Is “Shy Snob” a Redundancy or an Oxymoron?

One thing I have learned about myself is that, to people who don’t really know me well, I’m either a snob, a shy/reserved person, or a brooding loner – which somehow leads back to the snob part.

In recent years, it’s been a bit harder for me to blend into the walls. Although, I still manage to pull it off beautifully on occasion. But, these days people generally react to me more often than not: I’m the tall-ish girl with the good posture, I’ve been told.

And, the thing is, when people notice others, they are bound to form their opinions. I can’t know much of what others think of me – nor do I yearn to know – except they come right out and say it, or indicate their sentiments through words or actions, often unintentionally of course. However, from what I gather, especially from people with whom I have now been better acquainted, there is about a 50/50 chance that any opinion formed of me will either be of a shy girl, or a snobbish girl. The most common basis for either assumption being that they rarely ever saw me smile, and I never had much to say.

Take this story, for instance:

As a sixteen-year-old University freshman – being the farthest away from my large close-knit family than I had ever been and timidly trying to make friends in a country where the way I spoke was an accent, and people struggled to understand what I said almost as much as I did to understand them – this was perhaps the second most unpleasant experience I had in those first few months. One of the people with whom I thought I was becoming good friends – although I did wish I had more to say to her – confronted me to ask if and why I was being so snobbish. Apparently, she and her friends thought I considered myself above them, because I said very little and smiled not-frequently (the smiling part was largely a cultural difference BTW).

Now, why would she think “snob”? There are a lot of weird kids out there, who don’t smile much, and rarely have anything to say that wasn’t necessary. Yet, no one really thinks they’re snobs…most likely they’re just dismissed as weird. Simple as that. They might be called loners, hermits perhaps – but usually just regarded as strange. I have spent a lot of time trying to understand how it is that when certain people exhibit similar symptoms, some others perceive them not as strange little loners that take their time to warm up to others sometimes, but as snobs.

And I’ve come to the realization that there has to be an element of adoration or esteem, and a sense of a desirable but possibly inaccessible friendship, for one person to perceive the other as such, especially when the latter is in fact not. As much as I should be getting a bit of flattery from this realization, it only makes me sad – I’m still not sure exactly why, but when I’ve thought it through, maybe I’ll write a post about it.

Read the second part of this musing here!!

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6 thoughts on “Is “Shy Snob” a Redundancy or an Oxymoron?

  1. Hmm, you make a valid point. Often times things get lost in translation when you bring culture and stereotypes in to the equation. Hope you find an answer to why that leaves you more content 🙂

    1. yeah, you’re right. But this post isn’t really about cultures and stereotypes, it’s mostly just about individual perception. Because, not everyone perceived a snob, even though everyone saw almost the same behavior.

  2. You know, this is very unfortunate, but true. When my cousin came to live with me from South Africa, we did not get along well for some time. I love her dearly and really wanted to be close with her, but just could not understand why I felt like she had some snobbish tendencies. Now that seasons have changed and through many trials, I have come to realize that it was really me who had a problem. I had some pride issues that surfaced when she came into my life. The Holy Spirit used her to reveal some sinful attitudes in my heart that I probably wouldn’t have even realized if I hadent been put in a position that I was not used to with her. The bottom line, I think, is that the people who are having this perception are probably realizing things about their own lives that are not right and need The Lord to help them through those issues. Of course, we always needs to go to Jesus and ask Him to search and cleans our harts and show us wicked ways that are in us, because we all have them. Thank God for Jesus and the blood He spilled that washes us clean of all our sins, if only the whole world would put their trust in Him. What a great gift He gave.

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