Nine things only formerly shy kids will understand.

If the phrase “class presentation” gave you nightmares growing up, you’ll relate.

Avoiding eye contact at all costs. Breaking out in a cold sweat at the thought of class presentations. Psyching yourself up just to ask for directions to the loo…

If you grew up as a shy kid, you’ll remember exactly how those cringey, hair-raising moments tormented you.

At least you can take solace in the fact you weren’t alone in your lack of confidence — because this week, formerly shy kids are sharing their experiences on social media using the hashtag #GrowingUpShy.

Their hilarious observations sum up exactly how every shy child felt.

1. You never spoke up in class… even when you knew the answers.

There were few things as frustrating as letting the class loud-mouth shout out that answer you knew all along — all because you couldn’t muster the courage to put your hand up in class.

And when the teacher called on you, a minor panic attack ensued.

2. You never said people’s names for fear of getting it wrong.

Even when you were 99.9% sure you’d memorised a person’s name correctly, you put off actually repeating it for an unreasonably long amount of time.

What if “Sarah” was actually written “Sara”? What if you’d mistaken them for their friend? The possibilities for social mishaps made your hair stand on end.


Sadly, people mistook your shyness for aloofness…


A situation made even worse if you happened to have a “resting bitch face,” as well.

3. You dreaded birthdays.

Being the centre of attention as your classmates belted out”happy birthday“? More like UNhappy birthday.

You preferred to meander at the side of parties, rather than remain the centre of attention — and you lived in fear someone would organise a surprise party, forcing you to socialise without time to mentally prepare for the ordeal.

4. You freaked out when friends brought other friends along to your playdates.

You know those people who happily bring their different friendship groups together and expect everyone to be BFFs? You were SO NOT OKAY with that situation.

In fact, making small-talk with friends of friends was so far out of your comfort zone, it was almost a friendship dealbreaker.

5. Having to talk to parents’ friends was TERRIFYING.

If there was ever a phrase that could induce terror in your younger self, it was: “Give mum’s school friend Linda a hug!”

Related: Confessions of a non-hugger.

Same goes for friends’ parents, for that matter.


6. You could barely keep your cool during roll call.

If you broke out in a cold sweat as you anticipated having to confirm your attendance in class, you were definitely a shy kid.


7. People assumed you were aloof… or that there was something wrong with you.

You hated making eye contact and rarely struck up a conversation.

Maybe your parents actually had you tested, because you refused to interact at all with anyone outside your family… but nope. You were just hella shy.

8. Class presentations gave you hives.

You rued the day class presentations became a mandatory form of assessment.

Thank the Lord for group presentations though, because you always had a role: the poster holder-upper.

9. When you finally did talk, people’s reactions embarrassed you all over again.

Either they made a big fuss over the fact you’d spoken up for once…

Or your voice was so quiet, you had to repeat yourself. Twice.


Other struggles of people who grew up shy:

What were your experiences of growing up shy?


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You need to read Amy Schumer’s speech about confidence.