You’re Not Shy, You’re Boring

Here’s a little rant I just recorded. It’s said with all of the love in my heart and as a call to action to break free from the ‘cocoon’ of shyness. Enjoy!

So often people use shyness as an excuse not to contribute.

I know so many introverts – like myself – who make being an introvert into a noble, glorified thing.

If we want to be the most well-rounded, charismatic person we can be…

We have to cultivate the skills of the extrovert.

This doesn’t mean that you have to live in ‘extrovert mode’ 24 hours a day, but it does mean that you have to be able to bring out those skills when you need them.

When I step out on stage for instance, I’m bringing out the skills of the extrovert, even though that’s not who I am naturally.

It’s fun to be able to do both.

You can be an introvert and enjoy being an extrovert on certain evenings and occasions, and then go back to being an introvert.

Never let someone convince you that being an introvert stops you from being able to bring out the extrovert just for the hell of it.

Being able to develop those skills was one of the biggest gifts I gave myself because now I’m able to go into situations that scare me, and in spite of that fear, I’m able to bring out parts of my personality that when I’m younger I never used to be able to bring out.

–Is it okay to sometimes be shy?

Yes of course.

The point is that being that way all the time and using it as an excuse to never not be shy is not good.

You’re more than shy. Don’t allow yourself to be labelled. Be what you want to be in any given moment.

Do what works. Not what you ‘think’ you are.

Want to learn how you can step up and break free from the expectations of others? How you can layer different personality traits on-top of those you already have? Want an easy, step-by-step way to get more sociable, meet more men, and grow your social circle? Check out my online program The Man Myth which covers all of this and more.

9 Texts No Man Can Resist

209 Responses to You’re Not Shy, You’re Boring

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  9. Celine says:

    I’m a bit late watching the first and second segment to this series; however, I think this is great advice!
    I’m an introvert, and I use to often here people ask me if I was unhappy when I went out, or if I was just uninterested… it was an awful feeling really. Though I’m not perfect at it, I now try to push myself to be more extroverted in social situations, and find other people seem to be more responsive (in a positive way) towards me! It’s great.
    I have a better time when I do wish to go out, and usually meet really interesting people as well :).

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  14. Sandy says:

    Hey Matt!
    this video of yours made me concern..i am an introvert who sometime is acting as an extrovert but sometimes this just confuses people around me, so i was thinking that i should probably keep a more constant personality if u know what i mean.. or when sometimes on a night out when i meet a new person, and the first impression he gets from me is of an extrovert person, i feel ‘compelled’ to keep acting in that way… i don’t want to neither sent contradictory messages to people nor to be fake (sometimes i do fake it tho..oops!)

  15. V says:

    MOST people are boring and scared of everything, so when this brilliant person shows up in their lives or at their party they are just jealous, MOST don’t let you shine…unfortunately I had to tone myself down throughout the years to fit in…i’m still a happy extrovert but only with people that are my kind, the rest can rot in hell ;)

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  18. G says:

    Thank you Matthew. I’m playing safe not shy.

  19. Rachel says:

    This is so true. I know I have certainly done this before. Pretend I’m shy to show someone I don’t want to (or know how to) contribute to the conversation. Its like an excuse not to talk, but your just hoping people believe its cause your shy…

    ..then you do appear very boring..not good

  20. Lynn says:

    I’m really looking forward to the follow-up video series entitled “You’re Not Extroverted, You’re Boorish”

    • Elaine says:

      HA!!! Good one!!

    • Abi says:

      Love it!

    • Charlotte says:

      Prejudice against introverts is real. I theorize that extroverts project their introverted shadow onto introverts. Their inner world is dull, dark, brooding and they associate an introverted demeanor with this mindset.

      The issue is breadth vs depth though. Introverts have depth from their focus on their inner world. But this makes them “narrow” and harder to adapt across many contexts. They do best in niche settings, and often one-on-one. This presents obvious hurdles socially. This does not mean they are “deeper” emotionally or have more insight. I’m talking about the way the personality is developed. Depth means a narrow part on the surface that extends deeper than what is visible.

