Dolly Doctor

The perks of being a wallflower

Hey you quiet types, it's time to get down with being the shy girl.

Hey you quiet types, it's time to get down with being the shy girl.

When 16-year-old Rachel moved to a new home room without any of her friends, she instantly felt like an outsider. “I am probably one of the most outgoing people in my group of friends but during class with a new bunch of people, I was so nervous,” said Rachel. “I just wanted to keep to myself.”

Be it a new school, a stranger-infested gathering or info day at the sport none of your pals enrolled in, being the shy girl can be really hard. While the rest of the world seems to be nailing it at small talk, you’re busy staring at your Insti feed so no-one notices you’re almost wallpaper. We’re here to help change that and make you see that shy girls really can finish first.

The origins of the shy lie...
From toddlers, we’re prepped to be social and are forced to make pals before we can figure out if bugs are actually a food or not. If you sat by yourself to play trains in the corner, some tall person picked you up and plonked you next to the kid with the finger stuck in his ear. While social skills are important in life, we’re rarely taught the value of just diggin’ our own company, or preferring smaller groups of friends.

According to the bible for the timid, Quiet. The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain, outgoing personalities seem to be the most rewarded. “We watch TV shows not [about] ‘children next door’ but rocks stars and webcast hostesses with outsized personalities,” writes Susan. “[At] school you might have been prodded to come ‘out of your shell’ – that expression which fails to appreciate that some animals naturally carry shelter everywhere they go, and that some humans are just the same. So, really, what you’re doing is just fine.

Why shyness shoulda been a faction...
It’s a social superpower. While Divergent character Tris Prior might have suited the Dauntless faction, we reckon Shyness should’ve sat somewhere in between other factions like Abnegation and Amity. Here’s why being shy can actually work for you.

• You can read people's minds:
Well, sort of. A study presented at the American Psychological Association revealed introverts are better at reading facial expressions of others. Yep, you can detect the mood, truths and fibs of peeps just by reading subtle face movements. You know there is something wrong with your pal who insists she’s ‘fine’ while smiling big, because you’ve noticed her eyes aren’t. • You have a tighter circle of friends:
Shyer girls are likely to have smaller groups of close friendships instead of tonnes of acquaintances. While you might feel like a weird, quiet wall-sticker, you’re actually ensuring the person across from you feels at ease. “[Being] shy or introverted [means you] may hang back and assess a social scene before you choose to enter a conversation,” suggests adolescent psychologist, Samantha Symes (pinwheelpsychology.com.au). “Often this means you have gathered more information and can make a good assessment of the people that will be more likely to engage and reciprocate.” • You enjoy alone time:
“You enjoy time to yourself and probably don’t find your own company boring –celebrate it!” says Samantha. “Though remember to balance this out with some social activities or friend connections.” Samantha suggests building some resilience and social skills by heading outside your comfort zone if you find you’re really uncomfortable around new people. While the discomfort may never go away, occasionally heading into scary worlds for the shy can reduce the insta-sweats and embarrassment rash that creeps up your neck whenever you’re forced to say ‘hi, my name is….’