retreat into (one's) shell

(redirected from retreated 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 ?
But the manner in which they retreated into their shell after the break will trouble Alan Reynolds, although the arrival of Rovers subs Dan Carr and Brandon Miele played a part.
The Dragons capitalised on a solid first-half performance to go ahead, but they retreated into their shell after the break and soaked up plenty of pressure before goalkeeper Andy Coughlin was beaten by a deflected shot in the 83rd minute.
Switzerland, who at least had looked marginally threatening on the counter in the first period, retreated into their shell in the second.
But as Cardiff retreated into their shell during the latter stages, the Wearsiders came on strong and struck through Steven Fletcher and Jack Colback, the latter deep in stoppage time, to earn a point.
They then retreated into their shell after getting a telling-off.
York retreated into their shell after a dream start when a superb cross from Michael Rankine was nodded home by Carruthers.
At the same time, Chelsea had retreated into their shell and when they did poke their head out, it was not to great effect as Joe Cole sliced wide from 20 yards.
The players retreated into their shell for the rest of the first half although at least we were in front.
Too many of Armagh's big-time boys were off colour and you must question why they retreated into their shell for most of the second half and allowed Kerry to launch wave after wave of attacks.
Watford had retreated into their shell under the constant second half bombardment though Noel-Williams and Smart both could have made Wolves pay for not grasping the nettle.
England might have retreated into their shell after a flurry of wickets left them 202-6.
The Portuguese match-winner feels Kevin Keegan's side retreated into their shell at 2-0 and paid the penalty by losing 3-2.
Maybe a side who have flattered and retreated into their shell too often in the past are finally about to come of age.
Tranmere, the aggressors in the first half, were quiet for the first 10 minutes after the break but Craig Curran''s flashing drive from outside the area which zipped just wide of the visitors'' goal allayed fears Parry''s men had retreated into their shell.
A lack of confidence seemed to affect Hibs and they could easily have come unstuck as they retreated into their shell before the Ibrox club's onslaught.