Sunday, January 24, 2010

Being Shy Sucks

Have you been at a restaurant and you realize that your waiter failed to bring you something that you asked for? What do you do??

I bet that you are thinking, 'I would tell my waiter to bring me my order'.

Well, sometimes even talking to a stranger in that situation is difficult for someone with extreme shyness.

And I am extremely shy!

BUT lately I've felt that my shyness is causing me to miss out on life and friendship.
And I have had many people assume that I am snobby because I'm shy, which hurts my feelings. I recently read an article about overcoming shyness in social situations. It made me think that I might be causing my awkward social behavior. I have told myself that I'm shy all my life and that inspires my shy tendencies.

Are any of you shy??

Honestly, I'm sick and tired of being shy!

I'm an extremely outgoing person when I'm around my friends. Why does the presence of a stranger cause me to clam up?

And the other thing that boggles my mind is how I can perform on stage, sing in front of large audiences, play flute in ensembles and solo recitals, but I can't ask my waiter to bring me some extra salad dressing.

 I have a hard time asking for what I want, speaking to strangers, expressing my opinion in class, and calling anyone on the telephone. I know that sounds sort of lame, but being shy sometimes gives me extreme anxiety.  One of my theatre professors asked me why I avoid social gatherings, and I told him that I'm shy. He said that I'm not shy. I just tell myself that I'm shy and believe that to be true. If I tell myself that I'm not shy, I will begin to believe that too. I thought he was just being kooky at the time, but now I'm starting to think that he may have had a point.

Seriously, what is my deal?

I've started to force myself to do things that make me feel shy or uncomfortable. Slowly I'm starting to become a completely different person! I actually started blogging to help me get over my shyness and help me deal with all of my health problems.

 I want to be that outgoing girl who has no problem being silly in public, making friends with strangers, and asking for a refill at the restaurant!

I'm on a mission to slowly get over my shyness! I've been so brave lately! You guys would be proud of me!

I just tell myself that I'm a big brave dog!! Big Brave Dogs are not SHY! Roo Roo!

I would love to hear how some of you got over your own inhibitions!


35 Quirky Comments:

Rachael Ryan said...

Hey! Thanks for following me back!

I'm fairly shy as well and I usually have to tell myself- what's the worst thing that can happen if I (fill in the blank)?

Good luck on overcoming your shyness!!

penny threads. said...

that's awesome that you're going to make an effort to not let your shyness inhibit you. i have totally been there.
i used to be really shy also...and like you said, people thought i was stuck up or i thought i was better than them. so not true! i was just terrified of talking to someone i didn't know.
coming out of that was a slow and sometimes frustrating process but through moving a lot and attending several colleges in a few years and having to switch jobs everytime etc...i got the hang of it. i, at one point, was a manager and had to talk to strangers ALL the time and be professional. THAT was a big part also.
it's just through the course of life and events that you take an active part in what's going on around you and care less and less about that nagging voice of doubt or shyness. *shrugs* it was for me anyway.

Leah said...

Jacque, this blog is a start... this is one way you can overcome your shyness. You will feel confident when you know that there are people who treasure and value your thoughts.

mel said...

it's funny, from reading your blog i wouldn't have thought you were shy at all. so you're already successful there :)
keep it up, and you won't look back. i was super shy from grade 4-10, but amazingly enough, buying a pair of pants that i loved (in a fairly crazy print) changed everything. i wore those pants and felt invincable - people complimented me, and it started an avalanche!
it's all a process, but you'll find your groove. and have fun!

yoli said...

I understand you very well, because I have the same problem with timidity since I was a child... and it's very difficult to me try to be a more extroverted person...

ColeAndJosephine said...

I've always struggled with crippling shyness, too. It's strange how something that comes so easy to some people is so difficult for a shy person. I just force myself to fake it, and most of the time it works. I also remind myself that most people I see will never see me again. It's easier to be brave when you know that there is not going to be any follow up!

I know you (or I) don't want to be the person that says "My shyness has cost me everything that ever mattered to me".

I know you can do it!

hellosweetworld said...

I used to be shy too when i was younger. I kinda am now, but not as much. Just be yourself and it'll be just fine!

Mishabelle said...

