Monday, April 23, 2012

Tricks To Beating The Shy Monster



Is it being shy? Is it being too focused on the words we use? Is it taking self consciousness and scrutinization to a level others never even think of?

I have felt shy ever since I can remember. Some studies that I've read link shyness to a source of shame or attention called to self as a child, like an over-correcting adult presence in your life. It could have been a teacher, sibling, parent, aunt, grandparent, a ridiculing childhood friend.

Being shy isn't fun. It makes you miss out on a lot of wonderful moments in life that could be created simply by extending yourself. Shyness can lead to being misread as a person. We're often judged as arrogant, aloof, disinterested, self involved, unfriendly. Boring. Not good stuff.

There are mounds of manuals and online groups, even live support groups, created for shy people. Don't laugh, even though it is funny to go to one of those meetups ... I mean, you know, no one talks there, right? I like to think of my type of people as "overly polite" and ultra concerned for others. You first. No - you first. No, after you...

In these groups and forums and online exercises, we're instructed to use a lot of positive self talk and to mentally walk right up to the edge of  that potential conversation cliff and leap out into the land of the verbal.

Sounds Nike-good, right? I mean, Just do it! or, in our case, Just say it! (*note to self: order Just say it! T shirts from Zazzle - make a mint at the next Introverts R Us Conference)

Sound, good advice but still not motivating enough for me. It's much easier to keep quiet. Shy is not quiet. Quiet likes it that way. I'm an extrovert wanna-be. I wish there was an operation in Sweden I could save up my money for so I could correctly be assigned the personality I was meant to be. I searched the DSM, Fourth Ed., no such entry for Trans-personality disorder: when you feel you were born the wrong personality type.

Being a closet extrovert, you think I'd jump on all this how-to and just go for it, damn it. But, no, I stay quiet. The tried and true tricks of the trade don't do a thing to change my behavior. What has worked for me is the painful lesson of missed chances.

There was an author who spoke at the Erma Bombeck Writers' Workshop in Dayton, Ohio this weekend. I heard her address, and she left my eyes sparkling with tears; her message was so moving. I had seen her getting on an elevator in our hotel lobby earlier that day, having recognized her from the program descriptions. I wanted to tell her how her books moved me, but I didn't.

I didn't tell her anything. I watched her enter the elevator and the doors close behind her. I had talked myself out of approaching her, convincing myself with I'm a nobody, why would she want to talk to me.

Why did I think this? Easy. I had been brushed off at conferences by people I admire before. Taking it personally, always. I never thought beyond my hurt feelings that perhaps the author was going to be late for a train, plane, car, whatever. Or that maybe they were peopled out, tired, hungry, fatigued, up to here with strangers.

I listened to this woman's talk and promised myself I'd speak with her afterward. I waited in line to get my copy of her book signed and told her how much I enjoyed her writing and how her message today would sit warm in my heart forever. I also told her how I had seen her earlier but was too shy to speak to her. As we talked, I found out we had much in common; she was raised by her grandmother, the same as I was. 

She handed me her card and writing her personal email on it, she asked, "Email me, would you? I want to know what you especially liked about my books."

I promised I would email her, and hugged her.

This memory, this new one right here, of an almost missed opportunity, is the one that from now on will be playing louder in my mind and drowning out the one that played before it; the one telling me to not risk rejection and just stay quiet.

Playing it safe gets you just that: safe.

And nothing more.


*with love to all my shy people everywhere. Go Fight Win. I love you. 
_____________________________________________________________________
Image via Flickr cc

107 comments:

  1. Good for you!!! I think I'll stick with playing it safe.

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    Replies
    1. NO, Ms. A..NO.

      There is so much GOOD on the other side of the risk.

      xo

      Delete
  2. It's a waste of a lifetime to spend it shyly. At least you know you have a problem and have tried to get help for it. Shy people never get far in life and it's painful to see them struggle. I've always thought that shy people take life way too seriously. They think that every thing they say or do is scrutinized by the great unwashed and that's a narcissistic way to see the future. Most people don't notice any of us.

