I was painfully shy at one time, and I understand the stuckness and pain of it. I feel called to help quiet girls who feel stuck.
I was that “shy kid” while growing up, who could barely get a word out of my mouth even though I craved being heard and understood. It was more painful than it needed to be.
I have broken free of that shyness grip and I have studied how I did it, and how others have done it. I feel called to pass it on.
Today I understand my introverted side, the part of me that needs quiet time more than extroverts do. There’s nothing wrong with that. Quiet is a beautiful thing!
Every girl deserves to be heard and understood.
Every girl has so much to offer.
Every girl has fear and can learn to manage fear.
A Snapshot of the Problem
I’m not talking about “fixing” introversion when I say I want us to help “quiet” girls. I’m talking about helping girls who are facing these kinds of painful or frustrating situations:
- Feeling like it’s hard to speak up when you really want to be heard and understood.
- Dreading speaking in class or anywhere, but you feel forced to. Maybe even having panic attacks about it, as I used to.
- Being asked “What’s wrong?” just because you’re being quiet or leaving the party early.
- Having your opinions skipped over because you didn’t jump in fast enough.
- Worried you won’t be as successful in life unless you wear an extrovert mask.
- Feeling totally drained by wearing an extrovert mask.
- Feeling like you want to crawl under the bed at social gatherings.
- Being told to “just do it” or “speak up!”
“Just do it” advice is not enough. That just drove me crazy when I heard it. In fact, it made me want to go further into a shell. Ugh.
I wish someone had helped me understand early on about things like fear, introversion, and what was great about my quiet nature. Let’s do that for young women.
How You Can Help This Cause
- Stop and listen to quiet girls.
Slow the conversations down enough so that people who like to think first will have a chance to speak. Build in more quiet time in your meetings. A teacher friend of mine says she uses the “Think, Pair, Share” method to give everyone a chance to think first, then talk in a pair, then share. I love it!
- Help people understand that everyone has nervous moments and can work with it.
Nervousness is simply your body buzzing in a new situation. It’s human! It’s a natural result of excitement. Try not to judge it as bad, and that will take away half the stress of it. Take time to learn about fear.
- Learn about introversion, what it is and isn’t.
Understanding introversion was one of the most stress-reducing and clarifying things I’ve ever done. Here’s a brief synopsis about introversion. There’s also a great book out for teens, parents, and educators that can make a world of difference.
Quiet Power: The Secret Strengths of Introverts by Susan Cain
[More recommended books on introversion are listed here.]
- Share this post.
Share this with parents, teachers, and shy or quiet “girls” of any age. Just hitting “Like” on the Facebook button at the top of this post will help. Or share it with a friend.
- If you’re worried about someone, talk to a professional.
Sometimes there is also an element of anxiety or high stress getting in the way, and some good stress reduction help is in order sooner than later before it gets more entrenched. In that case, I highly recommend speaking with a stress management counselor who understands adolescents (location doesn’t matter).
My Recommendations for “Quiet Girls”
Here are things you can explore now to find more ease and understanding:
- Learn about the difference and connection between introversion and shyness.
- Learn some good grounding methods to manage tense moments.
One of my favorite methods is EFT (like using simple acupressure points to calm the body). I created a one-hour on-demand training for it. This is suitable for young adults and adults: Learn EFT.
- Learn some basics about managing emotions.
- If you’re tired of hearing “Why are you so quiet?”
What Do You Think?
If you used to be a shy girl like me, I’d love to hear from you about your experience in the comments below. You can also leave a note of support to quiet girls in the comments.