I was the shy kid at school.  
I am still the shy kid as an adult.  
But I fight it every day.
I honestly find talking to groups of people I don't know exhausting.  My husband finds it exhilarating.  I relish in solitude.  He panics.  I know that a majority of our personalities came already programmed when we were born, but I believe that you can learn the skills necessary to compensate for interactions in the real world.  When I was young my parents would excuse my behavior by telling others "well, she is just shy".  I began to accept it, claim it, and hide behind that label.  I now mask it well, I am a careful listener, ask great questions and can chat with anyone, anytime.  I had to develop this skill in order to survive with a husband much in the public eye at church.  Most who have recently met me would never know how truly difficult social situations are for me.  This week we attended a park day for all incoming Kindergartners at Halley's school.  I took the opportunity not only to seek out others who I did not know, but to gently begin training Halley in the art of friendship and conversation.  She is no where near as shy as I am, yet also not as outgoing as my husband.  It is my heart's desire for her to feel comfortable in new situations as well as seek out and include those kids on the fringe.  We have been talking all week about the importance of being friendly and including new friends in play.  My heart soared when I witnessed her approach a girl who was playing alone, introduce herself and ask her new friend to go on the slide with her.  For the rest of the day they were inseparable and even included other girls in their new little group.
If only it was that easy for adults.  
It could go like this:
Me:  "Hi, I'm Julie, want to go shopping?"  
Stranger:  "Sure.  Let's be best friends."  
Me:  "Okay."
End scene.  
Well, maybe not. That would actually be pretty weird.  


5 Comments

  1. Hello and thanks for sharing. Once upon a time I was super shy, but I have long outgrown it. And although I don't throw myself at each new person I meet, I certainly don't run in the opposite direction! If the timing is right, I take the opportunity to meet them. Maybe we'll be friends, maybe not, but you never know unless you try!

    My husband is the shy one in our family but so far Huntler seems social. He is the little guy at school or at the hair salon or playgroup asking if he can play with them...for this I am SO thankful.

    It is hard to tell about Gentry...she takes a LONG time to warm up and tends to be shy, but she may outgrow it! She is definitely full of sass and spunk at home! WHEW!!

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  2. Thank you for being so honest. I am much like you except that I've had a heck of a time trying to get over my shyness. And boy have a tried. I've even taken a year of improv lessons. I've forced myself to go to parties where I know few people. But still I stumble. When nervous I can't think straight I can't talk straight and sometime I stutter and can't remember the words. Any of them. Count yourself lucky that you have gotten so much better. But at least I know there is someone else out there kinda like me. I am so happy that my daughter is SO outgoing and knows how to insert herself into about any group and is not afraid to talk to anyone (well THAT is a tad scary I must say). Thanks again. This post meant a lot to me.

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  3. I was always the shy girl, too. I wouldn't even call and order pizza or go through the drive thru! When my oldest was born I found that he had an insatiable need to talk to everyone everywhere we went--and it freaked me out! Because then they wanted me to translate "baby talk" or just wanted to talk to me! ACK!
    Not a one of my 4 kids is shy. I watch them include the shy and left out kids! Guess they have a heart for people like their crazy momma!

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  4. I was more shy when I was younger but when I became a mother I tried to be more outgoing so that my kids would see that it wasn't so scary. It was really stepping out of my comfort zone. Still have my moments of being really shy.

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  5. Hi,
    Even though I don't qualify myself as a shy person, I do feel just like you: exhausted when I have to! It's like a chore for me. I would love to enjoy those moments, but I just can't. I always thought I was alone in the universe. So thank you for sharing. I'll be able to spark some discussion around me, and say "See! I'm not the only that feels that way! (But maybe am I shy???)- Never thought this way!

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