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I want to clarify my understanding of 相手には in the following sentence...

「人見知りをしない相手には強気なところがあるよな」

It refers to a person that usually acts rather shy around others but scolded one of her acquaintances for his previous behavior. The preceding clause: 「旦那に対して説教をしていた」sounds to me as if it is the 旦那 is being scolded.

What confuses me is 「人見知りをしない相手には」so far I understood 相手 as a person (etc.) different than the doer of an action. In combination with 人見知りをしない I thought of it as "A person the aforementioned shy-person is actually familiar with and therefore not acting bashful".

To cut to the chase I am struggling with the meaning of 相手には in context between two third persons (from the narrator's view).

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This 人見知りをしない相手 is "someone who she won't be reserved/shy with". That is, 相手 refers to the person she talks with, but the subject of 人見知りをする is the female person herself. This is an example of adverbial-head relative clauses. Please read this discussion, too.

彼女は彼に人見知りをしない。
She is not shy with him.

 ↓

(彼女が)人見知りをしない人
someone who she is not shy with

In other words, the sentence is saying she is an 内弁慶.

  • Thank you for the quick answer! I will look into the adverbial-head relative clauses discussion. – Himula Oct 14 at 9:21
  • Wrote mine and you had already posted yours. +1 – sbkgs4686 Oct 14 at 9:27
  • ちなみに (自分より早く答えはった@narutoさんと内容が完全に被ってる) こういう場合には、自分の回答を消した方がいいですかね?まだstack exchangeの初心者でマナーが良く分からなくて… – sbkgs4686 Oct 14 at 9:52
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    @sbkgs4686 明らかに短くて余計な回答をずっと後から加える、とかでないのなら、基本的にはいろいろな回答があるのはとても良いことだと思います – naruto Oct 14 at 9:58
  • @naruto すみません、この種類の連体修飾節を"adverbial-head"と呼ぶのはどこから来ていますか? – broccoli forest Oct 15 at 2:29
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相手, unlike, say, 人, specifically denotes the receiver of an action. So while "人見知りをする人" indicates the person being shy toward someone else, "人見知りをする相手" indicates who that someone else is.

In the case of your example sentence, this is the person being scolded in the previous sentence.

The には here has the same meaning as "に対しては".

Using "A" to refer to the scolder, your sentence translates as:

A can be really firm/aggressive towards people she's not shy around, eh?

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