come out of shell
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come out of (one's) shell
To become more outgoing. Usually said of a shy or introverted person. Wow, Anna has really come out of her shell lately. I remember when she wouldn't even talk to anyone, and now she's likely to be voted "Most Talkative."
come out of one's shell
Fig. to become more friendly; to be more sociable. (Alludes to a shy turtle putting its head out of its shell.) Come out of your shell, Tom. Go out and make some friends.
come out of one's shell, to
To overcome one’s shyness or inhibitions. Ebenezer Brewer believed this saying alludes to the tortoise, which hides from danger by retreating under its shell. It might equally well allude to a newly hatched bird. “The shell must break before the bird can fly,” wrote Tennyson (The Ancient Sage, 1885).