I've never been described as shy.
I'm the one who breaks the silence. I do it in three ways.
I make jokes
As a C.O.D (child of divorce), I learned the easiest way to cut the tension was to make a funny remark. My situational humor has grown over the years through my love of sketch comedy and hobby of improv. Yes, I've seen every episode of SNL (the 90s & beyond), Portlandia & I Think You Should Leave, to name a few.
Under all jokes, there's honesty, recognition of tension, and brevity.
As a strategist, I use the same approach to problem-solving.
I ask questions
I went to catholic school from kindergarten to 8th grade. I found myself to be the only one asking how or why. It didn't sit well with my teachers or the bishop when he visited before confirmation. Granted, it all worked out in the end. Questioning religion lead me to my love of philosophy.
Humans can be quick to accept and miss out on the messy steps of wonder.
I never skip the chance to ask a tough question & wander down an unknown road.
I give my 2¢
The first time I ordered off the adult menu, my entire family told me I hated the dish. They were right, but that didn't stop me from informing our server. If I didn't give my 2¢, my family would never have become friends with the previous owners of Rosemary's Thyme, located in Clifton, Virginia.
It only takes sharing one perspective to be a proponent of shared sentiment and/or sharing of another perspective.
I always share my perspective and position it to inspire others to speak their mind.