Join Date: May 2005
Location: I've been in the lowlands too long
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I could have written the OP!
My DS has never been super-extroverted but was never, per se, "shy" until, somewhere around the time he turned four and transitioned from PT daycare to kindergarden, he picked up the label.
I find it so tough, as well, since I'm naturally introverted, but I've made myself appear open and friendly and outgoing. It is also hard because I want to honor his desires and needs while still teaching him that if someone acknowledges him (by saying "hi" or waving) that he needs to at least respond in some way.
Anyway, I've started saying to him, "well, it's ok to be shy, but I don't think you are shy because you have no problem talking to X,Y, Z" and then I remind him of unshy ways in which he's behaved. It seems to work.
FWIW: It really annoys me when people label our kids and then they internalize it. GRRRR . . .