Yes, I realized that it was kind of a self-fulfilling prophesy after DD hid behind me for a long time when meeting strangers and I had to give them some kind of reason for not coming out to say hello if they wondered. It wasn't like she was just having a bad day or needed a nap or needed to warm up. She really was shy and people called her shy without me having to say anything. But then she started thinking of herself as shy, and even after she began to exhibit tendencies of being gregarious in some situations, and demonstrating leadership qualities, she would still hang back and call herself shy in other situations. I'd remind her of all the times she wasn't shy, and say that I wouldn't really call her shy anymore, but maybe she used to be shy and it's hard to get out of the habit.
It's hard to avoid assigning characteristics to our children when talking to people. I remember discussing their eating habits and how my twins wouldn't eat the same foods as each other, and then DS seemed to actually take it upon himself to make a point of disliking any food that DD liked. Even macaroni and cheese, which he sometimes likes, cannot be the same brand as hers, or yogurt cannot be the same flavor.
I can't remember if I've told you that the one situation where DD still tends to be shy is when we go pick up S. at the preschool where the twins used to attend. She hates going back there, and she can't really explain why. The teachers are always delighted to see her, and she still has a few friends there, but sometimes she hides behind me. Sometimes if she's getting really balky I hide behind her instead and tell her I'm feeling really shy and can't talk to anyone. It gets embarrassing for her and she tries to pick me up and make me talk to people, but I tell her I'm feeling too shy and then she starts feeling like she needs to do all the talking. The teachers are awesome about following the cues and talking to her about how I must be feeling a little shy and it's okay, not everybody needs to talk every day.