This comic is included in my best-of comic collection Everything You Didn’t Ask For, available at Amazon CreateSpace,, or ETSY.

33 thoughts on “Shy

  1. What a load of horseshit.

    Shyness comes from an innate fear of drawing attention to yourself, fear of embarrassment and ridicule, low self-esteem and self-consciousness. Vanity is the complete polar opposite, it’s about thinking very highly of yourself and wanting others to think the same way, constantly craving praise and adoration.

    “Shyness is a coward’s form of vanity” doesn’t even make sense when you think about it. Shyness pushes you away from other people and attention, vanity does the complete opposite. They’re contradictory ideas.

  2. Ugh, so everyone is interpreting this as the cartoonist throwing all types of anxiety in the same boat. This is not the case. He is talking specifically about how we worry about how others see us. This type of anxiety could definitely be the cause of not wanting to get rejected and the inevitable hit to the ego that accompanies it. This is because we don’t want to change how we perceive ourselves. This is basically just a fancy way of saying “Nut up or shut up”.

  3. Could anyone please explain the meaning of the cartoon, I don’t speak english… But I’d love to understand.

  4. This fear of inadequacy is accurate then, well not in an offensive way, but what It is in what I see in your comment. If you see yourself as someone of lower standing, that’s one thing, but if that’s the problem then you need to be willing to make an effort to lift that, and if you can’t then reside there, wallowing in what could have been. But well, as an introvert, you obviously know a lot more about how to interact with society and how desire and will intertwine and work.

    Last point though, I find that you seem to be on the offensive for no excessive reason, it was a suggestion as to the motives of some, not just introverts but the stereo-typical average guy in-between the two extremes, not trying when they’re scared to fail

  5. You see what you think you see, you hear what you think you hear, but above all you are what you think you are

  6. Wow don’t be so harsh and defensive. He said MAYBE. I thought it was cool cause I’m shy and it gave me something to think about for a minute, just like the kid in the comic, but I obviously made an excuse for why he is wrong so I can go on being shy.

  7. Ok how about this. Have you ever considered that the images of aliens and the way they look the aliens from the Roswell conspiracy or supposed abductions you know small bodies big eyes and big heads might not actually be their flesh but their version of a hazmat suit think about your a alien species scientist you find a planet with life and breathable air but have no clew about the planets bacterial proprieties wouldn’t you wear a suit to protect your self and the abductions if these aliens are scientists like I theories they wouldn’t go in to a sterilized room with a human specimen to look at with out the proper protection that is why I state the appearance of the aliens from Roswell do not look like how they have been drawn or captured on film but are actually wearing their version of a hazmat suit so not to fall greatly ill

  8. @Jim,
    I would agree shyness can be called self-centered. Some may also call it being mindful of one’s motivations and actions. However, calling shyness vain and selfish ignores a very important aspect of those. Vanity and selfishness are both attitudes wherein one places themselves above others. More explicitly selfishness is a trait or even action of putting your own interests above those of others. Shyness does not do this. A shy person is simply shy. They have not acted yet. You could say that by holding back they may have put their own interest above that of whomever they held back from, but then that is a vain idea to hold; which in itself is something a shy person may often worry about. Furthermore, when you stated “…putting so much weight on your own actions, one is behaviourally claiming a higher level of importance…”, you have misled the argument by adding “so much” and “higher level”. A shy person has not yet placed a specific weight on their potential action, they are worried about the weight of the reaction. However it is the actual unknown of the reaction that is preventing a shy person from approaching in the first place. They don’t know if the person will react with anger, disgust, joy, or complete ambivalence, and this is inherently worrisome. You may argue that they are already being vain by thinking they will have such an impact on another and that is why I included ambivalence. The shy person isn’t concerned with only being responded to in a significantly negative way, they are concerned with the complete lack of knowledge about how that person will react. The person may simply ignore the shy person much like everyone does to the homeless. The act of being completely ignored, no respect given, in a situation that should inherently place two people on equal footing is sometimes just as awful as being yelled at or insulted. At least you have a definitive disagreement of opinion if they choose the latter two. I guess I’ve rambled but I just wanted to point out that shyness is a really broad type of social anxiety, or worry. It’s not a statement of importance or just a fear of negative reactions. It’s a fear of not knowing. Many people say that you always have some idea of how the person will react, but that is presumptuous. First, no we don’t. If you have lived in an urban enough setting you will have seen enough interactions to know that just about anything is possible, and people very often misinterpret others intentions. Secondly, fears are not always rational.

  9. The cartoon is saying that shyness stems from focusing too much on one’s own thoughts and feelings rather than the thoughts and feelings of others. Being vain in this sense can be seen as self-centered. We usually couple being self-centered with cockyness and pride but negative emotions such as feelings of inadequacy and low self-esteem can be self-centered as well. This type of vanity is surely less repulsive than the arrogance we normally think of, but it is still inherently selfish despite its roots in rejecection and fear. Also, by being shy and putting so much weight on your own actions, one is behaviorally claiming a higher level of importance, no matter how unpurposeful.

  10. It’s an interpretation. Don’t get your panties all twisted because this person had an original thought that you may not agree with. We should all try to take what we can from whatever thoughts it may provoke in our minds. All the cartoon asks is if you have ever considered? It’s just asking you to think about it – that’s all. We should all think about things with an open mind shouldn’t we?

  11. if it were vanity the person would be worried about maintaining an image, rather than having this fear of establishing an image at all. it’s not vanity, or a fear of being seen as inferior. it’s a lack of self-respect, and a fear of actually being inferior (in the given situation, or social situations in general). but as an extrovert, you obviously know a lot more about the motives of an introvert and how defense mechanisms work.

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