Can a Shy Person be Successful? (Yes, And how?)

In this brief guide, we will discuss the question “Can a shy person be successful?”, and some other things about how a shy person can be successful, and examples of some successful shy people.

Can a Shy Person be Successful?

Yes, a shy person can absolutely be successful, and unassuming quiet people can sometimes change the world, even if they may have a rough time growing up or if people tell them they are too quiet or don’t speak often.

It can be hard for a shy person to be successful with ease in a society that worships boisterous people and those who grab attention to themselves, but there are plenty of cases and fields in which a shy and relatively unnoticeable person has done things that make others sit up and take notice.

Successfulness is rarely something that comes solely by virtue of how much someone is able to deal with people, so being shy usually has nothing to do with being successful, and unless the shy person is in politics or other fields were being oriented to people is nearly a job requirement, there is no reason why a shy person cannot be successful.

If you do feel that a shy person cannot be successful or if you find it hard to achieve success in life, you may try things to make your shyness more appealing and create your own opportunities for success.

Career specialist Jewkes Allen advises that one needs to remember why they are doing what they are doing and that they have gotten this far because they have the capability required for the job, whatever personality type they may have otherwise should not matter, which makes shyness irrelevant.

“Many highly successful and accomplished people are shy,” Jewkes says. “The thing is not to ‘overcome’ shyness, but to accept it and develop the skills to manage it.”

Career expert Rita Friedman talks about the benefit of making sure that one maintains true to their real or authentic self.

Friedman says that shyness or no shyness, success comes with being sincere and true to yourself and to your work, “Sincerity goes a long way.”

If you still feel that you need to overcome some of your shyness or if being shy keeps you from being successful because it interferes with your capability of standing up for yourself or keeps you from speaking up, Allen suggests looking into practices like breathwork or making a mantra for yourself, or maybe even meditation or mindfulness to help calm your mind in difficult situations.

She also suggests talking to yourself on camera or practicing talking in the mirror, even though, “Watching yourself can be painful, but in a good way: catch the areas that need work, and you’ll feel more prepared to enter any meeting”

She also adds that “Being shy isn’t a character flaw that you need to fix to find success,” while Friedman adds further, “Just because you don’t like to speak up doesn’t mean you can’t find your voice.”

Is being shy attractive?

According to a lot of people, shyness and shy people are much more attractive than people who are more outgoing and social, and even extroverts, in general, tend to be more attracted to shy individuals or those who keep to themselves but are still pleasant.

When someone you are attracted to is shy, it may also cause you to feel a sense of protectiveness towards them, as people who are shy may be seen as more innocent or sweeter in their temperament, which brings out the maternal or parental instinct out in people, and they feel like looking after the shy person, which may make them even more attractive.

Shy people may also be attractive because it takes time to get to know them, and this time spent getting to know them obviously leaves more time for feelings to develop as well, which may lead to deeper feelings.

Shy people come off as more trustworthy, and being trustworthy is an extremely attractive trait in a friend or a partner, and therefore shy people may instantly feel more approachable or friendly.

Shy people also make people very comfortable and free to be themselves, due to the fact that their calm and outwardly normal sort of attitude might not make people feel insecure the way a confident and rushing person might.

Perhaps the most attractive thing about shy people is that they are great learners, because they don’t feel the urge to talk more, and they like to observe and take in the world more than they like to give back to it, which makes them absolutely precious.

While shyness can sometimes be mistaken for coldness or aloofness, the truth is that if you have some idea of what a person is like, then their shyness can be extremely attractive because there’s no hint of intimidating behavior there.

Shyness may also be attractive because it makes the person appear thoughtful and enigmatic, and everyone is attracted to a mystery.

Shyness can sometimes hide inner turmoil, however, which is why it is important to realize that sometimes it is okay to reach out for help, even if that goes against your typical shy tendencies.

Even if you are shy, you need to ensure that you have a basic circle of friends that you may be able to reach out to if you are not feeling great on the inside, and because you are shy you may actually be in a better position to judge when you need friendly intervention than other people because shy people are usually more in tune with their inner selves. 

Whether shy people are attractive or not, there are many jobs that need the person to have an ability to focus and concentrate in a solitary environment, and in fields like these, the shy person may be very successful.

There is a test called The Harrison Assessment Test which is a psychological assessment relevant to job specific behavior. It’s effective in predicting job success.

Shy people may also be attracted to and successful in any human services positions, as they commonly tend to have better abilities to listen and they have more capacity for empathy in general, so that is another thing that works in their favor.

Successful Introverts

An introvert is someone that likes to be more involved with their inner world rather than the world around them, and these are people who may be somewhat distant from society, although that is not the only introvert type by a long shot, as there can be introverts who only turn inwards to think or feel.

There are many successful introverts, and a prime example of this type may be Albert Einstein, who said this about being an introvert:

“The monotony and solitude of a quiet life stimulate the creative mind.”

