I have always been shy, ever since I was a little kid. I remember clinging to my mum when she tried to make me go off to a group of kids and make friends. And in all honesty, I’ve not gotten much better as a woman in her mid twenties.
When I was younger, I hated being in a group and only knowing one or two people out of the whole group. I used to feel so awkward, and never sure of what to say. If there were more stronger, confident characters in the group, I used to shrink into myself and not say a lot at all. I hated it when we had to stand up and do something in front of the class by ourselves. LET’S NOT TALK ABOUT PUBLIC SPEAKING. Honestly, knowing that we were going to have to read something out in class would make me feel sick.
As I got older, I didn’t seem to grow out of it. Being hit by depression and self-harm in my teens intensified the shyness. I remember this one time I had to stand up and read a short essay about my idols, and how crippled I felt by my shyness. I read the entire thing without stopping, and almost threw myself into my seat afterwards. I do remember a lot of my class being unusually supportive, and being somewhat kind.
The only thing I have ever gone and done without knowing anyone who was going to be there, was applying for college. I cannot tell you how brave and accomplished I felt for doing so! The best thing about it? When it came to my audition (I was applying for music) I felt so shy that I made the guy who was interviewing me turn around whilst I played the drums. I find this hilarious to talk about now, but at the time I was so embarrassed of how shy I was. On the first day of college, I found out that one of the guy in my little gang of friends was also going to college. I thought it was fab having someone to walk in with, until I realized that he was walking in the same direction as myself. I asked him if he happened to be on the music course, which he did.
College had done wonders for my confidence, which in turn helped my shyness. I was thankfully put in a band that only had one strong character, who turned out to be a total babe once you go to know her. The other 4 members were chilled AF, really cool about the fact that I was quiet and didn’t really talk. There was one member who had turned and talked to me on the very first day, and we found that we had a love of Busted in common, and ever since we have been firm friends. James really brought me out of my shell and helped me to become friends with everyone else.
I’ve been the same with work. Always super quiet until I get to know my job, and know the people working there. I’ve also only had one job where I didn’t know anyone who worked there, until they hired another girl in my year later a few weeks !
What I am trying to say in the mad ramblings is that at almost 26 years of age is that I still struggle with being shy and just how much I feel like it holds me back. I am continuously searching new ways to help me fight against it.
I always get reminders of how shy I am. When the dubsmash app came out, I remember a friend sitting in my living room videoing herself doing it, whilst I sat there amazed at how she wasn’t shy about doing it at all. That is the kind of thing I wouldn’t even do alone! I can cope with photos, but filming is a no go unless I’m 4 pints down. The same friend was organizing a birthday surprise for her boyfriend where we had to video ourselves saying happy birthday and telling a favourite memory of us and send it to her. I couldn’t do it, and that’s when I realized enough is enough.
The only thing that works so far is getting drunk, and that just isn’t practical! I’ve even bought myself a camera to try and start filming myself talking to try and help. I recently went to a march against fox hunting, and I couldn’t film myself talking about it after, in a massive city in which no one knows me. I’m determined to overcome this. I have realized that confidence plays a part in how badly I suffer with my shyness, so I’m taking steps in building my confidence. I am hoping that this will improve this a little, although I think I will always be shy, it’s just a part of who I am.
Just know if I don’t seem to talk to you but talk to others I know, I am not ‘aloof’ or ‘arrogant,’ I just haven’t found a subject that I feel I can talk easily to you about without completely taking over, or I haven’t drunk enough! I am not purposely being rude, I am just terrible at making friends! Also, please bare that in mind next time you meet someone who is quiet and suffers terribly from resting bitch face like myself. Don’t take it personally, and don’t presume we don’t like you.
Peace and light x