Wallflower (people)

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A wallflower is a descriptive term for someone with an introverted personality type, but one that still seeks out and partakes in social events at a fairly regular basis. They may be somewhat socially impaired, due to either social anxiety, low Self-esteem, or Paranoia that they will be judged for what they say or do. They are often socially competent enough to attend and be liked and group gatherings, but may choose or feel the need to blend in and remain silent, even if they desire attention or could potentially contribute to conversation at hand. This can be seen as a minor form of Selective mutism. Wallflowers often are more articulate with close friends or family, or in smaller groups. They may feel like a Black sheep, even when possessing similar traits and outlooks to their cohorts.

According to the Oxford English Dictionary (2nd ed), the first known usage of the term in this sense was in an 1820 poem entitled County Ball by Winthrop Mackworth Praed. It was originally used to refer to women, and only in the context of dances; more recently the term has been expanded to include men and other social gatherings.

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