I'm shy, and it's honestly the worst. Don't get me wrong; there are miraculous moments in which I surprise even myself and confidently talk to another human being like I've never even heard the word "shy". I love those moments. I wish I had more of those moments. There are also, inevitably, those moments in which I honestly have no idea what to say and I'd like to apologize to whoever I'm talking to, but that would be weird (wouldn't it?), so I end up just sitting there trying to think of small talk until they walk away, probably thinking I'm rude.
See what I mean? You wouldn't talk, either.
I do, however, take comfort in the fact that I am not alone. Nearly 50% of Americans classify themselves as shy in some respect or another. Is it fun being shy? Besides the embarrassing mishaps only comical in hindsight, absolutely not. But we all need to live with it until we figure out our way out of it. And while I'm happy to say I'm making progress, I'm not completely there yet. In the meantime, there are some things almost any shy person can relate to.
1. Socializing with people you don't know is...difficult.
You're a human being, so you want to meet new people. You're literally hardwired to do so. It's just that critical first step that trips you up: talking. You're smart enough to have built up a script of questions over the years, but when that list ends, you can just feel the awkwardness setting in.
2. When your professor tells you to discuss something with "one of your neighbors".
They don't understand the inner turmoil.
3. "I'm sorry, what did you say? Speak up!"
Because speaking period wasn't enough? Who do you think I am?
4. Presentations don't necessarily bother you, it's the Q&As after.
Give a presentation? No problem, practice makes perfect (I guess). The questions afterward? Check, please.
5. "When did you come in?"
I've literally been sitting here for ten minutes, but okay.
6. "You're such a good listener!"
I'm really glad I can compensate somehow.
7. Working up the courage to talk to anyone is a process.
*Cue Rocky montage*
8. And talking to THAT guy? Forget it.
Your friends can build you up as much as they want, you usually end up just taking off in the opposite direction.
9. Speaking of, how did you make friends again?
Was it during one of those oddly outgoing moments? You'd like to know for future reference, but it kind of just happened.
10. But when you are outgoing, you feel like the epitome of greatness.
Functioning human being alert.