Awe, I totally understand what you're talking about! I am super shy too (I think?), to the point where if me and my boyfriend go out to a restaurant he just tells the server what we are both ordering, and I just sit and smile politely. I really really wish I could be that outgoing person, but it's really difficult! What Rachael said above is true though- what IS the worst that can happen? "They're all going to laugh at you" is probably fairly unlikely. Anyways, just put on your brave face, and smile! We can both overcome this! ♥

Nicole said...

I totally love that youre trying to overcome being shy!
Being outgoing, I think, beats being shy any day. Sometimes if you act a little TOO like yourself, you might get teased every once in a while, but for the most part that won't happen, and when it does- it's worth it.

Rachel Cotterill said...

Sounds like you're the opposite of me - I'm great with people one-to-one or in groups, but put me in front of an "audience" and I freeze. Well, I used to... I'm working on it, slowly.

You need one of these T-shirts (no, I'm not associated with the company, just your post made me think of this!)

Rachel said...

Embrace who you are and be willing to try things that are a wee bit uncomfortable. That is how I got rid of my shyness. Although, to be honest, I find quiet people more refreshing than extremely outgoing ones. They tend to have more insights, in my humble opinion. :) Have a great week!

CAPow! said...

I am the same way, and it's BAD for me because I am lactose intollerant, so if they mess up my order I can get REALLY sick! Usually my bf speaks up for me.

miss lucille said...

actually a lot of actors/actresses are really very shy. acting is a sort of escape for them so its not surprising you're able to get up on stage and preform. :) i used to be shy too and i started realizing, "whats the WORST that can happen if i talk to someone i don't know, or make a fool of myself in front on people i'll never see again." and i've felt much more excited about life! now i don't care what people think of me, and i've found that not caring, actually puts people more at ease when they're around you! good luck! you are awesome.

Jacque said...

♥ Rachel Ryan: That is so true! I'm sure that even the worst thing I imagine could happen is pretty far fetched!

♥ penny threads: It makes me feel better to know that you are shy too! That is really awesome that your job enabled you to get over your shyness! Thanks for the encouragement!!

♥ Leah: You are such a sweetheart! Thank you for being so sweet!

♥ Mel: Aw that makes me feel better! Thanks for being so encouraging!!

♥ yoli: aw we are the same! Shy girls unite! My guy friends say that shy girls are more interesting and cute, so yay for us!!

Jacque said...

♥ Coleandjosephine: Thanks! I hope I can do it!! I try to fake it too and that does help! When I just tell myself that I'm not shy, it helps me to act more outgoing with strangers!

♥ hellosweetworld: Thanks dear!!

♥ Mishabelle: Aw I'm the same way with my fiance! I ask him to order for me when I'm feeling extra shy! That is sweet that you have someone to help you when you are feeling shy!

♥ Nicole: Thanks for the encouragement!! I love being around outgoing people who are comfortable with themselves! I'm hoping to be more like that in the future!

♥ Rachel Cotterill: Those are really cute shirts! I need one now!!

♥ Rachel: Thanks for the tips! I find myself attracted to quiet people too! They are usually easier to talk to!

♥ CAPow: Oh no!! That is scary! I would be shy about having a specific diet in a restaurant too! That is good that you have someone to speak up for you!

♥ miss lucille: aw thanks for a lovely comment! I have read that many famous actors are shy in person. I agree that performing on stage is an escape from the shyness. That is a really good point. Thanks for the encouragement! You're sweet!

jewnbugg said...

I am right there with you! I guess the only way to deal with it is to force yourself out of your comfort zone!

cait said...

oh I can totally relate. I'm the same way - totally fine around people I'm friends with but I'm very shy and anxious in social situations with new people. I also tend to avoid situations that I assume I'll be uncomfortable in and I find it frustrating that I allow myself to avoid those things. I need to force myself to do those thing, like you, and over time I really hope that changes. I started blogging to document my days, the opening of my new etsy shop, meet new friends, and to help with the anxiety I have surrounding other people's thoughts of me. I still struggle with anxiety issues but I'm working with my doctor and counsellor to find the best solutions. It's a tough thing to get over but you have to start somewhere. Best of luck with your shyness pretty girl <3
love cait

Costume Queen said...

I am also extremely (unhealthily) shy. I HATE ordering food at restaurants - in fact, I didn't have the courage to order myself and had my parents do it for me until I was around 18. My 5-year-old brother (at the time - he's ten now) was ordering his own meals before I was.

