Being Shy

Now, if you’ve met me, you would probably think that I am the least shy person in the universe. That I could talk the leg off a donkey, and then convince it to go for a walk. That I am bolshi, and brave, and bossy.

But for a long, long time, I was really shy. Super shy. So shy that I was the butt of every playground joke, and found it almost impossible to make friends. I was a bookish, nerdy, strangely dressed freak, who never cut her hair, never saw the cool tv shows, and even had a weird lunchbox (my mum had this strange drive to put food in there, not junk). I was “that kid”. The one that spent every recess and lunch time in the library. The one that hated going to school so much that I developed a painful cramping condition in response to the stress of going to school. The one that was bullied, and teased, and taunted, and then, eventually just ignored. Invisible.

At the end of year 11, I switched schools. Thanks mum and dad, I know it didn’t seem like it did me much good academically, but socially, I was in a new world.

Nobody knew me, so I could be whoever I wanted. I fronted up at school that first day as an unknown quantity, and became one of the cool kids. Finally, I realised that the only difference between the cool kids and me was that the cool kids acted like they knew everything, were comfortable in every social situation, and always knew how to act. They didn’t of course – but they knew how to pretend. Fake it ’till you make it.

Eventually, I grew up a bit, and didn’t mind being a freak. And I realised that we’re all freaks. And the only difference between the freak in the corner, and the freak on the dancefloor, is that one simple trick. Just keep talking the talk, and one day you’ll find yourself walking the walk.

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Inspired by a link posted by a friend on facebook the other day – How to be More Confident.

2 thoughts on “Being Shy”

  1. I, too, used to be quite shy but I’ve learnt how to cope in most social situations so I don’t come across as shy now! I didn’t learn this before I finished school, so I too was taunted and/or ignored!

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  2. Ah yes, growing up sucks. I never wanted my children to feel the way I did. I had glasses at school and then my Dad died when I was in year 3, so they had some new information and teased me about that. Are kids more resilient? I don’t think so. I had to change my attitude when my kids started school and make sure that they played with other kids out of school so they had those friends in school. They seemed to get through it okay and knew they had our support. I felt very unsupported but of course my family was going through hell and children didn’t have ‘feelings’ back in 1967, apparently.

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