retreat into (one's) shell

(redirected from retreat into their shells)

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 ?
United seemed to reconnect with their attacking instincts by coming back from 2-0 down to win at Crystal Palace this week, so I don't expect them to retreat into their shells, either.
It's quite possible, of course, that the pressure now attached to the match prompts both sides to retreat into their shells and the draw looks a decent runner.
Well, it is really no surprise to learn that Clark doesn't instruct his side to throw away the lead, or retreat into their shells.
The banks will retreat into their shells, en masse, if they feel persecuted by members of the public and, more seriously, by politicians of every political complexion.
The recent dip in results, though, has seen squad confidence take a hit - but Jones has urged his players not to retreat into their shells.
And leading the way will be vice-captain Andrew Strauss, who although admitting his recklessness in the first Test, has promised he and his teammates will not retreat into their shells in Adelaide.
Should they continue to court publicity, as the Countryside Alliance advocated, or retreat into their shells, in theory minimalising criticism of questionable hunting tactics?
But after that excitment both sides seemed to retreat into their shells.
The 32-times capped centre maintained that pressure on coaches to produce winning results has seen them retreat into their shells.
rain is forecast this evening which may favour Northampton's pack but Quins have not been afraid to run the ball in wet conditions and they are unlikely to retreat into their shells. they can stay within a ten-point buffer.
1 Go hard and then harder - England's batsmen have a tendency to go for a big shot then retreat into their shells. The Indians keep on hitting hard and adding to the pain.
Joubert, who intends to examine video footage of Cardiff's 16-12 victory over Neath to see if wing Andrew Henry was the victim of an alleged dangerous late challenge by Alfie Mocelutu, said, "Teams retreat into their shells and bash it out.
"It is hard to know how American consumers will act, whether they will retreat into their shells and cut spending.
By DEAN WILSON 1 Go hard and then harder - England's batsmen have a tendency to go for a big shot then retreat into their shells. The Indians keep on hitting hard and adding to the pain.
For some reason they will turn it on against other countries but retreat into their shells against England.