Today, I decided that I would share the Pro's and Con's of what it's like to be a shy person. Speaking from personal experience, I hope to help those who don't understand shy people, and that shy people will laugh and be able to relate and understand where I'm exactly coming from.
This is part 1 of a series that I don't know how long will go...probably until I'm not shy anymore!
(WHICH IS NEVER)
Now, I wasn't always a shy person. After hearing an armful of stories from my parents, I found out that I was actually a VERY outgoing child. I'd be the pack-leader of a mafia group of girls, who'd just go around and recruiting other girls and playing together. I was always known as the 'popular' or 'most friendful' girl in that group, and whenever I would come to activities or parties, they'd all flood to me and greet me. I was basically the reverse process of a social butterfly - Starting off super social, to retract back into myself and have slowly become shy -
I often contemplate if it was a straight forward type of turtling of social confidence. Did I just wake up one day, look at my ceiling with a blank stare, and have this sudden blanket of fear and uncomfortableness with social environments? Or was it a progressive self-discovery of myself and that, perhaps, I was only confident because I had a group of girls who were my friends and loved me, which changed around the age of 11-12. That was also around the time that I was bullied, by a group of girls who I used to be friends with (I wrote about it in my Bully Blog Post that I wrote awhile ago) Maybe, in reality, I was always a shy person even in my young years, but I never felt shy because I felt comfortable around friends.
As a kid, I was very outgoing and would chat to everyone and everything and wasn't uncomfortable in any situation (Except maybe if my parents were parading me to new other parents who I had never met before, that I'd probably shy away and do that cute little kid thing where you hide behind your parents leg and peer around to look at them smiling brightly at you). But around the time of 10-11, something changed, and I drastically changed. My group of 20+ friends dropped to about 2 very close friendships, I stopped going out to those activities and would stay at home quite often (Being homeschooled made that MUCH easier), I started spending more time on the internet (The internet wasn't a hUGE thing yet when I was a kid, I didn't go on it much until about 10-11 and I didn't even own a mobile phone until I was about 13-14) and video games, and spending much more time by myself either playing games, with my two close best friends, or reading. I stopped going to parties, I stopped going to places where there would be a large group of people. This was also exaggerated even more because I started to play World of Warcraft...
At the age of 14, I joined the Church, and for the past 4 years, have slowly been feeling more confident socially and with meeting new people...but it's been a long tiring journey, but I still am quiet and shy. I pride myself on being who I am, and that's a quiet person. I don't feel the need to go out of my way being loud, and saying things that isn't going to in someway make the conversation better. I like to watch, observe, and take a back seat in conversations. When meeting new people, it's like they are basically talking to me through a huge, tall, gated wall with only a tiny little sliding slot for you to see through and converse with me. Only after a while of feeling that this person actually is really interested in me, and we become friends, does that door open tiny bit by tiny bit.
It's basically the Pro's and Con's of being a shy person.
Something for me that is really irritating is when people point it out at how quiet you are. This normally happens at parties, so that's why I actively try to avoid them. If you don't have a very close friend that you can attach yourself to like a sloth to a tree, it's literally a form of mental torture for a shy person like myself.
- Do not try to force them into small talk. Things like weather, how your job or schooling is, or how your relatives are. Just don't, thanks.
- Force us to order food. If you can even get the slight inclination that your shy person is beginning to twitch as you get closer to the check out, just order for them! PUT THEM OUT OF THEIR MISERY!
- Do not publicly humiliate us. Don't be like - "BUT ASH IS A GREAT SINGER. AREN'T YA, ASH?" and now everybody is looking at me and i'm sweating and my eyes are flying between all the exits like i'm watching the exit but i'm also looking at how many weapons I could kill with you for doing this to me...
- Enjoy the silence! One of the greatest things shy people and introverts have is their silence. It's a time to think, day dream, and people observe