1. You’re totally down to go out when invited, but you’re rarely the one to invite anyone to hang out with you because you don’t want to bother them.
2. You’re often happiest just people watching, because you can soak up everyone’s energy without actually having to talk to anyone.
3. When you see someone approaching you, your first instinct is excitement, which is quickly followed by panic and dread that your shyness will get the better of you. Basically, every social interaction is like approaching the crest of a roller coaster, and you’re anticipating both the time of your life and your imminent death.
4. When you order coffee and the barista engages you in small talk, you really want to chat with them, but small talk is so far outside your comfort zone that you come off much more socially awkward then you actually are (or at least, more awkward than you care to admit you are). The conversation usually goes something like:
Friendly Barista: Nice choice! That’s my favorite coffee too!
You Trying Your Best: It’s a good one… for sure…
Friendly Barista: Here you go! Enjoy!
You Trying Your Best: Thanks! You too!
Then you chastise yourself because your response made no sense, since they won’t be the one enjoying their favorite coffee, you will be, and now you’ve probably reminded them that they have five more hours on their shift before they can even think about having a coffee. Great.
5. People are often shocked by how outgoing you can be around close friends, because you’re not overly shy with them and can just be your extroverted self.
6. It’s not that you hate talking with people (you actually really enjoy it) you are just extremely self-conscious of what you’re saying and have a fear that you’re bothering the other person, which sometimes leads you to Irish Goodbye in the middle of the conversation out of pure anxiety (which you’re definitely not proud of).
7. You want to be the life of the party, but you also don’t want more than two people looking at you for more than thirty seconds, which leaves you in a really weird party purgatory.
8. You sometimes freak people out by the amount on information you remember about them because you tend to blend into the shadows during large group conversations, so they forget that you’re there and soaking in all of the socialization.
9. Whenever you’re at a social gathering, you’re waging an internal battle over whether or not your phone should be out.
Shy You: Check Twitter! Check Instagram! Keep your head down at all costs!
Extroverted You: Put the phone away! Talk to people!
Shy You: About what??? Just scroll!
Extroverted You: No! Be approachable!
To outsiders, you’re just a person in the corner that keeps taking their phone out, putting it away, taking it back out, etc until the end of time.
10. Then, whenever you see a fellow shy person standing alone at a party, you feel empowered to go over and talk to them, because you understand their struggle. However, you always forget that two shy people don’t magically create one outgoing person, and the two of you end up awkwardly making something that can almost be classified as a conversation in some cultures.
11. When a stranger knocks on your door, all of your shy instincts tell you to stare through the peephole until they go away, but your need for human interaction forces you to open the door and have a longer-than-intended conversation about solar panels or the Church of Latter-day Saints.
12. Your friends don’t really understand why you like to go out on the weekends, because as soon as your out, you turn inward whenever someone you’re not already comfortable around approaches, but you need the interaction! You’ll go crazy if you stay inside your apartment for much longer!
13. You’re often suffering from FOMO even when you’re included in the fun, because you want to be even more involved but your shyness keeps all the social interaction at an arm’s length.
14. Whenever you’re walking through a shopping mall and encounter a person handing out flyers, you’ve mastered the art of taking the flyer, smiling charismatically, and continuing on your way without exchanging a single word. Seriously, those brief, unspoken human interactions are your jam.
15. Eye contact is a constant struggle. The friendly conversations that you crave require ocular connection, but you only feel comfortable making eye contact with strangers for about four seconds at a time, which results in you looking like you can’t focus because your eyes are constantly darting to and from their face.