A Good Day
Today has been a good day, and it isn’t even half-way done: how amazing is that!
It started with an outing, a breakfast get-together I attended early this morning with a fairly large group of people. Of course, this pushed all my “anxiety buttons” and I was in panic mode. I won’t belabor the negativity or the struggle. All that I will say is that I never once thought about not going. I knew it would not be easy for me, but I wanted to go. And that trumps fear. I have promised myself that I will not back away from things simply because of fear. I attended the breakfast and had a good time. (I always knew that would happen, so I used it as part of my positive self-talk).
On the way home, I was consumed by a thought: I wondered how many people really understand the makeup of a shy person. Over the years I have been called many things: aloof, arrogant, serious, or stuck up. All of these terms came from people who did not know me. All they saw was a person who did not talk, did not make eye contact, or perhaps, walked right past them without acknowledging them. What they really saw was a person who was scared. What they really saw was a person suffering tremendous pain.
I am a person who hears a lot of noise and walks away from it, who sees a crowd and avoids it, and who sees the spotlight of attention and hides from it. Though a lover of people, I am nervous around them. At times, this has felt as crippling as a physical disease, as it impacts the course of my life as well as the enjoyment I get from it.
I admire outgoing, confident people. I admire people who can talk to strangers or speak in front of a crowd without breaking a sweat. And, just once in my life I would like to know what it felt like to be the life of the party.
Don’t get me wrong, I do have fun, and I do participate in life and do things; it’s just never easy. I often wish it was easy, and that I didn’t have to struggle with all the “baggage” that I carry around.
The funny thing about me is that, once people get to know me and see my other, fun side, I often hear statements like, “You seem like a totally different person. I had no idea that you were like this.”
My point is that people should not jump to conclusions. To quote a cliché, “don’t judge a book by its cover.” The person you are judging – and ignoring – has the potential to be a good friend. Sometimes they just need a helping hand. They welcome being approached by others who have an easy time starting a conversation. They are tired of being alone simply because they are too nervous to ask others to do things with them.
Hug a shy person today! What’s the worst that can happen – they pass out?