    Thank God.

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    1. Best damn advice I have ever heard. Thank you, SUZY!

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  3. This post really speaks to me! I have the same problem and what a great way to motivate yourself. I am going to try and remember this next time I am in that situation. You just never know. Thank you. :)

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    1. Phoenix: I wish I could tell you how wonderful it feels to know that something I say helps someone else.

      Just know that it feels amazing.

      Thank you so much.

      Delete
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  7. First of all, from knowing you (only online) I would never think of you as shy. You seem so confident and comfortable with yourself, that person who has no problem speaking up. Second, I'm happy that you took that leap and spoke to her.

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    1. Oh, Jessica, something I haven't talked about on this blog is my homelife as a child.

      I had moments of love from my grandmother, but I had a biological mother in the background who only spoke to me (without eye contact, not a single I Love you, ever, and never a hug or touch as a child) to tell me I walked funny, I smelled funny, I laughed the wrong way, my hair was horrible, and my skin was too dark.

      All this before it was even 8 a.m., on most days.

      So, yeah, there's that...

      xo

      Delete
    2. Well having sat next to you at lunch I can tell you that you totally don't smell funny, look funny, walk funny, or laugh funny. The only thing funny you do is WRITE funny and now I know why. I wish I could turn back the clock 72 hours...we would have had A LOT to talk about if I weren't such a dork. :( Sending you virtual hugs because I'm way better at those than the real life ones.

      Delete
    3. *ahem*

      and No offense.

      I shall never let you live it down, Ms Coffee Creamer, please.

      xo

      Delete
  8. Good for you.
    I've never really been shy (shock, I know) but I have been less than confident in personal interactions, which I think is something different. I'm very confident in my words and when I'm online, but I don't always trust that what I say out loud will match what I say in my head. This used to stop me from the very types of things that you mentioned above.

    But you never know what can happen by speaking your piece, and I would rather regret putting myself out there than wonder what could have been. I'm a work in progress, but aren't we all?

    So glad you made a connection. That author is much better for it ;)

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    1. Abby, I wish you would've been there.

      Delete
  9. Good for you! I am painfully - painfully - shy and use humor to mask it. Hate it. I love this my friend xo

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    1. Tracy: you need to go to EBWW in two years. It's held every 2 years: the speakers: HOLY COW.

      You gotta go, T.

      Delete
  10. Your honesty is so inspiring. Here, behind a screen of plastic and light, I think many say things they wouldn't face to face. This can be beautifully freeing....and tragically irresponsible in the same heartbeat. Tangible life is more treacherous. More vulnerable. The fact that you faced and conquered this situation is awesome. I think faith is something built brick by brick, stacking accomplishments and achievements into a tower of positive. The next time you stand at the line of choice, seeing that tower gives us the faith, the ability to step over that line again.

    Loved this, truly. (and I want one of those t-shirts!) ps. Can I ask who this author is? Sounds like a really good read...

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    1. Chantel, it was Ilene Beckerman. And her presentation at the Erma Bombeck workshop left me with eyes filled with tears.

      You wouldn't believe her writing: as HONEST as a woman of 77 can be.

      Delete
  11. This is be of those days when I love you ten times more than usual! Just that listing of possible causes of shyness is huge in understanding myself, and a warning of what not to do for my shy daughter (in hopes that I am not why she is like that...fingers crossed). So glad you got the chance to speak to the speaker, and an email address with the expectation of hearing from you? Hooray! She's going to be so thrilled with whatever you have to say!

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    1. Andrea, you're always so supportive. THANK YOU. xo

      Delete
  12. Amazing! I'm going to take the lessons within your post and apply them to my next crazy adventure: online dating (again).

    Missed opportunities. I've had enough of those. And never really made the connection between those moments and my insecurities.

    As always, your words build a new bridge between ideas in my mind. Thank you! You help me evolve :)

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  13. I am such a shy person and the same happens to me. I always take the safe route. Thanks for sharing

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    1. did you read HotComesToDie's comment above?

