What Is Wrong With Being “Shy”?
If a child is “shy”, why is it so important to send them to school to “cure” them of their shyness? How did it become common knowledge that shy children who are not properly socialized by other children their age then turn into self-closeted psychopaths who can’t get along in the world?
There are lots of shy, or shall we say “reserved” adults, who went to public or private school, and who get along just fine in the world. And there are a lot of people who are “outgoing” but also have a hard time keeping friends, getting along with others, or even understanding other people’s perspectives.
Shy kids might not win any popularity contests, but is that really the important thing in life? In school, it might be pretty important to some, but in real life, is that the point? To be considered “social”?
If a child is shy, or reserved, or slow to get to know people, is it a trait that needs to be “fixed”? Isn’t another way to say “fixing” someone, is to change them?
I just don’t understand the perspective that it’s important that young children have the personality trait of going up to complete strangers and being able to talk to them - or rather *wanting* to talk to them. How is that a “better” social trait than to stand back until one has become comfortable with someone before talking to them? Especially for children?
And what’s interesting, is that many school kids are not “shy” at school, but if you suggest they do something new, out of school, with other people who aren’t their school friends - or if you suggest they change school - their reaction is “how am I going to make friends?” Is being shy circumstantial?
School doesn’t teach kids to make friends. Kids are who they are. What determines a person’s likelihood of feeling comfortable in new situations is self-confidence. Understanding one’s self. Being comfortable in one’s skin. School doesn’t teach that. School can actually take that away. I suppose, given certain circumstances, life in general can take that away from a person.
But if a child grows up in a loving, close-knit and supportive family, it doesn’t matter if he is reserved. He will find who he is, because his family lets him be who he is without judgement. In fact, this makes me wonder - is being shy actually bad, or do kids who are accused of being shy learn that it’s bad through being told it is?
What if we decided being shy was OK? And that being reserved was actually a good trait to have? What would that mean for the role of school in a shy child’s life?