i want to differentiate between the terms shy and introvert, since i don't think they're mutually inclusive.. one can be shy without being an introvert (through perhaps some traumatic early life experiences?) and likewise one can be introverted and need time alone but actually find it easy to talk to people and is quite confident. what about you, are you shy? or just quiet/introverted? do you feel self conscious talking to others, or do you simply prefer not to talk at length because it drains you? or both? the former (being self conscious) would point to shyness; being drained would merely point to introvertedness. also, i think most shy people grow out of it over time - many shy kids are not shy at all as adults, but introversion tends to stay with you your whole life. shyness seems culturally-dependent, whereas introversion seems founded in our very genes.