I hate calling people, even people I know, and I feel so awkward being at a store by myself with other people around (I hum as a nervous habit - I always hum in the store). It's really frustrating because I realize that "the worst that could happen" is insignificant and doesn't matter, but I can't just "get over" being shy.

Same as you, I can go onstage and act, sing, whatever, without feeling shy, but if my order is wrong at a restaurant... I just deal with it.

I'm sorry to hear that you deal with the same problem of shyness, but I must say that it is very encouraging that you and so many readers also suffer from this, and that a lot of you have tried things that have helped you overcome it, even if just a little bit.

Corbyjane said...

I struggle with shyness, too, but kind of in a weird way, because I'm really quite loud and comfortable in front of a lot of strangers or a few family members, but a lot of my family or a few strangers makes me self-conscious (strange but true). I also hate ordering food (and correcting mistakes) but my allergies have really forced me to do that on a regular basis: if they screw up my order (and, for instance, put tomato on it) I could quite literally die, and dying trumps being shy. >.<
Actually, my shyness became far less debilitating ever since my allergies developed (around puberty) so that's probably a blessing in disguise! =)

Jacque said...

♥ jewnbugg: Yup totally! And sometimes that means being very uncomfortable!

♥ cait: You're the sweetest!! I'm sorry that you are dealing with a lot of anxiety! I totally relate to that because my anxiety is pretty bad sometimes too! I get mad at myself for avoiding social situations too! It's so rough though. We should cut ourselves some slack because being shy is a difficult inhibition to do deal with!!

♥ Costume Queen: Aw we sound so similar in the shy realm! I think it's funny that we are both actors and shy girls!! I'm the same way in stores! I hate shopping by myself!! I think the humming thing is really cute and quirky! It's very encouraging to hear about the shyness of others!! It makes me feel like less of a shy weirdo!

♥ Corbyjane: Oh no!! Food allergies are scary! I'm glad that you have gotten over your shyness a little in order to take care of your allergies! That sounds so scary to have such a serious allergy! Thanks for sharing your experience!!

kimber doll said...

Awww, I love this post!! I know it's a little older, but I still had to comment on it! The pitures are so sad yet cute at the same time! There was a really shy girl at my school in jr high .. she never talked to anyone, but when she got on stage in drama, she was a completely different person. A lot of "outgoing" people would never be able to do that, so somehow it always balances out! But I know what being shy is like, we all go through it. Best of Luck.

Phil said...

I could so relate to your comments about shyness. Yes it does suck!

I struggled with it for years myself. But I just wanted to mention that I was hugely helped by going to Social Anxiety Anonymous support groups. Since being shy can make it hard to even attend a support group, they also have (free) telephone support groups where you are allowed to just listen if you are not ready to speak:

Here also is an article about them:

Anyway, it's been a great help to me, my own shyness is now about 80% less than it used to be.

Very best, Phil M.

Drummbellina said...

Hey :) Just found your blog, it's lovely.

I used to be really shy, everything you descibed rings lots of bells for me. I still have my moments but I've pretty much gotten over it! the thing that helped most I think was working in a bakery and as a waitress, this way I was forced to make polite chit-chat with strangers and think of witty things to say or questions to ask people. Also - lots of faking it till you make it! Asking questions helps loads, makes the other person feel interesting and takes the focus off yourself. People sometimes think I'm snobby too but I try not to worry about that cos once they get to know me they'll know I'm not at all - like you I'm really outgoing when I'm comfortable with people :)

Má van Lier said...

I know exacly what you mean because I'm also very shy. I do try to come over a little more extrovert but it's not easy. I really want to be more outgoing but I find it very hard, especialy when I'm told by my parents or other adults that I should be less shy. I know I shouldn't but I really get mad when I get these comments and it just makes me be more shut up. I know they're just trying to give me advise, but it really doesn't help at all. I can have a good time with my friends but as soon as there are older people involved and especially if my parents are present I find it very very hard to overcome my shyness, and also when the group becomes too big... I try very hard but every time my parents comment on it it's like I give a step back... I guess the thing is that besides being shy I'm also very stubborn, so I don't like getting advise from anyone, especially my parents, because they know me too well, and that sometimes annoys me...

