Why am I shy, a question that has been on my mind for 30 years? When I think about my experiences over the years, I get sad.
Not because I was shy, but because I never knew enough about other people to realize there was so much more to it then just shyness.
What I know now, could help that child to understand what was really going on?
I know I am not alone when I am talking about being shy, in fact, I think it’s safe to say that more than a billion people on this planet wonder what being shy is all about.
Common questions are how can a person be shy one minute and outgoing the next? Why can’t you come out of your shell? (like it’s something I can remove whenever I wanted)
This brings me to my main question why am I shy? I know that people can’t just be born to be timid and yet here I am as proof. So where could all of this come from or who should I blame?
A goal of mine is to make it possible for everyone who wants, to understand why some people learn to be shy and others don’t.
I remember vaguely about my earliest years of school, I know that I was a bit rough with the kids around me.
I have been told that I was held back a grade because I just couldn’t play nice, this was the first indication that I was different.
What Being Shy Means
You all have your own ideas about what shyness is and for those of you that actually are shy you probably consider it as a major weakness. Especially when you want to make friends, or want to have fun with others.
Let’s look at what being shy means. You desire more then you are comfortable doing in certain situations and the result is that you withdraw or say nothing. When you try to speak the words seem jumbled or stuck.
I have also had issues with being a soft talker and that too is annoying. I don’t feel comfortable saying anything, but when I do, I usually end up having to repeat myself.
This leads to many more frustrations and eventually, I will want to quit doing things.
Obviously, I know this well because it’s been a major character flaw my entire life, which I never fully understood. I would think of myself in negative ways and it was very problematic since unhappiness would follow.
For different reasons I was unable to understand myself and it wasn’t until later in life that I even realized I didn’t have to be so shy.
But that was something that I didn’t figure out before I found alcohol which for me was the nightmare which couldn’t be stopped.
Is Shyness a weakness?
The idea came to me to start thinking of alternative ways to express myself.
I was uncomfortable because I was trying to say the right things, not do anything weird with my hands or my body, and I became obsessed with trying to keep everything still at all times.
What a mess I was and full of so many self-doubts which kept piling onto my problems, sure I figured out ways to cope to get through my day and then had the fun of reflecting on my thoughts later on.
Nightmares would happen, or negative thoughts occurred which would keep me wide awake all night.
Wondering what people would think of me, wondering if I was liked or hated, wondering if people even noticed this or that about me and judged me.
These problems that I found out along the way which resulted from being the shy and quiet type. Problems leading to more problems and nobody who seemed to understand me.
Part of me begged for help but I never asked
Being in a constant state of mind where I knew I was miserable and wanted to be different.
The problem is the help never showed up, or if it did, I was unable to realize it at the time.
My days would go by so slow and I would worry about the next few days before they ever got close.
The takeaway from this is that it’s not automatic that a change will happen on its own.
And it’s also why I know how much goes on inside your mind. Been there, struggled and finally figured out that I had to trust and believe in myself before anything would change.
Nobody understands you because you don’t let them or you don’t understand yourself and what is going on so you don’t even know how to ask for help.
Sounds like a fun way to live, doesn’t it?
One problem which you face, is others around you don’t understand what it’s like. When you are not shy you don’t understand what it’s like.
This way of life isn’t a lot different from anybody’s else’s, the exception is that you as a shy person, obsess about nonsense to a point it becomes a way to tear yourself down.
What can be learned about being shy?
I first want to say that it’s not something that one can just wish for and boom it happens.
Shyness doesn’t go away without an effort to change yourself.
It can be viewed as a problem if your thoughts turn negative like mine did, and it’s only something that can improve or worsen depending on what you act on.
To understand how it really impacts your life you need to write things down to work on. If you want to be less shy or get more friends and don’t know how then you need to talk about things or be interested in things that other people are.
I have to remind myself of not being so withdrawn and to keep making an effort even when I quickly lose all the energy I had before. Shyness for me is almost like an illness, it’s something unwanted and even hated.
Wanting to be different and being confused all the time is no way to go through life, just hoping to someday be understood by somebody else.
What are the positives about shy people?
So far I have only mentioned negative things about shyness, and it’s time to actually look at a few positives. The first thing is how independent I am and how absolutely focused on something I can get.
Attention to detail is a major plus for myself because I have a talent to do what many other people don’t feel comfortable doing. Shy people make the best listeners but sometimes eye contact can be distracting.
Given that you learn by repetition and doing things rather than discussions, we can clearly think outside of any boxes.
You are able to adapt easily if the need arises. Planning is a major plus because we can sit down and list things which are essential to getting any project completed.
You are actually a great leader who likes to be behind the scenes and often coach others to do what you may be less comfortable taking credit for.
You figure out a situation and know whether it’s a good idea or not quicker than the average person does.
These are just a few valuable skills that come from being shy. This is also why a process for anyone who wants to change needs to be understood.
Because I am shy I know how to evaluate what it is I want.
Getting there may not be so easy, but with a little more ability to ask the right questions, you will go far beyond what is required.
To summarize why am I shy?
The absolute best advice I can offer to anyone thinking about why they are shy is that you just haven’t learned what it actually means to be different and to accept that as part of who you are.
To answer the question of why am I shy? This requires you to know why you are not outgoing? If there is something you can change to make things easier than do them.
There are always ways to change one’s personality but of course, it’s no simple task.
The process involves taking a look at yourself on a daily basis, identify which areas you really need to improve on, then make a plan to attack those and follow through.
21 days is what it takes on average to break a routine and create a new one.
Whether you view shyness as a problem or not, you still need to look at what you are doing. This will be the area that you can change.
Once you identify what it is you really want, then it’s where you will start making those changes to what you are doing.
The solutions are out there for anyone to change who they are, and it’s not about pretending to be something you’re not.