Now, there are varying degrees of shyness. Not everyone is point-blank afraid of any and all social interaction, as some actually crave some level of attention so long as it doesn’t trigger their acute social anxiety.
So here are some tips for finding just the right Shy Style — Shtyle — for you, my little hermits!
The Overcompensating Shy
Personality: Scarred by kindergarten parent-teacher conferences wherein your teacher expressed concern about your potentially budding social phobia, you try to combat the Retreat Instinct in social situations by blurting things out. However, being that it can take several long minutes of self-encouragement to get the words out, sometimes what you have to say comes off as poorly timed or in poor taste.
Fashion Solution: Balance out the awkwardness you might induce by wearing something flattering. A brightly colored halter top, coupled with flattering and non-blue jeans/leggings, for example, is both inviting and alluring. Whomever you’re talking to might very well be distracted by your beauty: “Ooo, grrll, you’re so fine. Please, tell me ALL of your thoughts!”
Bonus: Cosplay! Hang out at a lot of nerdy conventions. A.) Other attendees are probably as awkward as you are, and B.) It’s an excuse to go all out and dress and act as wildly as you like!
The “Please, After You” Shy
Personality: Not as aggressively ashamed of your inherent shyness as your Overcompensating peer, you’re patient and would much rather be approached and listen. You can never make the first move, but don’t want to deter people from striking up a conversation first. You would also like strangers to be aware of the fact that you’re reserved, so they aren’t turned off by your verbal delay and softspokenness.
Fashion Solution: Layers are key here! If you’re feeling adventurous enough to don something that shows a little skin, or is flatteringly snug, go ahead and top off the outfit with either: a.) a nice and warmly colored hoodie or scarf that says, “Please! I’m open to socialization even though I’m blushing and might get the hiccups soon” (note: Maybe don’t wear red/purplish colors that bring out your blushing, or wear enough make-up so it isn’t a problem); b.) a frumpy hoodie or scarf that says, “Please! I’m very modest and non-self-conscious, so I’m totally okay with standing here as you drunkenly vent at me for an awkwardly long period of time.”
Personality: The most extreme of the shy peeps, a hermit’s idea of a good time is cozying up to a good book, socializing only with Ben & Jerry.
But every now and again, even the biggest advocate of solitude needs a little fresh air, or they have a friend or two who take it upon themselves to get you out of your shell by luring to a party under false pretenses (ie free Ben & Jerry’s).
Fashion Solution: If this is you, the Cover of Choice for you is the Cover of Darkness. Find the shadiest corner in the room and just lurk: a.) Nobody’ll be able to see you, and b.) If they do, you’re probably creeping them out and they’ll think twice about approaching you.
Lurking: the ultimate social repellant!