@ Would You Cry at the Sight of a Stranger? 人見知り(ひとみしり)しますか?

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Jul 23, 2010 21:57
Are you shy around people, especially strangers or people you have just met?

We have a phrase "hito-mishiri o suru" in Japanese, which usually used for babies who have just started feeling afraid of strangers. They cry as soon as they see new people when they are around five or six months old.

This term "hito-mishiri" is also used for adults who are uncomfortable meeting new people, and feel shy and nervous when talking with them.


I have a close American friend, and we have known each other for many years.
I had thought that I already knew her character well, but I was wrong.

Recently, I discovered that she is very nervous about new people, and feels tired afterwards. I actually enjoy meeting new people, and am rather excited to think about what kind of people they are, and what will happen between us.

I'm not sure, but the reason she doesn't look shy may be because of her appearance with blond hair and blue eyes, or our stereotypical idea of Ameircans.

I was surprisingly ignorant about how she felt when I introduced her to people until she confined in me.(I was surprisingly unware of how she felt when I introduced new people to her, until she came right out and told me.) Another Japanese friend of hers was also surprised to learn that.

It's sad but true that we often forget that we all are the same human beings, regardless of our ethnic backgrounds, and are likely to be influenced by preconceived ideas.

This is just my opinion, but I think lots of Japanese people might think that Westerners are relaxed to meet new people from their appearance and behaviors, as they look enviably friendly and relaxed all along.


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