This word was on my mind earlier, been trying to remember it but can't. It is used when someone is uncomfortable of meeting someone else; they fear something and overthink. So they try to avoid meeting or seeing people.

It would be used in a sentence like:

I can understand you are [the word here], but...

  • Social anxiety? – JAM Oct 3 '12 at 20:44
  • thefreedictionary.com/scaredy-cat ? – Alok Oct 3 '12 at 20:59
  • It is a single word, I must remember it... or else it will be bugging me all night. I believe it starts with M I think it does. – user26863 Oct 3 '12 at 21:11
  • One word that came to my mind was paranoid. Apart from its clinical definition, it can also mean unreasonably or obsessively anxious [NOAD]. As for a word beginning with M, the best I could come up with was mousy: (of a person) nervous, shy, or timid [NOAD again]. – J.R. Oct 3 '12 at 23:21
  • 1
    I think this is Not Constructive. OP may well believe he has a specific word in mind that he can't recall. But in reality there can be no single "correct" answer to the question, no matter how it's phrased. – FumbleFingers Oct 4 '12 at 3:44

A few things come to mind in the realm of apprehension:

  • apprehensive

  • hesitant

  • anxious

  • loath

But without more context, it’s hard to say.

  • not quiet the word I am looking for. A girl/guy is frightened to meet someone, maybe her brother she has never spoken to or a person she likes but is nervous to meet them, and to make herself better she would resolve in creating an excuse to avoid the whole situation. Does that help? – user26863 Oct 3 '12 at 20:55
  • @user26863: Sorry, cat’s got my tongue. – Jon Purdy Oct 3 '12 at 21:01
  • Will share it, once it comes back to my mind. I sort of remembered it whilst watching NCIS latest episode, its the word used for Abi's situation with her brother. – user26863 Oct 3 '12 at 21:05
  • @user26863 Biological brother? This episode? – Fuhrmanator Oct 3 '12 at 22:14
  • No this episode – user26863 Oct 3 '12 at 22:52

Perhaps reticent?

  1. Inclined to keep one's thoughts, feelings, and personal affairs to oneself. See Synonyms at silent.
  2. Restrained or reserved in style.
  3. Reluctant; unwilling.

Or reluctant?

feeling or showing aversion, hesitation, or unwillingness reluctant to get involved; also : having or assuming a specified role unwillingly a reluctant hero


How about

  • ambivalent : pertaining to the coexistence within an individual of positive and negative feelings toward the same person, object, or action, simultaneously drawing him or her in opposite directions.

p.s. Abi always uses vocab that pushes the boundaries for prime-time TV, right?

  • She does use vocab, but I am not sure if they push the boundaries for prime-time TV, one I picked up on was Bolo, Zulu and oorah. I think other characters use it more often. Not quiet the word I am after. I am sure its a simple word, how hard can it be to remember it haha. I am going to sleep on it and hopefully remember, then share it on here. A better context would be "I can see you are ...., but lets meet and talk." Word would be used when someone is uncomfortable with seeing/speaking to someone. He/she is nervous to get to go see/meet this person. – user26863 Oct 3 '12 at 23:14

This seems to me a kind of phobia:

Anthropophobia: fear of people or the company of people
Sociophobia: fear of people or social situations (also known as social anxiety disorder)

Using the example sentence in your question...

I can understand you have anthropophobia (or sociophobia), but....


I can understand you are anthropophobic (/sociophobic), but....


An exact match to what you are describing, but in two or more words is the expression " ... cold feet ..." eg.

"Matthew got cold feet and didn't attend the blind date."

Examples at end.


Shy, tongue tied, wary, apprehensive, nervous, embarrassed, trepidatious ( :-) ) ,

from Stephen Crane's novel Maggie, a girl of the streets, 1896:

  • "I knew this was the way it would be. They got cold feet."

Free dictionary :

  • cold feet - timidity that prevents the continuation of a course of action; "I was going to tell him but I got cold feet"

Merriam Webster

  • apprehension or doubt strong enough to prevent a planned course of action


demonstrating a tendency to avoid intimacy or interaction with others

This doesn't seem to specify motivation but I think of it in the context of avoidant personality disorder.


Sounds like 'socially anxious', maybe 'socially awkward'.


"It is used when someone is uncomfortable of meeting someone else; they fear something and overthink. So they try to avoid meeting or seeing people."


Oxford dictionaries

Attempting to avoid notice or attention, typically because of guilt or a belief that discovery would lead to trouble; secretive

popular phrase: furtive glances


Mamihlapinatapei (yagan) a wordless yet meaningful look shared by two people who both desire to initiate something but are both reluctant to start.

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