withdraw into (one's) shell

(redirected from withdraw into their shell)

withdraw 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 withdrew 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 withdraw into my shell and wait until I can be alone. Don't withdraw 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 withdrew into their shells after halftime, trying to protect a slim lead. The senator withdrew into his shell when reporters tried to question him about allegations of tax fraud.
See also: shell, withdraw

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 ?
Many withdraw into their shell or act out their distress by getting into trouble themselves.
They withdraw into their shell, don't want the ball, and if they get it they play safe so as not to incur the wrath of their howling, baying fans.
Then, after the confrontation, shareholders can once again withdraw into their shell of indifference.
Those companies who chose not to withdraw into their shells and continued their forward progress gained an average of 1.