If you grew up shy, German illustrator Jenny Jinya feels your pain. As a young girl, she was perpetually the shy kid in class, too.
“I remember how I was talking to a girl for the first time after being in the same class for two years, and she was so surprised that I was actually a nice person, because she always thought I must be super arrogant for not talking to people,” Jinya told HuffPost. “But in reality, I was too shy and didn’t want to bother anyone.”
Now as an adult shy person, Jinya has taken her experiences and channeled them into a comic series that’s highly relatable.
Only shy kids can understand how much inner fortitude is required to get through roll call every morning:
Or how annoying it is when people point-blank ask you why you’re so shy:
These days, Jinya embraces her shyness and loves hearing positive feedback on the series from fellow shy kids and more extroverted, talkative people alike.
“I’ve gotten a lot of messages from non-shy people saying my comics have helped them understand their shy friends better,” she said.
It’s worth noting that if shyness is interfering with your life, you may be suffering from social anxiety. People with the condition stress about and fear social situations so much that they avoid them entirely. (Read more about social anxiety here.)
As for Jinya’s shy self, if she could go back in time and offer the quiet kid version of herself some advice, she’d tell her to hang in there.
“I’d tell her that it’s OK. It’s OK to be shy and it’s OK to not be all chatty like her friends,” Jinya said. “I’d tell her that thinking before acting is her strength, not something to be ashamed of.”
Scroll down for more comics, and follow Jinya on Instagram for even more.