12 Things All Shy People Want You To Know

12 Things All Shy People Want You To Know

As told by a certified shy person.
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The other day, I intentionally laid in a vegetative state to avoid human contact. The Thanksgiving interactions, along with those that had transpired throughout the semester, left me exhausted. The weight of day-to-day socialization finally came crashing down, serving as motivation to cease the "Hi's" and "How are you's" for 24 hours. I was at my wits end.

But you wouldn't know that if you saw me at the mall, facilitating a conversation with an acquaintance or friend. You wouldn't know that 60% of the time, anxiety pulsates in unison with my rapidly beating heart in the midst of listening to stories about your college experience.

More often than not, I muster all my internal strength to be outgoing and put myself out there on a pedestal even when my true desire is to remain in a solitary cocoon. Truthfully, I need breaks from people at various parts of the day or for some period of time. This is the essence of a shy person's daily struggle.

So on behalf of all the shy people out there, I want to address that.

1. Meeting people is difficult, and it takes time for us to become transparent and develop trust.

An unfathomable amount of thoughts race through our minds, often crippling and suffocating our ability to start the first conversation. Formulating an introduction alone and planning its delivery can be daunting, so bear with us if we come off quiet. We're really trying.

But despite being introverts, we crave meaningful relationships and will show our true selves over time. You'll soon find out just how much we value trust and just how trustworthy we are. We want you to do the same.

2. The thought of presenting, going to a networking event, interviewing, or any job-related event causes severe agita.

Putting up a facade in order to appear extroverted is petrifying. We want to project a sociable image, but deep down we're dying for the torture known as "forced interaction" to end. Please spare us—we're hard workers who prefer residing in the outskirts far away from epicenters of socialization.

3. Leadership positions? No thank you.

For the outgoing person, congratulations. Chances are, you'll feel stressed for a moment when given a management role and that stress will quickly subside. For us shy people, however, taking on leadership positions feels like an early, unforeseen death. We're not bad at exerting control, we just have to work extra hard to deal with apprehension and discomfort.

4. We prefer to workout alone.

Gym buddies do not exist in our lives. With headphones and music on full blast, we'd like to transform our treadmills into comforting abodes. Please do not infiltrate our space.

5. We need alone time in general.

Sometimes socialization can be burdensome. Really, really burdensome.

6. But that doesn't mean we don't like people.

Friends and family provide us with great joy. We are forever grateful for the people who understand and love us for simply being us. As much as we love alone time, we occasionally crave socialization.

7. We're sorry if we come off as "standoffish."

You may mistake our shyness for aloofness, indifference, and rudeness. We can't emphasize enough that this is not the case. We're a bit more reserved in disposition, and I promise, we mean no harm.

8. We're not the best at initiating plans.

Because organizing and then participating in these plans creates tremendous anxiety before they even take place.

9. A room full of strangers can lead to our demise, but many of us try to barrel through.

The handshakes. The awkward hugs. The infamous "side kiss." The ice breakers. These can only be described in one phrase: A living nightmare. Yet we don't want to necessarily become a recluse, so we use armors of courage to defend ourselves in these situations.

10. We pick up on every little thing, making many of us highly sensitive and overanalyzers.

Every nuance, every gesture, every word, and every action is interpreted. We're so aware of our surroundings and can perceive our environments and your feelings based on context clues.

11. We're great listeners.

If you have a lot to say, come to us. We will listen and listen and listen.

12. We're not flawed.

People constantly view shyness as a burden, and while it may be encumbering, it certainly does not denote a defect in character. Shyness is a part of our identities, but that's it—a mere part. We're more than one trait. Treat us as such.

Cover Image Credit: www.hexjam.com

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Everything You Will Miss If You Commit Suicide

The world needs you.
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You won’t see the sunrise or have your favorite breakfast in the morning.

Instead, your family will mourn the sunrise because it means another day without you.

You will never stay up late talking to your friends or have a bonfire on a summer night.

You won’t laugh until you cry again, or dance around and be silly.

You won’t go on another adventure. You won't drive around under the moonlight and stars.

They’ll miss you. They’ll cry.

You won’t fight with your siblings only to make up minutes later and laugh about it.

You won’t get to interrogate your sister's fiancé when the time comes.