      People rarely pay attention to us, they just move on.

      We've got to stop putting ourselves under the microscope...no one else does.

      Except for what we had as children. And that life is over.

      We're adults now.

      xo

      Delete
  14. I love shy people. Seriously, I do! I love reaching in and searching for what makes them laugh, hard. And when they do, it's a beautiful thing. To see a shy person, who usually covers his/her mouth when they think something is funny, laugh out loud, totally makes my day. Just wait until I get my hands on you!
    Your Friend, m.
    p.s. In case you haven't noticed, I'm not shy.

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    1. Mark, you know? I love you so...xo

      Delete
  15. Oh my God, confession time. I'm not shy. In fact, I have the opposite problem: no internal filter...gets me into all kinds of delightful trouble. But I sat next to you at lunch one day during the conference and was too socially stunted to find a way to talk to YOU. I've seen your beautiful comments all over so many of my friends' posts and was totally intimidated. I may have asked you to pass the creamer even though I didn't want it just as a way to break the ice. It didn't work. I'm a dork. I could kick myself in the teeth (if I could reach, which I can't, so maybe I'll ask one of my kids to do it) for not finding a way to connect with you. Between your shyness and my social incompetence we were a lunch date of dreams. :) Please forgive me!

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    1. *sigh*

      Another missed opportunity.

      See what I mean?

      Shyness robs us of so much potential.

      So sad we didn't talk.

      xo

      Delete
  16. So great that you stepped out of your comfort zone! I have been shy my entire life so I know how this feels! I push myself so hard to speak up & do things that aren't comfortable for me. It's not easy but amazing things can happen when we do this :)

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  17. Hooray for you! I am painfully shy and always have been. I can fake it for a few hours (like at a party) but it always exhausts me and I feel like a fraud.

    You should have seen me at BlogHer, hiding in my room, totally overwhelmed. Shyness is a curse.

    Good for you for working on yours.

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    1. You were at BlogHer?? And we love each other and didn't see each other? WTF?? xo

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  18. Quite simply: Love. You so inspire me, and I have such a long road ahead. You give me hope. Thank you.

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    1. Kitty: we can do it. But it takes a ton of determination and positive self talk. Work, they call it. See Brene Brown's TED talks on youtube.

      LIFE CHANGING.

      love you. xo

      Delete
  19. My oldest is shy, would prefer to be quiet than to speak out, especially where emotions are concerned. I'm terrified I shamed her when she was little.
    The only way forward is to support her when she does speak up.
    Thank you for this.

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    1. Oh, No. Kristin. I hope in NO WAY that you read this post as blaming the mother. Some studies show shyness as a genetic predisposition.

      In my case, I had a verbally and emotionally abusive environment. This is my story.

      I hope you don't read my words here as the cause for everyone's shyness. This is just me.

      I'm so sorry if I brought you down, Kristin. I just sent you an email.

      xo

      Delete
    2. You didn't bring me down, only showed me the importance of giving my girls a safe environment to share their vulnerability. Reinforced what I'm learning :)

      Delete
  20. Your description of being a closet-extrovert amuses me--I'm an introvert but no one whose met me believe it, lol! I'm a "social extrovert", true, but I get overwhelmed very easily and need serious downtime to decompress, etc. Not even my fiance believes me when I say I'm introverted because I do such a good job of faking it.

    That said, when I was 23 and a year after my first divorce, I made a pact with myself to never pass up any reasonable opportunities (note: jumping out of a perfectly good airplane is not a reasonable opportunity; going out to an unfamiliar place with a roommate or accepting a date from a new guy is). Ever since then it's been easier for me to say yes to situations than no. Sometimes I still hang back, but I catch myself more often than not.

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    1. Oh, so good to see you Scraps.

      I have to stop over and catch up.

      It is mind control and direction, isn't it?

      And deciding to stop letting life pass you by.

      Join in. As hard and unnatural as it seems, join in.

      Thanks for stopping over, I do appreciate it a lot.

      Delete
  21. Thanks for this post - it came at the right time for me!

