retreat into (one's) shell

(redirected from retreat into their 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 ?
"We don't have the kind of players here who just take that criticism and retreat into their shell.
And I don't think Everton should allow the FA Cup exit to knock their confidence and make them retreat into their shell.
And he's also warmed the Tartan Army by insisting the Scots will not retreat into their shell against the Azzurri.
That setback saw the visitors retreat into their shell and Caley Thistle should have deservedly doubled their advantage in the 28th minute.
Many players retreat into their shell when faced with the white hot passion of Old Firm clashes but the pounds 6m man has taken to the games like a natural.
However, following a good first half, Sven-Goran Eriksson's side retreat into their shell and allow Sweden to equalise through Everton midfielder Niclas Alexandersson after a defensive mistake by Leeds defender Danny Mills.
Sol Campbell's header was the perfect tonic from a pinpoint corner from David Beckham but, rather than make the most of their advantage, England seemed to retreat into their shell, relying on the long balls towards the front men that were never accurate enough.
And I don't think Everton should allow their FA Cup exit at the hands of League One Oldham to knock their confidence and make them retreat into their shell.
That was the signal for United to retreat into their shell.
Derry didn't retreat into their shell, however and Farren beat the offside trap when racing on to a Ruaidhri Higgins ball over the top only to find the side netting under pressure from covering defenders.
And even though Flintoff only ever gives everything he has in the England cause, there has long been the suspicion that his sheer size, personality and ability overshadows others who retreat into their shell when he's around.
Most men accused of sexism retreat into their shell, whatever the actual arguments, for fear of being seen as offensive or worse, out of touch.This is a fact the PM's wife knows all too well But Cherie Blair earning cash leeching off her husband's name is no better than Dave Morgan using the fame of his ex, EastEnders' Jessie Wallace, to go onC5 reality show The Farm.
And it is not only trips abroad which cause Walter Schachner's side to retreat into their shell. In the awful Austrian league, Graz have managed just nine goals in ten away domestic league fixtures.
But Jol, inspired by Tottenham's Double-winning legend Bill Nicholson, insists his men will not retreat into their shell.
Others can retreat into their shell if they feel the price of failure is too much to bear.