For the longest time, I was pretty “shy” in social circumstances. I had a small group of friends, but didn’t always make friends easily, and often made social faux pas due to a lack of social skills. For the most part, I was rarely– I think — truly offensive, and I know that at times people did seem to actually like me other than finding me a bit conservative and a bit odd.
But the biggest area it impacted me in was, of course, in relationships. I never really dated all that much, and it took me quite a while to “work up the nerve” to ask anyone out … only to discover that they were attached or not interested. I also missed signals from women that things might have worked well with if only I’d known that they were expressing interest, and was brave enough to actually pursue it. (The two I regret most are the woman who I think came to debate club meetings mostly to talk to me, especially since she said that she didn’t actually like the other people in it, and the one co-worker that people told me was interested but whom I pointed out was also interested in one of my other co-workers (and they dated for a while)).
I have to concede that my introversion — which I still have — was likely a big reason for my being shy; I didn’t feel the need to interact enough to really gain social skills, which only added to the problem. I’m also a bit eccentric in my views and interests, and this causes me to have a hard time predicting what other people want or expect. If I treat them like I want to be treated, I generally miss things that they think obvious, and vice versa, so that causes some issues interacting with people. However, I have been able to say for the past few years that I’m no longer shy. I’ve overcome it. And so what I hope to do in this series is post some of the things I’ve learned, including some of the myths that are foisted on shy people as if they are proven facts, when they aren’t.
Tags: Overcoming Shyness