    P.S. I'm so glad you talked to her.

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  22. I'm so thankful I have older extroverted siblings to show me the way. I am as shy as they come, through and through, but have learned to push past it. I really think blogging has helped...it's hard to be quiet and standoffish when you meet people who are genuinely happy to see you.

    I will say though that blog conference and even just Christmas parties are physically exhausting for me. After a day of forcing the extrovert out I absolutely need to shut down for a day or two to pull myself back together. Great post!

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  23. First, I am so glad that you talked to her and hugged her, that you left the safe place and had a life changing moment. For me it's hard to see you shy..you are not shy here in this computer and I get very shy around you. Which is so not me.

    I have never and will never be called shy. My violent childhood didn't make me shy or introverted instead I hid the bad things with a smile,a big loud laugh, and a proclivity to be a little too friendly. Shy isn't me. But "unworthy " is and when I feel that way I may look shy or withdrawn. I hate those moments.

    Thank you for writing this and thank you for sharing your lessons with us. They mean a lot to the people who read you.

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  24. Well! I would never peg you as a shy person, so thank you for sharing that with us!

    I find myself in the same uncomfortable spot at times and I could relate to this post quite a bit.

    You always inspire me, Alexandra.

    XOXO

    Anna

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    1. Anna, you don't know how much you did to lift my spirits. I'm still thinking about it.

      THANK YOU.

      Delete
  25. I sure do understand this :)

    You are such an awesome and interesting person...it's hard to imagine you being brushed off or being shy!

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  26. who was it and where'd you go?

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    1. Dear A:

      It was the Erma Bombeck Writers Workshop in Dayton, OH, and the author was the illustrious, universal Ilene Becherman. 77 years old: and 77 years of wonderful in her, that she shared with us.

      She is incredible...I wonder if she's on YouTube.

      Delete
  27. Hi, I'm only shy at first, but small talk terrifies me.

    I recently watched this excellent talk by Susan Cain. I thought you might be interested, so I hope you don't mind my sharing it here: http://www.ted.com/talks/susan_cain_the_power_of_introverts.html

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    Replies
    1. Thank you, Shelly. I will watch. I appreciate it.

      Delete
  28. I love you my closet extrovert. Now, come sit by me

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  29. What a post! And that last part...how true. Life has to be more than safe. I'm glad you found the courage, friend.

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  30. Well, you know how I feel about this. And we always have each other. xxxooo

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    Replies
    1. You, me, we 'll make it through the conferences.

      The thing is, I am so glad I go, and something memorable always happens.

      We've got to just push on through, there's so much good at the other end of taking the risk.

      Delete
  31. I never would've thought of you as shy. But I get it--I don't believe I was always shy. I think circumstances and people clouded my friendliness and I became withdrawn and fearful. I want to reclaim who I really was meant to be. And I'm trying little by little.

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    Replies
    1. Exactly. You get shot down and who wants to keep going back up for round six.

      But we have to. Because you never know when the lucky bout will be.

      xo

      Delete
  32. I wrote essentially this on Tuesday as I sat in my car in the parking lot typing away on my phone too shy and nervous to go inside for a training because I was early. I would inevitably have to talk to someone and it was just easier to sit by myself and wait than deal with that stress. I wish I had read this then, because I had a missed opportunity. I could have gotten to know someone who could have become a friend instead of someone I just smiled at and made small chit chat with during our training because I let my nerves get the best of me.

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    1. I know.

      My entire life, the word "networking" has struck fear in my heart.

      That's gotta change: so many opportunities missed b/c we fear being dissed.

      It's a risk we gotta take.

      xo

      Delete
  33. I love this - that you talked to her, that she gave you her email, and especially Suzy's comment above. Shy should be my middle name. It's painful, awkward and often misinterpreted. I have to consciously push myself to step out of that comfort zone of discomfort (which is really what it is), and realize that no one is judging me as harshly as I am.

