Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Yes, You Heard Me Right

Shy? Did she say she was shy? Was she joking?

If you read my post from Monday and thought anything along the lines of the above statement, then this post should help explain your confusion.

Yes, you heard me right: I am a shy person.

This has always just been a fact of life for me and something I assumed everyone around me easily picked up on. But then several years ago I mentioned it to some colleagues and they looked at me like I had two heads. No way, they told me, are you a shy person!

Anyone who has known me from the time I was a kid will not be surprised by this at all. I imagine that my friends from college and grad school may also view me as a shy person. Although I would venture to guess that I was starting to appear less so sometime in the grad school years.

Despite the fact that I have given a number of presentations over my professional career at a wide variety of venues; despite teaching a graduate school class to roughly 25 students a semester for 3-4 semesters; despite my years as a performing musician with the occasional solo performance, I still remain a shy person. It's a fact of my life.

In order to do some of the things I do, I have worked hard and taught myself to be more "out going" when necessary. I have purposely put myself in situations where I was forced to get out of my comfort zone and speak to people. And over the years I have gotten better, but it doesn't get any easier. Starting a conversation is one of the hardest things for me to do. I don't meet people easily and often prefer sticking with the people I know when in a large group of mixed company. This is not to say I can't do these things, I can, but it is difficult. It takes a lot of effort! And I leave large gatherings (parties, conferences, receptions at work, etc.) completely exhausted.

So yes, I am a shy person. It is one of the reasons why I think I enjoy blogging so much. But maybe that is a post for another day.

Tell me, are you a shy person, too? How have you learned to overcome it (as much as you can "overcome" an inherent quality) in order to develop friendships or do other things that are difficult to do as a shy person?

Or maybe you are an out-going individual? If so, I'm curious what normal life things you find difficult to do that is comparable to the challenges I face as a shy person. Would love to hear your thoughts!

Image source: morgueFile


  1. Yes, I am a shy person too... and some who know me in the face-to-face world would be unlikely to believe that because I'm, well.... kinda chattery :). I truly think, as I look back on things now, that the "chattering" was a way of coping as I grew up. And I leave gatherings exhausted too - TOTALLY! Interestingly enough, the older I get (I'm in the "grandma generation"), the less shy I feel AND the less tendency I have to chatter. But I still leave gatherings feeling drained!

    1. I tend to be a bit of a chatterbox myself too. I agree, it is a coping mechanism to an extent. But I think also it is a release too when you are around people with whom you are comfortable. And totally understand that drained feeling after a social gathering!