retreat into (one's) shell

(redirected from retreat into our 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 halftime, 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 ?
"There appeared to be a desperation to get the two points and we seemed to retreat into our shell a bit the further on the game went on.
Many of us retreat into our shells, totally discouraged from trying again, while others whine and blame anyone else but themselves for their defeat.
We can't retreat into our shells - just keep the same attitude we showed against Pakistan and if anything go a bit further.
She stressed: "We should not retreat into our shells at the challenges of enlargement.