Anonymous said...

me too. I've also been anxious, and true, many people don't seem to understand. they seem to think I'm snobby or weird. I've transitioned from a more "annoying and weird" individual to a more quiet, shy, and unhappy person. So, maybe this means I have to 'open up' somehow, but I've never really "done it the right way' I suppose. experiencing anxiety just made me more weird and I have read that people with anxiety or depression like disorders usually worsen. But I also read that they are pretty treatable? (exercise, diet etc). I don't know, well, I'm sorry you feel this way! sometimes it sucks, especially when you literally can't say a word, and it hurts, a bit more than normal?

anyway, despite all that, I don't deserve to hurt more and I don't think you deserve that either. so I guess I usually do like who I am, but what I think is hurting me is an underlying problem, that isn't really about my character. Maybe that's causing you pain? maybe we have anxiety?

Sweet said...

It's nothing wrong about beeing not extrovert! If you want to be a little bit less shy it's okay, but just be yourself. ♥ ;) Don't change beacause some people are saying you are snobby. :(

Anonymous said...

i am shy too and i am sick of been shy

Anonymous said...

I am shy to and I knew it, so I tried to controll it, by following being why and deny everything almost, and it hurt, now I try to do the opposite of my behave and thinking, and it still hurt's, with the exeption that I feel a small relief, I don't know you and your commenter felt this, but I felt shyness cuz of shyness, more or less it's like drinking because of the fact that I would drink (it was just a comparison), now I stopped being shy and it's an awkward feeling.

Anonymous said...

i was shy when i was younger and i was a nerd but, i got over it in middle school, i didn't have a lot of friends when i was in elementary school, and when i got into middle school everything changed for me(:. in 6th grade i was more on the quiet side but i changed my personality (not a lot)and then i got more friends and they got me friends with there friends and when i got to know them better i talked more. i also went to dances for middle school and that really helped me because i got to see more people and people would see me there and not think i was as shy. if u just think that ur days will be better they will be. people called me fat when i was in elementary school:( and before middle school started i lost a lot of weight. so if u keep ur head up and think positive(: u can change and not be as shy. (:

Anonymous said...

This article made me smile ear to ear.. I can relate 100%, down to performing in front of people while not wanting to call people. And your determination to overcome your shyness is inspiring! I will start doing the same thing.

Anonymous said...

I am the EXACT same way! The only difference is that I don't preform. But i am tired of being shy. I too have expierenced the harsh feelings when people think I am a snobby bitch just because I am shy. I think may have come a little bit farther in this last year, but i still have a long way to go. My bestfriend is extremely fun and outgoing, my sister as well. I would love to be like that, but it is so hard!

Andiepants said...

I feel the same way! I am extremely shy and have let life pass me by at times. When I first met my best friend, I avoided her and she told me she thought I was a snob! She now knows the other side of me.
I'm trying to get over my anxiety of talking to my friends on the phone. So I'm trying to avoid the texting curse.
I know this is an older post so I would love to know how you are feeling about this now.
Love your blog!

Sam said...

Hi Jacque! How is that pronounced anyway? (Is it like Jackie?) I am introverted AND shy and most of the time even when friends and family are around I feel totally alone. I have always been a loner, or at least thats how it seems to me, not ever really quite fitting in or feeling like I belong in any group or setting. I dont have a problem ordering at restaurants in fact a lot of times I feel more open and relaxed with strangers because they dont know who I am or how I am yet but oddly enough once i start getting to know someone more and it starts to get personal then i get weirded out and uncomfortable because I feel obligated to talk to them even when I dont want to. As many have expressed before, it has caused me to miss so much life and opportunity. Thanks for sharing your story. Hope things have improved for you!
By the way, you're cute. Want to go on a date? :P

Anonymous said...

I was shy for four years, but I finally got over it in sixth grade. I might be a bit TOO outgoing now, but it's better than nothing. :)

Aly said...

hey well, i just realized I don't enjoy my shyness anymore, i though that it made me kind of cute, but it's not at all, i just look really insecure, and takes me away from who i actually am, everything I want is beyond my shyness, and now that I know it's my job to take this feeling of anger to build me again, because I remember that as a kid I wasn't like that, i wasn't afraid! :D soooo yeaH lot of work beginning NOW. :)

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