You won’t be there to wipe away your mother’s tears when she finds out that you’re gone.

You won’t be able to hug the ones that love you while they’re waiting to wake up from the nightmare that had become their reality.

You won’t be at your grandparents funeral, speaking about the good things they did in their life.

Instead, they will be at yours.

You won’t find your purpose in life, the love of your life, get married or raise a family.

You won’t celebrate another Christmas, Easter or birthday.

You won’t turn another year older.

You will never see the places you’ve always dreamed of seeing.

You will not allow yourself the opportunity to get help.

This will be the last sunset you see.

You’ll never see the sky change from a bright blue to purples, pinks, oranges and yellows meshing together over the landscape again.

If the light has left your eyes and all you see is the darkness, know that it can get better. Let yourself get better.

This is what you will miss if you leave the world today.

This is who will care about you when you are gone.

You can change lives. But I hope it’s not at the expense of yours.

We care. People care.

Don’t let today be the end.

You don’t have to live forever sad. You can be happy. It’s not wrong to ask for help.

Thank you for staying. Thank you for fighting.

Suicide is a real problem that no one wants to talk about. I’m sure you’re no different. But we need to talk about it. There is no difference between being suicidal and committing suicide. If someone tells you they want to kill themselves, do not think they won’t do it. Do not just tell them, “Oh you’ll be fine.” Because when they aren’t, you will wonder what you could have done to help. Sit with them however long you need to and tell them it will get better. Talk to them about their problems and tell them there is help. Be the help. Get them assistance. Remind them of all the things they will miss in life.

For help, call 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

Cover Image Credit: Brittani Norman

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An Open Letter To The Person Feeling Everything Is Too Much

The strongest people to exist struggle the most.

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Hey, you.

I heard through the grapevine that life's got you in the dumps. You're feeling overwhelmed by your surroundings, stressed by your responsibilities, sensitive to the things that people are saying; everything just feels like it is too much. It almost feels like you're stuck in a room filling up with water. You know that the door opens, but you're numbed by the circumstances; you can't get yourself to take hold of that handle, so you just stand there, frozen in time. You feel the water rising up around your body, and with every inch it gains, you get even more overwhelmed. Maybe the water flooding in contains your schoolwork, your family dynamic, your drama within your friend group, your relationship status, internal anger about who you are or aren't, or hell, maybe all of these.

You feel like life is throwing rogue waves at you left and right, and you can't understand it. Why is this happening to me? Why is life trying to break me?

Well, let me tell you something that has taken me years to even grasp, let alone fully understand.

The strongest people to exist struggle the most. They are given some of the most intricately woven issues that may not have a black and white solution but live somewhere within the gray. Things pile up and upon them until everything feels like too much. And you know what they do, the strongest people to exist?

They break.

They stand there, trapped in that water-filling room, and let the water seep in. They don't open that door, they don't take the easy way out. They stand there, thinking about what is being thrown at them, not knowing what to do. They let the water overwhelm them, completely filling the room. And right when they feel that they can't take this anymore, like everything is too much, the door breaks... they break. The strongest become the weakest as they float out of the room, carried by the rushing water filled with their burdens. They lay washed up on the shore, weaker than ever... broken and cracked, frozen and numbed by life.

While they lay there broken and numb, weakness does something so immaculate and beautiful: it settles into the brokenness and the cracks like fresh, fertile soil, planting the seeds of wisdom and strength. Over time as it continues to rain, wisdom and strength grow throughout their bones like vines, making them even stronger than they were before they got trapped in that room before they broke. The strongest people to exist break frequently, so that room can be made for more love, more strength, and more wisdom than imaginable.

Now you may be thinking, why this analogy? What are you getting at?

I want you to know, and read this closely: it is okay to break. It's okay to let everything feel like it's too much because you know what? Sometimes it is, it just is. Sometimes, you have to just stand there, and let yourself feel. Let it explode and wash over you. Let it leave you cracked. Once the explosion has ridden its course. analyze the broken pieces you feel inside. Look at them individually and try to find the root of that feeling. Finding the knowledge behind that feeling means that you now know how to fight back. So you know what you do? You piece yourself back together, slowly but surely, using wisdom as the glue, and you come back stronger than ever before.

You have to break before you can grow. Let yourself feel, feel all of it. Break and be grown anew.

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