How Introverts Aren’t Necessarily Shy


Introverts aren’t shy. At least we’re not.

Yes, we’re an introverted family. The whole lot of us. This is rather nice because we understand each other perfectly. Outsiders often don’t.

When we’re at a gathering, especially if there’s a crowd, we might be quiet and reserved. We’re out of our environment. We don’t feel comfortable. And people might say, “Join in. Don’t be shy!”

We protest, “We’re not shy!” But maybe no one believes us.

Shy people stand on the fringes. They wonder if it would be rude to slip away and go home. Without saying goodbye to anyone, of course. And we feel the same way. Even though we’re not shy.

We arrive home after a party and sigh with relief. We say, “That’s enough socialising for a month.” Or two or three. Are we unfriendly? Is that what people think? Shy and unfriendly. Sometimes I feel we should make more effort. Try and be who we’re not so everyone knows we’re pleased to see them. Because we do like people.

We like gathering around a dinner table with a few close friends. Delicious food, a glass of red wine, a good lump of cheese, a pile of crisp biscuits, lively conversation… Perfect! No need to be quiet and reserved. So no one says, “Join in. Don’t be shy!”

I wonder why people think we’re shy.

Shy:  nervous or timid in the company of other people

Quiet and reserved, not nervous and timid. That’s us. Unless we’re together, doing something we love. Then you might think we’re extroverts. We get loud and very silly.

We did something very silly not so long ago. We made a silly video of ourselves and posted it on Youtube for all the world to see. Would shy people do that? I don’t think so.

“The video is live!” shouts my daughter Imogen.

The video is live? I didn’t even see it before it was uploaded to Youtube. What does it look like? What do I look like? Terrible? I wore no make-up. I was wearing scruffy holiday clothes. Perhaps I should have said, “I can’t be in your music video. I’m too shy!”

Except I’m not.

We made the silly video a few weeks ago while we were on holiday at Swan Lake. We hadn’t planned to make it. This is how it happened…

Early one morning, we recorded Fight Song, a new music video for my daughter Imogen. And while we were filming and Imogen was singing, Gemma-Rose and Andy spontaneously made up actions to go with the words:

Like a small boat
On the ocean
Sending big waves
Into motion
Like how a single word
Can make a heart open
I might only have one match
But I can make an explosion…

(I don’t know how Imogen concentrates when her team is doing ridiculous things around her.)

Later, I said, “Why don’t we record the video again. This time Team Elvis can be the backing dancing group. We can do Gemma-Rose and Dad’s actions while Imogen sings.”

It seemed a good idea at the time…

So are introverts shy? Not necessarily!

If you’d like to hear the full story of this music shoot, you could listen to podcast 81: Are You a Daring and Adventurous Parent?

Are you an introvert or do you prefer to have lots of people around you? And are you silly?

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    • Anna
    • October 28, 2016

    Love Charlotte ducking Andy's "explosions"! Sophie seems to be having a delightful time too, and Andy's expression throughout, the lone male in the sea of femininity, is priceless! Thanks for posting the funny one along with the real one! 🙂

    1. Reply


      We all had such a great time recording this video. I watched it again this morning concentrating on the details you noticed. Oh yes, there are some good moments! Because I was down the other end of the line, I had no idea what Andy was doing. I think he did a far better job than me. He must have watched a lot of dancing backing groups because he seemed to know exactly what to do!

      Thanks for watching our videos. It was good to share them with you!

  1. Reply

    Silly Team Elvis is so good. I like the videos very much, but I'm sure the silly one will get more views on YouTube than the serious one. Btw I think Imogen sings better in the silly version as well 😉
    Thanks for your good spirits.

    1. Reply


      Yes the silly video has only slightly less views than the proper one. Maybe it will overtake it. Perhaps Team Elvis should be in all of Imogen's videos!

      Your comment about Imogen singing better in the silly one is interesting because we used the same music track for both videos. Imogen records the music – both voice and accompaniment- at home. When she's happy with how the song sounds, she transfers the file to her iPod. When we're filming the video, we play the song from the iPod through a remote speaker – you can see Imogen throwing the speaker to the ground at the start of the silly video – and Imogen sings along to it. Later, Imogen and Sophie put the video clips together, choosing the ones they like the best. When they've got the video looking as they want, they then remove the sound. They replace it with the original music track Imogen recorded, the one she sang along with during filming. So it looks like Imogen was singing live in both videos, but she wasn't. She was just singing along to the pre-recorded song so her mouth would be synced to the music when it came to editing time.

      Your observation makes me think that the video is as important as the music. Different videos can make the music sound different. That's good to know!

      I'm glad you enjoyed our videos. Thanks for watching!

        • Uglemor
        • December 14, 2016

        What! You cheated me!
        – No you did not, I cheated me myself. Actually, I think, I did not like the song very much first time, then it grew on me. Especially with the silly team Elvis acting.

        1. Reply


          The song grew on me too. Once we started adding the actions, it came alive for me. I started listening properly and it became a lot of fun. Maybe Imogen will let silly Team Elvis be part of another song!

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