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  34. I've been battling this monster my whole life. You hit it just right. I even had people that I went to high school with, and got to know later, tell me they had thought I was stuck up. No! Just petrified. Good for you for taking the chance. I'm still kicking myself for walking past Garrison Keillor twenty years ago!

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    Replies
    1. AGH!! SEE?? Missed opportunities. We have nothing to lose. I mean, we're already imagining the worst as if it's real..so, right??

      xo

      Delete
  35. The only member of our family that deals with this is our teenage daughter. My wife, myself and my three daughters are all awkward, weird, and goofy, but only the 16-year-old is outwardly shy. I have to check my patience and ego and understand that not every person can deal in public settings or with new people as I do.

    I'm glad you wrote this. I will be showing it to her. I think she will find great comfort.

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    1. Lance, it makes me so happy that you will show her this. Just to know you're not alone gives you just a teensy bit of courage to try and change your life.

      Thank you.

      Delete
  36. "Playing it safe gets you just that- safe. And nothing more."

    Who would have thought the Empress was shy?

    I am too. I pass up opportunities like this all the time because... well, why would they want to talk to little old me. And then once I did leave my comfort zone to talk to a famous actor that I had actually worked with-- and he was totally rude. So that sent me back down the chute.

    But I will think of you next time. and take the risk again.

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  37. I know that it seems like there is only bad in being shy, but I think it gives you a wonderful quality of looking out for others. I felt it this weekend, and have felt it since I initially "met" you online so many months ago.

    I'm so glad you took that step forward. I seldom do, and then hate myself for it - I always feel like I have to have the perfect, engaging thing to say, otherwise why would anyone care to talk to me?

    ReplyDelete
  38. Awww, what a great post! I too am very shy when I don't know people and initial small talk paralyzes me. Now I am SO terrified of BlogHer! I have come to "know" many bloggers through this amazing medium and I am terrified that I won't have a single thing to say to them in person!! I'll have to remember this post in August...

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    1. I've decided to just come clean up front, Carinn: just tell them, "I'm shy, bear with me." It totally changes the game board.

      xo

      Delete
  39. I still won't believe you are shy until I meet you at BlogHer.

    I have always been this way and there are times when I try to work myself out of the shy zone. I did it at BBC over the weekend and I think you'd have been proud of me. I read aloud from a piece I wrote in front of a group of people. Not a ton of people, but maybe 20 ish people. I forced myself to volunteer. And I did it. Shyly, but I did it.

    And I'm going to BlogHer.

    And I want to be a part of this shyness campaign thing. Let me know what to do/how I can help.

    xxoxo

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  40. Yay! Yay you for taking the risk. What a beautiful reward, a connection, a moment that you'll take with you forward into a thousand more moments, that is yours forever. More risks, you can do it!

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  41. My son has moments where he is extremely shy. Every year his teachers tell me that he doesn't participate in class very much. It is not because he is a bad student or doesn't know the answers, he is just shy and doesn't like to be the center of attention.

    As he gets older it has changed a little bit. He has asked me more than once why I am not shy and I can't answer the question. When I want to I can talk to anyone.

    I think it is just part of who we are. Not a bad thing, just part of being a person.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's proving to be detrimental to me, Jack.

      I am missing chances and LIFE, b/c of the introspection.

      I know you encourage your son, and that goes a long way.

      Delete
  42. I have a weird obsession with shy people. I gravitate to them and want to befriend them. Some of my favorite people are shy. I think it's because I'm internally shy, too, but was raised with extroverts & was thus thrust into many social situations that trained/foced me to be able to act like an extrovert. But inside I'm usually super uncomfortable, anxious, awkward. I'll make dates with people and then freak out for days in advance. (Crazy? Methinks so.)

    I'd like to throttle your mother for not appreciating her amazing daughter.

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    Replies
    1. We'll take all the love we can get.

      Thanks, my girl.

      xo

      Delete
  43. So.

    I have this thing where no one believes I'm shy; I don't act, talk or look like I'm shy; I actually get loud and talky when I'm uncomfortable so people assume I'm naturally outgoing; therefore I don't have a reputation for being shy at all and probably am not actually shy.

