Weak. Arrogant. Dumb. Retarded. Those are just some of the things you’ll get called if you are shy. Because it seems that in our society, shyness is viewed as a very unusual and therefore unsuspected behavior. The only problem: Shyness is not as uncommon as everyone seems to think.
There are generally two types of people in the world: Extroverts and introverts. Society nowadays prefers the extroverts. Our whole life they tell us to be outgoing, risk-taking, fearless and confident. But being an introvert doesn’t automatically mean that you are shy too.
I’m shy, not retarded
Shyness is more than being a little reserved, or to prefer staying in the back rather than taking the spotlight. Being shy actually means fearing the spotlight! Or drawing attention of any kind – one of the typical questions a shy person always asks him- or herself: “Can anyone hear the sound of my headphones?” Because they don’t want people to – music is a way of tuning the world out.
For example, an introvert tends to think things through before talking or taking action. A shy person will think and rethink every ankle of any remotely possible scenery until there is a whole Armageddon happening inside one’s mind. And then they will probably be even more afraid of saying anything.
A shy person will hesitate almost every time before speaking. Sometimes just for a second and on other occasions just a little too long. I stopped counting, how many times someone called me “arrogant bitch” or “dumb idiot” because I didn’t really know what to say. That’s another problem with being shy – you tend to be overwhelmed when the situation requires you to be spontaneous.
No, let’s not be spontaneous!
Actually, I think I really do hate spontaneity. I can enunciate a complete novel in my head, given the time. But if I have to come up with a flirty or witty comeback, I fail completely almost every time. Afterwards I think of all the things I could have said, but by then it’s too late. I’ll be the “arrogant bitch” again – or worse. A part of me thinks of it as really funny, except for the part where the joke is always on me.
I just need a little more time
It’s not like I want to be shy. Or for lack of trying to change on my part – it’s also not like I’m unable to connect with anyone. I just need a little more time. The more I get to know people the more I tend to relax, be comfortable and open up. But time isn’t something our world, with its faster, better, louder, harder attitude, is likely to grand you. Some people even try to take advantage of your shyness. It’s just: Being shy doesn’t mean that you’re dumb or can’t say no.
The problem is, that you tend to wait just a little too long before you draw the line and when you do, mostly you do it a little too harsh. Same thing with the spontaneity: Sometimes being overwhelmed results in an overreaction. Like saying: “Hell no!” instead of “No, thank you.” Or fail to register a compliment, view it as an insult and respond consequently. Did blow off a lot of people, I can tell you that.
Fucking do something – now!
Just to be clear: I don’t want to complain – well okay, maybe a little – this whole article is about straightening some prejudges. It won’t really help me, because I simply am shy. But maybe someone reads it and realizes that the “arrogant bitch” or the “arrogant bastard” in reality is just shy. Because, though it’s true that you can change, the majority hardly does.
So most shy persons will always hesitate a little too long and prefer to stay in the background. While screaming inside their heads: “JUST FUCKING DO SOMETHING!” – Until the moment has passed.
I do not like being shy, I really don’t. But unless you give me time (or alcohol) I will not be able to get over myself. So maybe a little patience is better than a fast judgment. You never know what you might find.
It was very natural for me to want to disappear into dark theater, I am really very shy. That is something that people never seem to fully grasp because, when you are an actor, you are meant to be an exhibitionist. (Nicole Kidman)