Being Shy Is Ok

I had a conversation with @Traycee30 on twitter a couple of weeks ago about being shy. She requested this post, so here we are. :)

I'm a shy individual. Large groups of unfamiliar people stress me out. I'm not the person who will show up alone at a party where I'm sure to know no one but the host. I'm not the girl who joins one of those "common interest" groups that meet up in person and do whatever they have in common. I can be stand-offish and quiet... until you get to know me.

Many of my now close friends that I made in grad school probably don't at all remember that for the first month, I didn't really talk to any of them. Partially because I wasn't interested in making friends, but also because my shyness makes that sort of thing a big more difficult. Yes, me. The one who can be the loudest in the room, the one who isn't afraid, necessarily, to talk in front of a large group of people. I'm shy. I've just learned to work around it.

My go to technique is to just get over myself. I spent several years in high school attempting and sometimes conquering high ropes courses and the one thing that I came back to time and time again was to just let go. Jump. Fall. And I would tell myself "come what may..." Figuring I'd deal with whatever bad thing happened if it happened because contemplating all the possibilities made my head hurt.

In a room full of strange people, if I can find one person to strike up a conversation with first -- I'm usually golden. I'm funny and engaging, but moreso on a one-on-one basis. If I get one person on my side, we can usually find a third and so on and so on. Oh, but what to talk about? It's usually not terribly difficult to find something to make a random comment on.

Shyness, like introvertedness is not a made up thing or even a thing to overcome. It's real. It's legit. It's ok. If you're not shy, help your shy friends out. Not by throwing them to the wolves, but introduce them to a few people at a party and let them be great. There's nothing wrong with being shy, dammit. Beyonce's shy and look at her. Oprah and Michelle Obama love her... maybe being shy is actually something we should aspire to...


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