It is the shy, the really shy ones, who have my admiration. They do not impose force on others: when they speak it is generally because they have something important to say, they listen to our stories right up to the limit of their patience, and they are the shoulder on which we most want to cry. Normally, they are much wiser because they spend more time looking at what is going on around them -- and they manage to do so without anyone noticing. But, above all, they have a smile that extroverts generally don't have. It is not common and, because of this, is more amusing -- it begins at a corner of the mouth and then becomes a smile only a little bit at a time.

A big victory is when we manage to stop them from being timid for a short period of time, or when they cease to be shy with us -- it does not count if you furnish them with drinks to get them to lose their inhibitions. In order to be special it is necessary that a shy person feels so secure that he (she) reveals his (her) true self and makes those cynical comments about himself (herself) with the confidence of someone who has rehearsed the words before he (she) says them.

The shy are excused from bringing flowers or presents on St. Valentine's Day. It is enough for them to show up.

-Isabel Stillwell, Notícias Magazine, April 2001, Lisbon

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