Shyness

I was the shyest human ever invented, but I had a lion inside me that wouldn’t shut up!. ~Ingrid Bergman

Hmmmm.. I have never considered myself as shy (no really!!!?) and ‘confident’ is frequently among the first adjectives used to describe me. In fact I have been told on numerous occasions that I’m intimidating.. (who me?? seriously?.. you have to be kidding!!) which I have to admit I find a little hilarious. I’m rather tall, and still wear heels; I’m independent and know my mind; well, most of the time. I say what I think and think what I say (too often sometimes). The term ‘opinionated’ has been levelled at me on occasion (moi?), but I’m quite comfortable with the person I have grown into, and recognise that my faults make me human. I am happy meeting new people, and wouldn’t flinch about going to a party if I knew no one there but the host, alone. I think this ability is partly due to a prior career that frequently flung me into unfamiliar situations with new people; and it’s probably for a similar reason that I am happy to travel around the world as a single traveller, enjoying my own company and the freedom this affords me. I consider myself a reasonably adept communicator (my job depends on it), and am happy to stand in front of a crowd and deliver presentations, as long as I am well informed on my subject. For goodness sake I’m even happy to share some of my inner most thoughts with 33,000 or so people I have never had the pleasure of meeting (BTW, I’d like to change that, and at least meet some of you!). So, on the incredibly rare occasion when I find myself hesitating to find some appropriate words, when my brain for once can’t seem to place the required response neatly on my lips, and my mind races through a zillion questions with no answers; then my dear friends, I wonder what the heck is going on!

Andre Dubus is credited with the insight that “Shyness has a strange element of narcissism, a belief that how we look, how we perform, is truly important to other people”. And maybe there is some truth here, in that when we care too much of what other people think of us that we are faced with an acute realisation of what we wish it to be. Of course in this situation, it’s easy to start picking apart our faults, as we self consciously face our true perspective of ourselves, seeing more clearly what is hidden from view of others. As I write this I reflect that I ‘think’ I know myself pretty well, and value my close friends that willingly remind me of who I am, including the bits that I’d rather were different. I could probably be described as an acquired taste, and know I’m not for everyone. I accept my faults, believe me there are plenty, because I trust that they are held together by good intentions, and I have a (reasonably) clear conscience to accompany this belief. So I wonder what my fear of exposure is in this instance of apparent shyness, when I’m not distracted by my inner lioness in the busy business of living, defending all that I believe to be true, and championing causes I am passionate about. And suddenly the realisation dawns on me, it’s not that which I am worried might be seen, that bothers me.. it’s that I care, thats all!

Hmmmmm.. Hxx

PS. I have since met some of the 33,000.. which has grown to 63,000 since writing! Thank you!!!! I really appreciate your loyal support! …and yes, I still care, shyly : ))
{Photo sadly uncredited, words ~Hayley Darby 20.Oct.2011}

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