, and all three of us are perfectly happy the way we are: shy.
8. “You’re actually pretty smart.”
I hate to be the one to break it to you, but being shy doesn't dictate my intelligence by any means. All my time spent not talking to you is filled with my nose in a book.
9. “Well, if you’re not good at making friends, you can be friends with my kid.”
The forced pity friendship sounds great, and I'm sure your kid is really sweet, but I'll have to pass.
All jokes aside: growing up shy is an interesting experience for everyone, but don't let anyone make you believe it made you flawed.