    And yet.

    I get extremely nervous when I meet new people or run into someone with whom I am not close. I avoid these situations as much as possible and will actually pretend not to see someone I don't know well when I'm out in public. Not because I'm a snob or rude or mean or anything. I just always feel like I'll disappoint them in real life.

    I fear that people won't remember my name or recognize me or want to talk to me so I save them the trouble by hanging out extra-long in the frozen foods section so they won't have to pass by my cart.

    What is that? Seriously. What?

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    Replies
    1. ha ha ha Julie! I'll see you by the frozen vegetables.

      Delete
  44. Thank you for this post. I am an extrovert, but I become very shy when I am meeting new people or in a new situation. I need to reach out more and take that risk.

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  45. Both my kids lean toward the shy side. They don't get it from me.

    I'll approach and talk to just about anyone (a few famous people even!!)

    But I am painfully shy when it comes to being the center of attention. I don't do public speaking. I hated both bridal and baby showers. Why do you think I eloped!??

    That being said... my latest post? That was sort of painful for me.

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  46. What a post!! Obviously, I'm not the only one fascinated by it. It's amazing to think of you as shy...socially awkward...(any of these things you claim to be) cause you're so incredibly open and courageously real in your writing.

    I've never thought of myself as 'shy' cause I can put on the extrovert so easily but am actually terrified of meeting people and all situations requiring small talk. It's so complicated this whole living thing. The thought of BlogHer, now inescapable as it's going to be a short subway ride away, brings on a cold sweat.

    It's so much better to just OUT ourselves. I wonder if a secret shared loses its power and shame? Thank you for giving me this opportunity and to hear so many other bloggers I respect and read coming clean. (going to watch Brene Brown again on "Vulnerability"...as I think you suggested...) XXX

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    Replies
    1. Somehow, Anne, I feel we will talk as if we've known each other years.

      xo

      Delete
  47. I love this.

    And get it.

    (But you already knew that.)

    Go, fight, win, indeed.

    xo

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    Replies
    1. Thank you, Galit. I'm trying to bring it out in the open: Today I asked a mother from my children's school for coffee. She looked surprised when I asked. She said yes and we met at a coffee shop 20 mns away.

      She laughed and told me she never pegged me for funny. She said I always looked so serious and busy.

      Yea: time to examine MY part in all this.

      Love your visits, G.

      Delete
  48. Oh, Alexandra. SO happy you were able to come out of your shell in order to have this conversation with the author. Though I never would have pegged you for an introvert.

    I am one. Always have been painfully introverted.

    But you're absolutely right. And I'm tired of being in the safe spot.

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  49. I once described myself in an interview (when asked if I was an extrovert or an introvert) as a 'cautious extrovert'. Once I feel comfortable and safe, I can let my guard down. I'm not 'shy', I'm anxious. It takes work, every day, to move past it, to push past the anxiety. Some days I can, some days I can't. Brene Brown's work has been mind blowing; everyone needs to watch her TED talks and read her book.

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  50. I get this. I'm pretty good one on one but I don't like groups. I have to make myself do it. I'm always glad I did.

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  51. I'm shy too. Although, I've tried to break out of myself, but it is so hard. And the insecurities are overwhelming. This speaks to me in so many ways.

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    Replies
    1. That makes me happy, Christine. That we can find comfort in knowing others get us, and don't judge as arrogant or unapproachable. Unfriendly.

      Delete
  52. i know what it's like to be intensely shy. i'm also lucky and have had several years of over-fidence, so i guess it all evens out for me:) what i really like about your story is how fortune didn't turn its back when you went shy. becuz you really wanted to meet her, you got another opportunity, the only true opportunity, actually. and it happened when you were ready. approaching her and talking to her is like armistice on the front lines. it's like love where hope had been lost. overcoming shyness is nothing short of becoming. what an amazing post. i'll go to bed thinking about it. and thanks for your comments about columbia at my place. i'm always interested in learning more. unfortunately, we don't get anything like a nuanced perspective on south america in the states.

