Honest to Blog: Confessions of a Shy Girl

08 November, 2012

On the surface, this was supposed to be something really easy to write about. I had this really great idea in my head about how this was going to go, but when I put it on paper (like I do, pen to paper--my favorite way to work out a post) it all fell apart.

I am painfully extremely shy.

Always have been.

Always will be.

And most of the time, I kind of hate it.

I am an observer by nature. It is one of the many reasons I gravitated to my camera and photography. I love watching the world around me and the people moving within it and how people and things interact with one another.

It has also given me my voice when it comes to writing. It has allowed me the freedom to put onto paper what I'm unable to actually say. I don't quite understand why, but I am much more comfortable putting in a letter or a note what I want to say to someone instead of having to speak it. This is one of the reasons I have my writing, I'm able to to "say" here what I can't speak anywhere else.

But it keeps me on the outside looking in. It keeps me from (directly) interacting with my world around me. It keeps me isolated and can be extremely lonely.

For quite a long time and even recently, I would have given just about anything to change that about myself. To be able to set aside all the anxiety that comes with being so shy would be (I thought) a revelation of epic proportions. I'd be able to join in conversations I'd previous stayed away from for whatever excuse I used to talk myself out of. I would have been able to tell someone how I felt rather than having to send it in a text or never sending it all. I wouldn't feel trepidation every time someone suggested something even just the tiniest bit outside of my comfort zone.

Like so many things though, changing this part of myself would simply change who I am. Yes it has made making strides in my career more difficult (every time I head off to do a training I have to fight off a panic attack). Yes I miss out on things I am quite certain I would otherwise enjoy. And yes it makes forming relationships extremely difficult.  But I also know that when I make a decision about something anything it's the right one for me even if I've over-thought it within an inch of its life. And missed moments? Everyone has them and some I would have missed even if I tried jumping in feet first with my eyes closed. Sure, I don't make friends easily so I know the ones I have and the relationships I have formed are solid and true--they are with amazing people who I know I can trust and have my back when I need them (and vice versa). And missing out on more serious, personal relationships....well, I'm still working on that but I think we're really all just a work in progress when it comes down to it.

Honest to Blog is a series where I let my pen glide across the paper without letting my inner editor know what is going on. Some posts might be controversial. Some might be a bit boring and some might be downright ridiculous. But they will all be open, honest and 100% me.


  1. You may not always be shy! I used to be very, very shy. In college, there were SEVERAL times I went the WHOLE semester without speaking to ANYONE in my class because I was too shy and everyone else was chatting away all around me. It wasn't until my first year teaching that I broke out of it because you can't really be shy as a teacher. Now I am really outgoing and don't care to say whatever, whenever! Sometimes it just takes something to bring it out in you! But then again, if being shy suits you (I still am sometimes!) then that is always fine because that is who you are!

    1. Because of my job, it is slowly getting better but I think it'll always be there. Funny how sometimes it is our professions that help us break out of our shells.

  2. I have this issue too. I mean, I've gotten better at randomly talking to people, but I still have minor social anxiety. I automatically assume people DON'T like me when they meet me and I have to work hard to make them like me.

    1. I hear you on that one! I always think it is funny how "different" I come across once I am comfortable around people, but I suppose that is just part of the process of "coming out of your shell".

  3. I feel like I was in much the same place several years ago. I was the person who would come to group events armed with a camera and a bag of knitting and I'd either go around snapping photos or sit in the corner knitting, and wouldn't talk... I'd just sit around and observe unless someone deliberately started a conversation with me. Often times I'd want to participate in a conversation going on, but my little inner voice would talk me out of it.... saying things like, "What you have to say is stupid. No one's going to listen to you. You should just be quiet and stay unnoticed."

    I had to work really hard to tell that negative nagging voice to shut up. I'm still a little on the quiet side, if I'm in a group of people and a conversation is going on, I'm still usually going to be the quiet one who contributes least... but I've managed to shed that thing that kept me from chiming in if I did have something worthwhile to say.

    I do prefer certain styles of communication to others.... I prefer one on one conversations to groups of three or more. I do better at written communication than I do at spoken.... and I absolutely hate getting up in front of a large group of people and giving a talk... but I've grown to accept this stuff about myself.

    1. Unless I am with my close group of friends, I'm definitely more comfortable with one on one conversations, too. As I get older, it's definitely getting "easier" to chime in when I have something to add, but it will always be a part of me.


Thanks for reading!