I've always been the shy girl. The one everyone describes as being very nice, but other than that, they don't know anything else about me. I'm tired of just being "nice"! It's not because I'm really a mean person, or because I don't think being nice is a good trait. I'm tired of being " nice" because I'm more than that. I have a personality, a deep one. I have emotions and imperfections, skills and talents. A history. When someone refers to me as beings "nice", all it means to me is that they don't know who I am.
Once someone referred to me as being "enigmatic". That's probably the best I could hope for as a shy girl. At worst, I've heard that people believe me to be shy because I don't like them. That hurt, but was really a wake up call for me. I didn't realize I was coming off that way to others. I genuinely like people and am interested in them, I just couldn't break through my own barrier of self consciousness. I would psych myself out and my mind would go blank when trying to have conversations. I thought that being shy was my personality (wrong!) and that if people didn't like it, that was their problem. Later, I learned that shyness is more of a ailment and something that hinders social and personal growth. Shyness makes is nearly impossible for anyone to get to know you, so how can they judge you? The cant. And that is probably the main reason why some people develop the shy disease. Fear of judgement can be crushing, but it is impossible to have relationships without putting yourself out there to be judged. I wish that I had not accepted myself as a "shy" person for so many years. I wished that I had shown myself to the world instead of hid, because now I have a lot of catching up to do! Undoing shyness is doable. It takes practice and diligence, but it pays off very quickly. Undoing shyness doesn't mean that you become a loud mouthed extrovert. It simply means that you force yourself to be politely friendly, as in saying "hello" to your neighbors, getting to know your coworkers, asking for help whenever you need it, and whenever you have thoughts in your head that aren't inappropriate (haha) you share them with those around you! It's not very hard, but for the afflicted, it seems terrifying.
I haven't completely conquered my habit of shyness and hesitation, but I'm working on it every day and I've had some pretty amazing successes. I've scoured the Internet for self help tips and used my new skills to land or be considered for several jobs that I wasn't completely qualified for, but based solely on my person-ability and interest in the work, I was either hired or a major contender. I've also used Craigslist to meet new people in person (I live in a new city where I know almost no one.) and have made new friendships that way.
Right now I still have the goal of meeting some of my neighbors. I have several goodish excuses for not doing that yet. But I need to knock it off with the excuses and bake them some damned cookies! You will find that people tend to judge themselves much harsher than they will judge you and people usually love it when you make the first move!
More to come on the topic of shyness and conquering that beast!!