Bashful: (adj) reluctant to draw attention to oneself; shyDictionary B

My Aunt Marjorie was the mistress of left-handed compliments.

Some of my favorites:

“Well, that little boy certainly has a lot of energy.”

Translation: “Can’t you keep your damn brat under control?”

“Your casserole is nice and salty.”

Translation: “I will not eat it for fear of kidney failure.”

“Those black people sure can jump.”

Translation: “Must be because they’re really not people.”

And of course, the one I heard over and over again. She would look me in the eye and say, “Well, you’re sure not bashful.”

Translation? “Sit down, shut up and let somebody else suck up some air in the room.”

Likewise, I have often asked children to tell me their names, had them hide behind their Mama’s skirt, as Mother proclaimed, “Oh, they’re just bashful.”

Shall we get something completely straight? All human beings are terrified–and if they aren’t, they’re probably mentally ill.

The prospect of being placed in the spotlight is not warming, but causes us to break out in a sweat.

And knowing that we’re responsible for our actions is enough to make us permanently inactive.

Bashful is not an emotional choice or a personality type–it’s an unfortunate profile that we occasionally find ourselves stuck behind because we do not feel prepared to function in the present situation.

Even though we insist that some people are introverts, we live in an extroverted world, where the squirrels who are too timid to hunt for nuts go nuts–as they starve to death.

Bashful is not a curse I would place upon anyone–it is the fear which forbids us from finding out exactly how far we can actually go.


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