I cannot help being this way. It is part of being a military brat. Assess the situation then invite people into the parlor. It takes a lot longer to invite them into the home. On the other hand, this shyness and skill of assessing the situation has given me the invaluable skill of simply listening. With nothing more than an encouraging nod or a questioning "Oh?" I allow people to open up. People will tell me the most amazing and personal things because I simply listen to them and allow them to speak. I let them be heard.
I find this to be a skill I appreciate. But, part of me wonders at the cost of the first impression - that I am a silent and aloof person. Because, anyone who knows me knows that I am not - especially on the silent part. It's just something I have been thinking of because of some things that people have said to me recently.