“My feelings are too loud for words and too shy for the world.”
― Dejan Stojanovic
I have always been shy. There has never been a time in my life when I wasn’t to some degree or another. It’s not just that I don’t know what to say or how to say it, I am afraid to say anything at all.
It is embarrassing and what’s even more embarrassing is that it is so evident. You can’t hide shyness, it is tough to cover. The shy person may look like everyone else on the outside but on the inside he or she doesn’t feel the same.
I remember when I first started kindergarten at age 4. It was my first exposure to a large group of other kids and it was very odd and surreal to me. Everyone seemed so at ease with being themselves. They could move around gracefully whereas I was clumsy. They knew what to say, I never did. I couldn’t understand how they could know what to say.
This was so evident from the very first day. I didn’t understand. It was as if these other kids had been told how to act or if they just knew instinctively.
In my whole school “career” I never spoke up. I never raised my hand or even asked a question, not once. I would willingly take a lower grade in order to get out of public speaking.
All I could do was to try to blend into the background as best as I could. Most of the time it worked. At other times, it did not. From time to time some idiot would make it a point of drawing attention to me and my shyness by making stupid and sarcastic comments about it always within earshot of a crowd . This was horrible and it only drew me more inward.
As an adult shyness has held me back from life. I remember so many instances when I felt I needed to speak up, to say something but so many times I never did. I just let fate and circumstance dictate the direction of my life and to be brutally honest; I haven’t gone far.
Shyness has held me back in life. It has been an albatross around my neck and I want this to stop.
I am better today but it has taken a long time to get where I am now and I still have a long way to go…
Shyness is a prison. It holds its captive in a state of the perpetual outsider even with one’s own family. A shy person rarely makes friends with another, it is the other who must make friends first. For two mutual sufferers of this affliction to meet and later become friends is a very rare and beautiful occurrence indeed.
Often shyness is mistaken for indifference, aloofness and downright coldness. I know when it is happening and I can feel it. There seems to be a wall or some sort of invisible barrier between myself and everyone else. It’s as if it is written on my face, this social awkwardness. I suppose that is why I am telling you this painful embarrassing stuff about me. There is always that one in the crowd, the one that stands a bit a part from everyone else, the one who is always left out of the loop, the one thought unapproachable and unfriendly, may be a warm soul who would love to make a friend but just doesn’t know how. Shyness is not a choice. I do not choose to be this way. It has stunted my growth and my life and as I scramble to make up for lost time at 44 and I feel the need to call attention to the plight of the shy person.
So if you see one of us out there trying to blend into the background wearing an insecure scowl offer up a warm smile or a simple “hello”. This sort of thing spreads. Insecurity and shyness are often go hand and hand. If you see something wonderful in someone, tell them, perhaps they will recognize it too and eventually in time it will be they that say hello to you!
We all have own strengths and weaknesses, no one is perfect. It takes time to get to know someone but it is well worth that time. Shy, not shy…whatever. It is healthy to want to reach out, some of us just need a little help on what may come naturally to others. No one wants to be left out entirely. We are all human with human needs and wants including friends. That’s all.
Have an excellent day!
“If you’re an introvert, you also know that the bias against quiet can cause deep psychic pain. As a child you might have overheard your parents apologize for your shyness. Or at school you might have been prodded to come “out of your shell” -that noxious expression which fails to appreciate that some animals naturally carry shelter everywhere they go, and some humans are just the same.”
― Susan Cain