      Extroverts, however, have a breadth with a focus on the external world which gives them a wide range. They can have problems with knowing themselves, what they want personally, etc, because they are pulled too easily by external forces. This can make them build identities too much on external things like career success or a relationship.

      However, when it comes to being appealing to a wider range of people in a brief time, extroverts tend to have an edge. Introverts tend to do slow-building relationships. It’s difficult to present their personality fully in a short time frame because depth is “too much” to put out at once.

      What I find is I can make friends fine because I focus on others and let them yack on about themselves. But I have a tendency to feel “unknown” to others.

      FYI, I think Mr. Hussy is an extrovert. In MBTI, I suspect he is likely an ENFJ, maybe an ENFP. These types frequently believe themselves to be introverts because they confuse intuition with introversion.

      • Kate says:

        I couldn’t agree more. Matt seems like a TOTAL ENFJ. I think the reason he thinks he’s an introvert is that he probably gives so much of himself in his day-to-day social interactions at work that he needs to stop and focus on himself a lot as a point of balance. I am an ENFJ in a therapeutic job, so I know a thing of two about this issue.

  21. Anna says:

    Thanks Matt! This is very helpful for me!!

    XXXX

  22. Viola says:

    were you talking to me? :)

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  24. lola says:

    Matt, you tell it like it is. Brilliant.

  25. Google eye says:

    I think most people are shy when we were young: we just wanted to bland in. Only a few are exhibitionists, ie: like the few who turn up in British Got Talent. Once you step out your “comfort zone”, you can try a lot of new things, discover a lot of fun! When we grow older and try more new things, we are more comfortable being ourselves and not bother so much to bland in, abd become less shy. … On introvert… I am running out of space to discuss. Basically introvert is nit the same as shyness…

    Matthew, you are an extravert! LaLaLa! You tell people everything about yourself!

  26. Emilie says:

    at last!!! finally kicking girls’ ass!!
    that’s not as we’re used to seeing and hearing you
    but that’s nice and ok, still!!
    keep going Matt!

    could you do a kick-ass video about women spending their time with online dating like I’ve been doing for the last 2 months… I need help to get me out of here!!!
    thx Matt

    Emilie

  27. Erin says:

    Or maybe we can just create a Shyness Awareness Day. Everyone will be informed of the difference between shyness and introversion, and learn that shy people are not anti-social and boring, just a bit hesitant. ;) I mean there’s already days for everything else. Even a World Introvert Day: http://www.introvertday.org/index.html

    I totally get what you’re saying (I think): don’t let shyness hold you back, develop skills, test your limits. I agree. As long as “you” (the collective you) aren’t letting someone else define how boring “you” are.

    What is classified as “boring” is totally up to the person assigning that word. I think shy people, books, and the History Channel are interesting, not boring. Some people may not agree. (I didn’t even agree with my current self about the History Channel until last year.) Or if an ex-boyfriend were to call me boring, it doesn’t mean he’s right. It means he has different expectations.

    As an extreme(ly ridiculous) example, some people are super-thrill seekers, and it could be impossible to hold their attention for long anyway. “What do you mean you’ve never skinny-dipped in an icy lake with a polar bear after base jumping from a snow-capped mountain? You’re sooooooo boring.” Well then, call me boring buddy, because as much as I love bears, you’re on your own. I’d need a bathing suit for that.

  28. Rogenna says:

    Hi Matt,

    I, too, used to be an introvert until my mid 20’s. Then when I entered graduate school, I truly honed my skills in being an extrovert. As I’ve aged, I have been able to be confident in just about any situation and can strike up a conversation with anyone without any hesitation. And fear? Please! My motto is feel and understand the place of your fear, but move the hell past it. I’m not going to die! LOL

    PS: Can you please put Jameson on the video or show a picture? That dude’s got to be just as hilarious as you!

    Love the TV appearances with Kathie Lee & Hoda! LOL

    Thanks! Rogenna

  29. Goldberry says:

    Very funny, Matt… :-) I’m a true introvert, but over time have developed my social skills to the point where I can be much more comfortable in larger groups. (Though performance always came naturally to me, so not sure if that’s actually an extraverted skill or not.) One thing that makes me feel shy is when other people have much better social skills than I do. But I just try to relax and hope everyone will enjoy my offbeat and unconventional reactions! :-D If they don’t, maybe it’s their loss. [Note – being “extraverted” for a little while is not the same as being an “extravert” for a while. Your basic orientation always remains the same, unless you’re on the line between E and I consistently.]