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    1. Thank you, Ed.

      It's always so great to see you, and read your writing.

      Delete
  53. What a wonderful lady! I am so glad you were able to talk to her! It sounds like the beginning of a wonderful friendship!

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  54. I saw you several times at the workshop this weekend and kept meaning to go up to you. You were busy talking with people and I felt awkward interrupting. I also felt a bit like you did with that speaker. Now I'm frustrated I didn't just tap you on the shoulder and say hello.

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  55. GET THE EFF OUT!!

    Do you know what a HUGE HUGE fan I am of yours? DO YOU?

    AARGH. Do you see the damage of living a shy filled life.

    I am so sad.

    ReplyDelete
  56. Wonderful post, Empress.

    It's funny, though, because I can't picture you as shy. I've always pictured you as über-caffienated, perhaps tentative to say the first word, but an open book once the awkward moment has passed.

    I think I have myself to a place where, as long as the person isn't a complete stranger to me, I'm quite comfortable just going up & talking to the person.

    And I'll remember, if we're ever in the same room together, that, if you're not the one introducing herself to me, I'll make sure to extend the hug from my side.

    ReplyDelete
  57. When I met you, I didn't think "shy". I thought "genuine, sweet, friendly." So, either my ability to read people is way off, or you are more outgoing than you believe.

    Hope you come down to Chicago sometime soon, so that we can hang out again!

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    Replies
    1. I'm only shy when I feel something is at risk: like being judged. You've been so kind to me for the past two years, you bring out my A game.

      You're easy to love, T. You're like that to everyone. xo

      Delete
  58. I'm shy.

    And awkward.

    But I pretend I'm not.

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  59. I've had this bookmarked to read for days - so glad I finally got here.

    I read the whole thing, screaming (in my head), ME TOO!! I'm painfully, horribly shy. I've missed so many opportunities to connect with people because of this. And I'm trying. I am. But I have a long way to go.

    Thanks for writing this. It helps to know I'm not alone.

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    Replies
    1. Well, then, Missy, I'm glad I went over to you that last night and said Hello. We had been moving in the same circle for 3 days.

      xo

      Delete
  60. I loved this post Alexandra, for so many reasons! First of all, I never would have taken you for shy. But then I only "know" you on line.

    You totally, absolutely described me. I was always shy, but wanted to be extroverted. I became more so once I got older. Now I'm quiet. :-) But, I'm even quiet on line...not good! I finally had a chance to meet my writing instructor when she was in town speaking at a writer's conference. I introduced myself to her, but later when I had a chance to sit with her to listen to Elizabeth Edwards, I made a phony excuse to get coffee and avoided her, because I didn't think I could carry an interest conversation with her. If I ever meet you in real life, I promise to try and talk to you, because what a missed opportunity it would be if I didn't!!

    Will try to catch up soon with you...had spent the better part of April at my parents' (mom had surgery). xo

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  61. Hot DOG! I'm so glad you DIDN'T miss that opportunity! What a fantastic experience. I think there's such a thing as an extroverted introvert, by the way, which sounds similar to closet extrovert but way way way less exciting!

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  62. Great post, you resonate with so many of us. I was too shy to start a conversation with the presenters, as well, and am now kicking myself for not being more forward. Oh, well, I still have 2014!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's it exactly: we can't miss once in a lifetime chances anymore: I've missed too many. But not again.

      I'm with you...we can do it.

      Delete
  63. Aw I'm so glad you talked to her and I bet she is too.

    I am so shy and people always interpret it as bitchiness or snobbishness. Inside I'm just petrified of being humiliated.

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  64. I just found this. Found the link on Leslie's blog. Me too, me too, me too. I was born with the wrong personality too. Throughout my life, while pursuing acting, music and now writing, shyness has been a huge heavy weight tied to my leg. At least with a band you can get the drummer and the guitarist to do the talking for you, but you just come off looking like the unapproachable singer. You really saved me at Non Con. I walked into a roomful of people I didn't know and you welcomed me immediately. I'll always love you for that, my friend.

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