retreat into (one's) shell

(redirected from retreat into her shell)

retreat into (one's) shell

1. To retreat into one's mind or otherwise isolate oneself so as to avoid undesirable thoughts, situations, or interactions with people. After getting mugged I retreated into my shell and didn't speak to anyone for nearly a week. I'm not good around large groups of people; I usually just retreat into my shell and wait until I can be alone. Don't retreat into your shell because you don't want an argument—talk to me and let's discuss the problem!
2. To act in a reserved and/or defensive manner. The team retreated into their shells after half time, trying to protect a slim lead. The senator retreated into his shell when reporters tried to question him about allegations of tax fraud.
See also: retreat, shell

go, retreat, withdraw, etc. into your ˈshell

become more shy and avoid talking to other people: If you ask him about his family, he goes into his shell.
See also: shell
References in periodicals archive ?
It's the biggest semi-final of Suarez Navarro's career and after fighting back to thwart Venus Williams 0-6 6-1 7-5 at Crandon Park on Tuesday the Spaniard, who is shading favouritism, is unlikely to retreat into her shell on the big stage.
She built a large and profitable business and then the recession came but rather than just retreat into her shell, she opened new offices in areas where she saw they could become successful.