  30. Meggan says:

    Matt,
    Thanks for this video, it has been hard for me my whole life for being shy. I have really enjoyed everything you have had to say thus far and I can tell you it has made me a better person. I am going out and talking to guys I don’t know just because I want to talk to them. I am no longer acting shy even though deep down I am shy. Thanks so much!!!!!

  31. Heather Parks says:

    Love your work Matt! Not only is it great dating advice but great life advice. I wrote a review on your book. Check it out when you can!

    http://heartspace1111.com/2013/04/29/get-the-guy-book-review/

    ♥ Heather Parks

  32. Joey says:

    “You heard that Jamson…” Haha you always go out with something funny! Well done! That’s why your videos are so good!

  33. emi says:

    Hi Matt!
    Is this your new hair style, for the summer? :)
    It looks cool but I prefer the one before!!
    Love all your works always!
    Take care.
    XX

  34. Beth says:

    Hi Matt,

    Thanks for your video. Stirred up a lot of thoughts and a topic that really resonated with me.

    I used to be so shy, awkward and unconfident in social situations and found it so incredibly frustrating and felt stuck in desperately wanting to break out of my box and be myself and feel confident around others but not knowing how. I think what you are saying is great and a real wake up call and a reminder to not let excuses keep us trapped. But also that as much as I would hear (and I would tell myself) to just ‘get over it’ real shyness can become a physical fear that takes over your body – I would shake, go brght red and brain would become fluff, it becomes a physical inability to say anything or even look people in the eye. I told myself to just be confident and stop being shy but unfortunately realised it doesn’t work instantly like that! However, I also knew that I had to get myself out of that and just plough through the awkwardness and that’s where I agree with your video, don’t ever let yourself think that is who you’re stuck as when it’s just suffocating the real you – and the real us is never boring!

    It really comes down to realising that we are all worthy and what we have to say/who we are is just as important and interesting as the other people in the room. I worked through self-help books, hypnosis cds, blogs, articles, anything that I could get hold of and also just got out and did stuff that scared me and talked to people and slowly got better! I am now so much more confident but am still working on it, it really is just practice like anything else!

    Seeing that today has been a good shake to keep upping the challenge to keep getting better and more confident and to never just sit back and fall back into bad habits.

    Your videos always inspire and motivate me so thank you for that and not commenting is something I never thought about before but it’s just another form of getting used to putting my thoughts out there and joining in and letting people know you appreciate their work :) Or in this case a full-blown essay ;)

    Also, so great to hear other people’s stories and successes and here’s to us all becoming the best we can be!
    xxx

  35. Sage says:

    SHY IN RELATION TO WHAT SITUATION? Enjoyed this – wish I was a shy person. My line of work and life circumstances demand otherwise.

  36. Anna says:

    Hey!

    I found you and your videos just Googling about relationships with people – which is one of things in my life I had been terrible till now…I’m shy and have some others problems, which I try to fight and solve. So one day I realized that I actually always try to avoid contacting to others as much as possible! I’m boring! And not happy at all! And as I’m not able to go to any events, I had watched all your videos! :)

    And today’s video is just what I needed.

    Wanted to say thank you for what you are doing. You can’t imagine how much it helps and motivates :)
    Keep doing what you do! It is just great!
    Cheers!

  37. rose says:

    When you spoke on this topic at the Toronto seminar, ligthbulbs went off in my head. Your advice is so logical, truthful, and simple to apply. I’m definitely more introverted in nature and I used to think that it was fine to stay quiet and brood if the vibe of a situation wasn’t exactly how I wanted it – now I know better, and find it much more enjoyable to just embrace and interact with people. Thank you!

    Matt, I have a question – I’ll write it out in case you are reading.

    How do you choose between two guys? I’m talking entering the relationship stage. I’m attracted to them for different reasons, but the more thoughtful one is giving way to the one with whom I am more physically and animally attracted to. What are the deciding factors? Should I give it time?

