I Am Shy

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Anyone that has ever spent any time around me knows that I am prone to frequently bursting into thematic bouts of song as if my life were a musical (and I certainly have fantasies about the rest of the world joining in around me, although that never quite seems to happen). To talk about being shy, I’ve got to burst into the song Shy from the musical Once Upon A Mattress (that somehow I was cast in twice in high school, but that’s another tangent).

I’m shy!
I confess it, I’m shy!
Can you guess that this confident air is a mask that I wear ’cause I’m shy?
And you may be sure that deep down I’m demure.
Though some people I know might deny it, at the bottom I’m quiet and pure.

God knows I try, though I’m frightened and shy.
And despite the impression I give, I confess that I’m living a lie.
Because I’m actually. terribly. timid. and horribly shy.

For those of you unfamiliar with Once Upon a Mattress, go watch the amazing Carol Burnett do her version of Shy and come back.

Like Winifred in Once Upon a Mattress, when people first meet me, they usually assume that I’m confident and outgoing since I’m generally pretty expressive, flamboyant, and loud in both personality and clothing. But in all actuality, I’m not. This confident air is a mask that I wear because I’m shy. I’m nervous meeting new people, I don’t like talking to strangers, and I don’t like crowds.

I’ve always been a flamboyant dresser. When I was younger, I think my clothes were something that I hid behind. Now that I’m a bit older and more comfortable in myself, my dressing is a bit less flamboyant but also more an expression of myself. Sort of a fake-it-til-you-make-it. By making bold sartorial choices I encourage myself to truly be bold.

Are you shy? Do you dress like you are shy?


Each week this year I’m going to reflect on an aspect of myself and how it affects me as a sewist, crafter, or blogger. It may get deep, it may get emotional, it may get totally silly. It may be something I’m proud of, it may be something I cringe at, it may be something I aspire to. I may say a lot, I may say a little, I may ask questions, I may not answer them. I don’t quite know where the project will take me, but I’m excited about the journey. I’d be honored to have you join me on this journey. Chime in any time this year in my blog comments, on TwitterInstagram, or your own blog. Join me in my theme for the week or make up your own.

Comments 9

  1. Introverted? Definitely. Shy? No. I share the stance of Susan Cain in the book Quiet: shyness is painful and impairs one’s ability to function in daily life. Like you, I don’t like talking to strangers and I don’t like crowds; I’ve also developed a deep disliking for calling people on the phone, even people I otherwise enjoy talking to. But also like you, I can work through or around these challenges, so I don’t think of myself or others who prefer solitude over socializing as shy. As for clothes? I’m a timid dresser not because I don’t want to draw attention to myself but because I don’t want to draw attention to my clothes: I don’t have a firm grasp of my own style and often feel self-conscious of or disappointed in my ability to put together outfits that express what I want to express. I admire women like you who have a strong sense of personal style, no matter what that style is.

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      That’s interesting – by that definition I would definitely say that I am introverted and not shy.
      I noticed that you are working your way through the Wardrobe Architect series – perhaps that will help come up with a firm grasp on your style so you can express what you would like to with your clothing. Best of luck on that!

  2. Erin, I thunk I could have written this post myself, word for word. People don’t get it when I say i’m shy too and I have a similar flamboyant style. Nice to know i’m not completely crazy! :-)

  3. I am both shy and lovingly familiar with the song Shy! I’ve never considered that I dress shyly, but I’ve always had my own style. Now as I get older and have learned to sew, I very proudly and confidently wear my pug print and fat cat print clothes. However when someone tells someone else that I’ve made said garment, I blush like the dickens and want to retreat into a hole. I also want to retreat into this hole after too long of social interaction. Need my space too!

  4. This i actually something I talked about with my therapist. I sew because I’m an introvert and I need that calming exercise but I’m a loud dresser because it is like armor. And not really so much loud, but sharper than everyone around me.

  5. In the last few months I’ve been using clothes as a sheild . mostly oversize sweaters and sweatshirt, hand made, of course. I have no problem talking in front of people or to strangers but I need this “armor” to feel protected. I have never realized how this affected my sewing choices before. Thanks for sharing!

  6. Sheesh…..Could we be more alike? I’m 6′ tall, I make lists, I suffer from anxiety sometimes, I have a master’s degree in science, I’m shy but sociable….I can’t wait to see your next self-oriented post! I am excited to be opening a fabric shop because I love talking to people in a semi-structured situation. I dislike hanging out in bars and going to parties because I don’t know what to talk about. Thanks for doing this series!

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