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To be upset at being described as "timid"

(43 Posts)
hyperhypermum Tue 22-Nov-16 17:02:55

DSIS was at a party and got chatting to a woman she established had a DC in the same year at school as my DC. I know this woman very vaguely, having spoken to her briefly probably no more than 2 or 3 times in all the years we've been there. No reason for this, we just have different friends at the school gates and our DCs are not friends particularly. On the (now rare) ocassions I see her, I will smile and say hi, as will she.

DSIS said the woman said "Oh I know your sister - quite timid". My sister said she laughed and said "Well, I guess she is, compared to me!" DSIS is particularly extrovert and oozes confidence wherever she goes, so fair comment in her case!

Now, I'm not the most confident person in the world. At school I was always described as "quiet & shy" and have always been softly spoken. However, over the years, I have worked hard to try and overcome this. Yes, I can still be shy with certain people before I get to know them but would like to think that I, at least, don't come across across as a complete mouse and appear reasonably confident in most situations.

If she'd said "quiet" or "reserved", then fine. But "timid" conjures up an image of a pathetic, mouselike creature, like Mavis from Corra!

I'm really upset that I might come across like this to people who hardly know me, especially as I'm now too old to change 😢

I would add that this woman does come across as very loud & brash and I realise this makes me judgemental too. However, she does have a very loud voice and dresses flambuoyantly so not a totally unreasonable perception on my part.

ALIBI to be hurt & upset?

MauiWest Tue 22-Nov-16 17:09:40

Timid to means means shy maybe wrongly so I wouldn't take it badly if you agree that you are quite reserved. There are worst things to be called, if people don't misjudge your reserve for rudeness.

Ahickiefromkinickie Tue 22-Nov-16 17:11:41


Calling you 'timid' makes her feel better about herself.

Next time you run into this woman, tell her 'my sister said she ran into a loud woman from my school, and I thought it must be you'.

Manumission Tue 22-Nov-16 17:11:54

Brash. Timid. They're both mildly perjorative.

It sounds like mutual incomprehension from opposites to an extent.

MyLovelyBuffalo Tue 22-Nov-16 17:13:03

"Timid" is horrible, in line with "meek". But try to shrug it off - she's not your friend anyway. And timid people rarely post in AIBU so it's far from accurate.

humblesims Tue 22-Nov-16 17:14:50

* 'my sister said she ran into a loud woman from my school, and I thought it must be you'.*

ha yes thats good!
Try to give no shits about it. She doesnt know you, she doesnt know anything about you except that you are not an insensitive loudmouth like she is. Also...slap wrist for you sister passing on unhelpful tittle tattle. Keep on keeping on.

WorraLiberty Tue 22-Nov-16 17:15:48

Perhaps she meant "quiet" or "reserved" but not everyone is eloquent enough to actually say what they mean in an off the cuff conversation.

Either way, you've said she doesn't really know you so I'd say that's enough reason not to be upset.

"loud & brash" is certainly not a compliment either and has nothing to do with her choice of clothing.

humblesims Tue 22-Nov-16 17:15:51

hmm bold fail. confused

Naicehamshop Tue 22-Nov-16 17:16:44

She sounds unpleasant and patronising - ignore her.

WorraLiberty Tue 22-Nov-16 17:17:30

Next time you run into this woman, tell her 'my sister said she ran into a loud woman from my school, and I thought it must be you'.

That's nasty and childish considering we don't know what this woman's interpretation of the word 'timid' actually is.

Some people just think it means quiet and shy.

hyperhypermum Tue 22-Nov-16 17:45:56

I am tempted to say something if she does come up to me and says "Ooh I met your sister". Not something rude though (it's not in my nature!). But perhaps "Yes, she said. Timid?? How interesting. You clearly don't know me at all!"

AnchorDownDeepBreath Tue 22-Nov-16 17:50:07

Do you disagree that you are timid or just not like the word? You seem to have a unique take on what it means - to me it's just someone who is reserved until you get to know them. She may not have meant it judgementally.

roundandroundthehouses Tue 22-Nov-16 17:55:34

Is there any chance that she's Northern Irish? Only, in this part of N.I. anyway, 'timid' means much the same as 'shy' - there's less connotation of cowering IYSWIM.

MargotLovedTom Tue 22-Nov-16 17:56:08

Well if she is as loud and brash as you say, then it stands to reason she'll see someone quiet as timid. She probably thinks people like your sister and herself are the norm iyswim? I wouldn't dwell on it.

Whatsername17 Tue 22-Nov-16 18:00:13

You shouldn't think on other at all. You are you. You are freaking awesome just the way you are. She clearly doesn't know you very well. Her mistake. My mum is 'quiet'. She's freaking awesome too. grin

MrsJayy Tue 22-Nov-16 18:04:33

Yanbu i probably would be quite hurt Timid to me means quite but scared/anxious , however dont take it to much to heart how we come across to people is sometimes different to how we actually are

MrsJayy Tue 22-Nov-16 18:05:09

Quiet sorry

itsmine Tue 22-Nov-16 18:09:58

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Colby43443 Tue 22-Nov-16 18:11:57

Timid is not always a nice way of saying shy. It can be used to describe someone who looks unpolished.

SaltedCaramelEverything Tue 22-Nov-16 18:12:20

YANBU. You have the guts to start a thread on AIBU - you are not timid grin

peachypips Tue 22-Nov-16 18:14:07

I have a quiet, shy friend. I wouldn't want her to be any other way. I agree that 'timid' seems to show this in a more negative light, but you can reclaim timid- you listen, you are a thinker, you are considerate of what others have to say. Hooray for the Timid!

WLF46 Tue 22-Nov-16 18:18:40

One of the definitions of "timid" is showing a lack of courage or confidence. You've said yourself that you're "not the most confident person in the world" - so "timid" sounds fair enough.

It's not a rude word, not even a mean word. It doesn't convey there being something wrong with someone if they are "timid". You call her "brash" which is just as bad as her calling you "timid". You say that you wouldn't have minded her calling you "reserved", but to me that is a much more unpleasant description of someone than "timid" is. To me, "reserved" suggests you are aloof, snotty, that you feel yourself above other people and look down on them, and that you could interact more but have chosen not to because you're better than the people around you. "Timid" just suggests you are naturally quiet, prefer to listen rather than speak all the time - not necessarily a bad thing.

You're never too old to change by the way - the only thing that limits you is your self-belief and whether you have the discipline to commit to working on your confidence. It's not easy (else you'd have done it before now!) but that doesn't mean it's impossible. Take easy steps, challenge yourself when you feel that you are being quiet - say something and see what happens.

hyperhypermum Tue 22-Nov-16 18:35:34

To me, timid means drippy & mouselike. I'd hate to be perceived like that. Quiet or reserved means just that, not a bad thing imo. I agree, brash isn't nice either but, in fairness, I've only voiced it here, wouldn't dream of saying it to her sister! And no, she's English, so no excuses there either!

HighwayDragon1 Tue 22-Nov-16 18:45:33

Timid is shy and quiet. Not sure where drippy and mouse like comes in to it.

MyLovelyBuffalo Tue 22-Nov-16 18:48:59

Just goes to show our differing perceptions of words. I'd be perfectly happy to be described as reserved, too. To me that's like saying taciturn, or self contained.

Timid sounds like you'd run away shrieking if a balloon popped.

You could always bring it up next time you see her. Ask her why she described you as "timid". If she meant it in a nice way (like some posters are suggesting) she won't have a problem justifying it.

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