    Your advice is golden :)

    Rose

  38. Diana says:

    Hi Matthew,

    I liked your “rant”, it made me smile….and think.

    Thanks,

    Diana

  39. Carol says:

    Thanks for the motivation and advice Matt!

  40. Barbara says:

    It’s been almost a year since I realised this. I was making excuses for myself. As soon as I realised what I was doing wrong I tried to be a little more extroverted and got great results. In these last months I’ve met more people than I used to. I’ve met more people than I’ve met in 3 years together. So, everyone really should think about this and listen to Matt’s great advice. I’m still not totally okay (I’ve been like that for my whole life), but I’m slowly getting there and I can already see that I’m walking toward a brighter future. :)

  41. inez says:

    Oh Matt !

    Your timing is impeccable..
    Because of you and many other things couldn’t let you have all the credit! Im coming out of my shell Im now going to parties instead of making excuses “im not worthy!” and having a great time!!

    Then i was thinking on the way to work this evening how much i just wanted to say hi to everyone as weather is amazing, But i decided not to as its not the done thing…not v english
    Who cares!!!!!!!!!!!! there are no rules
    Thank you for the lecture: )

  42. A says:

    Uncle Matty cakes, U know I usually leave comments. Btw, love u @ 3:00. Ur so pissed at stupid questions. I would love for you to respond to my comments some time. If you do that..well……<3

  43. Manon says:

    Matti, one day you and I shall have a coffee or two together and this won’t be even enough to go through everything… Gemini-communication etc ;)
    So since I don’t have much time, I’m just saying for now: Ever thought of adding a tune at the end of your videos? If you need any ideas, don’t hesitate to ask :)
    And btw you need to watch Cloud Atlas! One of my favorite movies of all times. Will make you think and I know you like that ;)
    M x

  44. Andrea says:

    I want to start by saying that I have been following you for a while and I find all your videos very interesting and inspiring. However, this time I feel that I need to rant back at you just because if I had seen this video about two years ago if would have hurt me in a very ridiculous and painful way. I feel there might be someone out there who (dares to read and) finds this useful. Some years ago that would have been me.

    First of all my word about the “extroverted introvert”:

    Introversion and shyness are scientifically not the same thing. Introversion refers to low social motivation (relatively low desire of being with others, enjoying time with oneself)while shyness refers to fearful social behaviour (feeling anxiety in certain, or most, social situations), and they don’t necessarly occur together in the same person. That is why you will find sociable introverts who are the life and soul of the party but need to lock up in their room and enjoy their alone time every day and you will also find shy extroverts who, although unoticed or critisized, will always choose to stick around and seek the company of others.

    And now with that in mind let’s take a look at shyness. Shyness is literally, like you said, a special kind of fear. In the same way there are people who really have a bad time standing close to a spider or shiver with the thought of death, there are others who feel ridiculously anxious in social situations. That is why asking someone who is shy to ot act shy is like asking someone who is afraid of spiders to not act afraid of spiders – not a mere trifle.

    And the main reason I decided to write this bible of a comment is because:

    It IS OK to be shy(and act accordingly).

    It is like, say, being born blond. It cannot be wrong because it is not something you choose, it just happens. I understand that the point you are trying to make is: don’t use “being” shy as an excuse to be socially lazy and then whine about your failed evening. I agree with that. However, I would state it as “being socially lazy is not productive when flirting”. Because someone who is trying their best not to act shy might stil fail at it and it and that IS ok.

    Failing to understand this was what led me from plain everyday shyness into deressive social phobia. The way you start the video reproduces scaringly well the voice that played in my head over and over, except it ended with “you are not better than that”. Speaking is so easy, right? just give your opinion, for example, no big deal. I couldn’t do it. I was that stupid. I was absolutely worthless and I didn’t dare to pretend otherwise. Because I knew it wasn’t true.

    It is a vicious cycle and the ony way out is to realize that you are not worthless, you are afraid. And it IS ok and absolutely logical to act afraid when you are afraid. Now, if you want, you can start to fight your fear,and build your confident out of daring to do what is simple and trivial for others, because that same thing is a challenge for you.

    I tried to not make all this sound very dramatic and/or too witty. I just needed to get it out of my system.

