Thursday, May 03, 2012

Confessions of the Chronically Shy

This may come as a complete shock to some of you, others...maybe you've figured it out already but I am just going to say it anyway.

I am shy.

Painfully shy.

Did you know that about me?

Maybe you didn't because I work very hard to hide it. But alas, against my better judgement it comes out when I wish it wouldn't it and at the most inopportune times too. Here are some confessions of mine. Maybe these confessions will help you better understand me and the other shy people of the world.

1. I feel extremely uncomfortable talking in large group settings. I also feel extremely uncomfortable when that large group setting is focused on me because someone else is talking to or about me. I just don't like big groups. (Note: a big group is more than 2.......)

2. I like people. I know that sometimes it may look like I am a recluse and want to be left alone. But actually, the opposite is true. I like to have people around. A lot. Just in small quantities.

3. I don't feel comfortable starting conversations. I get tongue-tied easily and I often say things I regret later.

4. I talk when I get nervous. The more nervous I get, the more I talk. I try to get myself out of this painful situation but the harder I try the worse it gets. I am sorry if you have ever been on the receiving end of my nervousness. If you have met me in person then you most definitely have experienced this pathetic affliction a time or two.

5. I say moronic things when I am nervous.

6. If at any time I feel uncomfortable, my stomach begins flipping and twisting in somersaults. My body shakes uncontrollably and I feel quite nauseous like I need to get to the bathroom NOW because I am about to be sick. This sick feeling worsens as the situation continues and I then feel as though I am about to pee my pants. This is affected by nervousness too. Once this level of nervousness is reached, I can no longer think or speak intelligently. My only thought is to flee.

7. Don't assume that because I am not speaking while in a large group setting that I am not enjoying myself. Actually, the opposite is true. In this situation it is safe to assume that I am 1) happily listening to the cheerful banter around me and 2) quite pleased because I am not saying anything moronic.

8. I write much better than I speak. (At least I hope I do.) I use a thesaurus and I edit multiple times until it sounds just right. Sadly, I am unable to edit my speech. (I wish I could invent a rewind button, giving the user the ability to reword things after they leave the mouth. It would only need to rewind a few seconds, a minute tops. It would save many relationships.)

9. Smile. It lets me know you like me and everything is okay. If you don't smile at me, I'll naturally think you are upset. I'll remember every stupid thing I've ever said to you (see numbers 4 and 5) and never again have the courage to approach you (see number 6 in case you wonder why it would take courage). A smile also lets me know that I don't have toilet paper dangling from my skirt or that pink hair-bow left in my hair from the makeover my daughter gave me this morning.

10. Talk to me. I like to be talked to. I like people, remember? (See number 2.) I simply get nervous. A. LOT. The cure is for the person on the other end to just smile at me and talk conversationally to me. If I feel like someone truly cares about me, I will be drawn out of my nervousness.

That's it for now. I hope these confessions help you in dealing with me or someone afflicted with the same disease as me. 

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