Is shyness a sin?

#1

We are told not to keep our light hidden, but to let it shine. To some people, that comes naturally. Any advice for people who struggle with lighting up a room when they enter it, who want to, BADLY, but just don’t know how? Is it something that comes from deep within, or is it a matter of external mannerisms and social prowess?

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#2

I should hope it’s not a sin, as I used to be really withdrawn and shy as a child around groups of people or people I was unfamiliar with. I think that if that was/is the case for you, then it’s not a sin.

I think the what you’re referring to is that we are called to be open and to spread our goodness and faith. But I’m sure that is being told to us with consideration for people who have social issues. Even if it wasn’t imagined that way, it would be in a practical world.

In casual situations, at parties and such, the best thing is to just be yourself and try to find someone with similar interests or have a friend introduce you to someone with similar interests. Avoid going alone to social outings, so that you’ll have backup and support on-scene in case you get a panic attack or something.

Alot of socializes IS all external, and to be frank, I’d avoid being disingenuous since many people just put on a mask or act and getting mixed up with them could be a bad idea. Body language is sort of important, but not as important as most people put stock into. Alot of people say it’s about confidence, but I think it’s more about understanding and communication. You need to be talking with someone on your level, and humans are pretty good at gravitating towards these people. It’s also about observation. Look around to see what’s going on around you, and listen to people for a few moments, and if you see an opening take it.

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#3

I don’t think it is - its a personal trait which most of us who are shy can learn to be less shy by methods such as those The Otaku mentioned. But I doubt we will ever be the life of the party even with we wanted to.

I used to think I was very shy but then I thought of the situations in which I am not at all shy and looked at why the difference. Some of the reasons I came up with are:

[LIST]
*]I want to be there
*]I know one or two people so I know I don’t have to start cold
*]I am at a meeting of people with similar interests - so I think there must be some aspect of this interest we have in common
*]I do not have to talk above loud music or try to hear through it
*]there are people on their own - I think they might like to talk to someone
*]I have the chance to talk to people in some depth.
[/LIST]
Be interested to see if there are others whose shyness is situational and when they are shy and when they aren’t.

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#4

Our light is our faith.

This is not what the bible is talking about. “Lighting up a room” is all about personality, not faith.

Letting your faith shine is a matter of being authentic, and continually striving for holiness. It has nothing to do with whether or not you are the life of the party. My grandmother’s light shined. She was humble, gracious, always doing the corporal and spiritual works of mercy… THAT is what the bible is talking about.

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#5

No shyness isn’t a sin - look at the Gospels, one or two of the Apostles hogged all the conversation, whereas a couple of 'em haven’t had a single word recorded for posterity that they said. I tend to think they were the shy type.

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#6

I’d try and work on it if I were you.

Being shy can be a terrible affliction. You limit yourself so much. People will probably say to you “well it’s what’s on the inside that counts”…but if you are so shy that you are waiting in the wings all the time then nobody will ever get to know you.

Don’t know if you are male or female, but it certainly doesn’t help you find a partner either.

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#7

No, not at all, that comes from our upbringing and our genes. We have only so much control with personal traits like that. Being shy is not a sin.

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#8

People can;t help or change their shyness completely though. I think people can become less shy…but I doubt anyone can completely get over it. But yeah it can be very hampering I know it has been for me…and is one of the biggest reasons for a huge problem in my marriage right now. But it is the way I am and I am not sure if I can change…though I am worse now then I was a few years ago and I am better now then I was several years ago if that makes sense lol.

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#9

Being shy is not a sin. It may be a gift.

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#10

If shyness were a sin it is one of my vices. I have been shy all of my life. Qf course, I am not as shy as I used to be but I tend to be somewhat aloof at gatherings with family and/or friends. The thing is that, when I find a new catholic friend I am attracted like a magnet as long as they take the faith seriously. I also have a great desire to share the faith with family and friends but am possibly overcautious because I do not want to push them away from the faith. Most people seem not to really even care about religion at all and that just makes me feel so awkward being in their company.
Here is another question. Can shyness be viewed as or confused with false humility?

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#11

To break your shyness, learn how to listen. Just ask someone about themselves. I would say a good 90-95% of the population loves to talk about themselves. If you ask them questions about their life or day, they are more than happy to tell you. Most people just want someone to listen to them. They do all the grunt work for you!

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#12

Not sure how that would break someones shyness though? I listen to people talk all the time…and it really has done little to change me from a shy person to a outgoing one. Though I do feel more comfortable in situations where I donlt have to do much talking lol if that counts.

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#13

Much of it has to do with a persons orientation towards being an extrovert or and introvert. Introverts tend to get drained in social situations. Extroverts thrive on it. I am an introvert but in my profession I often have to speak in front of large numbers of people and teach classes. I have been told I am very good at it and when people here I am shy and an introvert they are amazed. But put me at a party where I know few people, or even if I know many people, and I shrink into a corner. I usually only talk to people if they talk to me. Such situations drain me. I know many people who are like this…including many many priests, even those who are the greatest preachers.

I am taking a class now with a prof who is a fantastic teacher…animated, funny, quick to answer and with a wonderful sense of humor. But to talk to him outside of class is a different thing. He is very quiet, reserved and says little. I completly understand where he is coming from because I am that way too. There is nothing wrong with being shy as long as it does not get in the way of your work or your family life or your faith life.

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#14

Sometimes ‘shining your light’ entails fighting Evil. I work with several Pharisees and Sadduccees who thrive on ‘dousing’ anyone’s ‘light’. For my light to shine, I must fight these false and corrupt teachers.:mad:

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#15

Think that shyness can be viewed or confused with a number of things, especially by those who are not shy and by extroverts who need lots of interaction (a fact like introverts need less.)

I’ve had people consider I am aloof - “you don’t want to talk to us” or "you think you are better than us”. However, often my silence is that I do not know what to say or maybe more accurately I wonder if the person will be interested in my favourite topics.

Also I don’t use some topics as staters - eg “do you have children” or “what do you do?”. In regard to the first as a single person (without children) I tend to get asked “why not?” (which feels like being interrogated to me) and don’t want the other person to feel the same way about my questions. And with the second what if the person has just lost their job or has been unemployed for a while. To me these are topics you talk with those you know, not new acquaintances.

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#16

It seems that introverts, like myself, tend to be very careful with what they say and how they say it, not wanting to be misunderstood or inadvertently offensive. Of course this is only around new acquaintances and those deemed more sensitive to how things are said. In short, they are quite reflective about what they say. Could this be a predisposition toward the interior life of contemplation?

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#17

I don’t know anywhere in the Bible or in the CCC where it says that a shy person will go to hell because of his shyness. So the question as to whether or not shyness is a sin seems a bit ridiculous to me. The question that should be asked is instead: Is lack of inhibition a sin?

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#18

Think we do - I work with someone who is a strong extrovert and I sometimes have to check if what they are saying is a work in progress or their final answer!

Sometimes I find that my pausing to make sure what I am saying is accurate or just to think about that the other person has said and how I will answer, is that I don’t get to say anything as the extrovert fills the silence which they usually find more uncomfortable than introverts.

[quote=] Could this be a predisposition toward the interior life of contemplation?
[/quote]

Think so. I suspect that active religious orders would have more extroverts and contemplative orders more introverts. But then other traits would come into it depending if people prefer a more orderly and programmed life or one where there is more variety.

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closed #19
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