    Keep on being great

    Andrea

    • A says:

      Andrea, what a super great blurb you just wrote about shyness. This is great stuff.

      • Andrea says:

        Thank you :) I am glad to see that at least one person read it :)

        • Anais says:

          Hi Andrea I love this and agree with your view. Shyness and introversion are not the same thing. I have both in me but the introversion part I do feel it after spending too much time with people. I begin to feel a bit drained and want time to myself. Whereas extroverts feed more energy by having others around.

          And I don’t think someone who tends to be more “shy and quiet” is boring, unless they are always that person. Chances are they are a better listener too. No one who is shy is ALWAYS shy and I think it’s ok to feel shy sometimes. It’s when it interferes drastically with life that it’s a problem. But trying too hard to pretend to not be shy when you are feeling shy is inauthentic. And I even find that people will find a bit of shyness endearing, not boring.

    • Charlotte says:

      Technically introversion and extroversion is not about low social motivation, although I see how that can arise in most introverts.

      It is a matter of how easily the brain is stimulated. When extrovert is interacting and engaged by external stimuli their brain shows more activity. When these things are absent, their brain shows little to no activity. Hence, associating an introverted thinking style with “boring”.

      Introverts show a lot of brain activity when not engaged by any external stimulus but just focused on their own thoughts. However, when engaged by external stimulus including interaction with others, their brains show extreme activity. In other words, they get overstimulated easily.

      You could argue that introverts are less boring because they don’t require external entertainment for mental stimulation :P.

      What this explains is that there is no such thing as an extroverted introvert. Introversion is not someone who needs to “recharge” ( every human needs some downtime). Copping an outgoing persona doesn’t make your brain extroverted either. Overstimulation tends to cause introverts to withdraw a bit. It’s best to learn how to cope with it socially rather than adopt a persona which you cannot sustain for long and is even painful.

      • Andrea says:

        That is an interesting fact about the reason for introversion and extroversion, Charlotte. Could you tell me what your source is or give any link where we can read/watch more about it?

  45. Rachel says:

    “Be More Dog”, in fact? :-)

  46. Jennifer says:

    Liked the video! I think in some situations you can have someone who is quiet and not necessarily because they’re shy. For instance when say someone is going through a divorce, but their friends take them out to cheer them up. I realize this is altogether another story, but one may also just be dealing with a lot, but still being pulled out to have a good time. I’m definitely one of those people who can be introverted, but could be coaxed into singing karaoke or something and own it.

  47. Nicole Zamorano says:

    Hi Matt!

    Your video inspired me to write a comment for once. I totally agree with you in what you said in your video. I reflected on myself as I listened to your rant and I know I am terribly guilty for “acting shy”. I do have more of an introvert nature and sometimes I let that beat the better me inside.

    This video reminded how my boyfriend and I talked about how we noticed each other back in high school. I had crushed on him since Freshman year and didn’t date him until my Senior year of high school. Why did it take so long? Because I was freaking shy! My own boyfriend told me he thought I was cold and I didn’t appear to be interested in him because I didn’t talk to him. Do you know what my excuse was? I was shy.

    It’s a real palm-slap to the head knowing I could have never been able to date my amazing boyfriend had I continued to be shy and use it as an excuse to never show my fun personality. I am very glad you brought up that topic Matt! I’m sure there are people, just like me, who needed to hear that!

    You’re the best!

  48. Rowan says:

    I’m glad you specified that there’s a difference between being a shy person and just acting shy.
    I won’t deny that social situations terrify me (not to the point where I’m not functional) but generally on the first meeting (in groups of people) I am (mostly) the observer. I like to get a feel for situations and people. Then the more I’m around them the more comfortable I get.
    I am breaking out of my shy shell more and more as the years progress but I’ll always be primarily the observer in the beginning. And it’s not just for me but for the people that I’m getting a feel for. I want to know what sort of things I can get away with, what makes THEM comfortable or uncomfortable.
    While it’s good to always be yourself, it’s also, in my opinion, important to know that everyone has a different line and recognize the moments when not to cross them.

    As always, thank you for your input, Matt.
    Keep up the good work!

    :)

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