If this quote does not inspire you, here are some more of this successful introvert’s quotes about being different and quiet:

“Imagination is more important than knowledge.”

“Few are those who see with their own eyes and feel with their own hearts.”

“Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds.”

“Try not to become a man of success, but rather try to become a man of value.”

“I believe in intuitions and inspirations. I sometimes feel that I am right. I do not know that I am.”

“A hundred times every day I remind myself that my inner and outer life are based on the labors of other men, living and non-living and that I must exert myself in order to give in the same measure as I have received and am still receiving.”

“Although I am a typical loner in daily life, my consciousness of belonging to the invisible community of those who strive for truth, beauty, and justice has preserved me from feeling isolated.”

Here is a list of other very successful introverts from different walks of life:

  • Rosa Parks
  • Elon Musk
  • Bill Gates
  • Eleanor Roosevelt
  • Warren Buffett
  • JK Rowling
  • Mahatma Gandhi
  • Micheal Jordan
  • Meryl Streep
  • Emma Watson
  • Natalie Portman

The best thing to be learned from this list of successful introverts is how many of them were directly involved in the public related fields.

Celebrities who are Shy and Quiet

Here is a list of celebrities who stay shy and quiet:

  • Jessica Chastain
  • Lady Gaga
  • Idina Menzel
  • Ed Sheeran
  • Saoirse Ronan
  • Henry Cavill
  • Ben Affleck
  • Kristen Stewart
  • Kendall Jenner
  • Ariana Grande
  • Robert Pattinson
  • Zendaya
  • Tom Holland
  • Tom Hanks
  • Ellen Burstyn
  • Glenn Close
  • Audrey Hepburn
  • Helen Hunt
  • Diane Keaton
  • Grace Kelly
  • Clint Eastwood

Advantages and Disadvantages of Being Shy

There are both advantages and disadvantages of being extreme versions of any personality type, and therefore there are both advantages and disadvantages of being shy.

Let us look at the advantages of being shy first:

  • Shy people appear smarter.
  • Shy people may be more intriguing.
  • Shyness might be more calming to most people.
  • Shyness makes people better listeners as well.
  • A shy person may be more empathetic as they listen more.
  • Shy people inspire protectiveness in others.

On the other hand, here are some disadvantages of being shy:

  • A shy person may not be able to speak up when required.
  • Shyness may hold someone back if they don’t know how to market themselves.
  • Shyness may make a person feel insecure or lesser in some way.
  • It may be harder for shy people to ask for help.
  • Shy people might struggle with showing anger and frustration at not being as aggressive.
  • Shyness may lead to someone having a smaller social circle.

Shy Personality Traits

Here are some common personality traits are seen in shy people:

  • They are usually more empathetic.
  • They are great listeners.
  • Most shy people are imaginative and creative and maybe great writers or artists.
  • Shy people also have good intuition about things in general.
  • Shyness may make people seem more innocent and naive.
  • Shy people may have a calming personality.
  • Shy people may be nervous or easily anxious.
  • Shy people may be more insecure than outgoing people.

If you’re facing this, it may be a good idea to seek the help of a therapist or other mental health professional. You can find a therapist at BetterHelp who can help you learn how to cope and address it.

Famous Shy Characters

Here is a brief list of some great and famous shy characters:

  • Belle from Beauty and the Beast
  • Daria Morgendorffer from Beavis and clash-Head
  • Ingrid Beauchamp from Witches of East End
  • Dorothy Williams from Miss Fisher’s M. Mysteries
  • Eilis Lacey from Brooklyn 
  • Byron “Buster” Bluth from Arrested Development
  • Shiemi Moriyama form the anime Ao no Exorcist
  • Hiccup from How to Train Your Dragon
  • Iris from The holiday
  • Bilbo from the Hobbit
  • Bruce Banner from The Avengers
  • Wasabi from Big Hero 6


In this brief guide, we discussed the question “Can a shy person be successful?”, and some other things about how a shy person can be successful, and examples of some successful shy people. Please feel free to reach out to us with any questions or comments you may have.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): Can a shy person be successful?

What is the best career for a shy person?

The best career for a shy person may be something to do with human services in a caring capacity, as a therapist, or somewhere they will have a lot of time to themselves and just the ability to focus on their work, like an analyst or programmer.

Can introverts be successful?

Yes, introverts can be successful just as often as extroverts, as personality traits like these usually are not something that stands in the way of success.

Being successful is usually decided by someone’s weaknesses, and while personality may play a small role in that it is unlikely to drive it in any way.

Can shy people be popular?

Yes, shy people can be popular, they just will not be the traditional kind of popular like an extrovert might be.

“For shy people, the biggest barrier to their becoming popular is that they have this tremendous sense of self-focus,” says Carducci, a professor of psychology at Indiana University Southeast, “Shyness is like being in front of a mirror all day long, constantly focusing on your own weaknesses or flaws. Popular people focus on others instead of obsessing about themselves.


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