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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To The Person Who Feels Suicidal But Doesn't Want To Die

Suicidal thoughts are not black and white.
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Everyone assumes that if you have suicidal thoughts that means you want to die.

Suicidal thoughts are thought of in such black and white terms. Either you have suicidal thoughts and you want to die, or you don't have suicidal thoughts and you want to live. What most people don't understand is there are some stuck in the gray area of those two statements, I for one am one of them.

I've had suicidal thoughts since I was a kid.

My first recollection of it was when I came home after school one day and got in trouble; and while I was just sitting in the dining room I kept thinking, “I wonder what it would be like to take a knife from the kitchen and just shove it into my stomach." I didn't want to die, or even hurt myself for that matter. But those thoughts haven't stopped since.

I've thought about going into the bathroom and taking every single pill I could find and just drifting to sleep and never waking back up, I've thought about hurting myself to take the pain away, just a few days ago on my way to work I thought about driving my car straight into a tree. But I didn't. Why? Because even though that urge was so strong, I didn't want to die. I still don't, I don't want my life to end.

I don't think I've ever told anyone about these feelings. I don't want others to worry because the first thing anyone thinks when you tell them you have thoughts about hurting or killing yourself is that you're absolutely going to do it and they begin to panic. Yes, I have suicidal thoughts, but I don't want to die.

It's a confusing feeling, it's a scary feeling.

When the depression takes over you feel like you aren't in control. It's like you're drowning.

Every bad memory, every single thing that hurt you, every bad thing you've ever done comes back and grabs you by the ankle and drags you back under the water just as you're about the reach the surface. It's suffocating and not being able to do anything about it.

The hardest part is you never know when these thoughts are going to come. Some days you're just so happy and can't believe how good your life is, and the very next day you could be alone in a dark room unable to see because of the tears welling up in your eyes and thinking you'd be better off dead. You feel alone, you feel like a burden to everyone around you, you feel like the world would be better off without you. I wish it was something I could just turn off but I can't, no matter how hard I try.

These feelings come in waves.

It feels like you're swimming and the sun is shining and you're having a great time, until a wave comes and sucks you under into the darkness of the water. No matter how hard you try to reach the surface again a new wave comes and hits you back under again, and again, and again.

And then it just stops.

But you never know when the next wave is going to come. You never know when you're going to be sucked back under.

I always wondered if I was the only one like this.

It didn't make any sense to me, how did I think about suicide so often but not want to die? But I was thinking about it in black and white, I thought I wasn't allowed to have those feelings since I wasn't going to act on them. But then I read articles much like this one and I realized I'm not the only one. Suicidal thoughts aren't black and white, and my feelings are valid.

To everyone who feels this way, you aren't alone.

I thought I was for the longest time, I thought I was the only one who felt this way and I didn't understand how I could feel this way. But please, I implore you to talk to someone, anyone, about the way you're feeling; whether it be a family member, significant other, a friend, a therapist.

My biggest mistake all these years was never telling anyone how I feel in fear that they would either brush me off because “who could be suicidal but not want to die," or panic and try to commit me to a hospital or something. Writing this article has been the greatest feeling of relief I've felt in a long time, talking about it helps. I know it's scary to tell people how you're feeling, but you're not alone and you don't have to go through this alone.

Suicidal thoughts aren't black and white, your feelings are valid, and there are people here for you, you are not alone.

If you're thinking about hurting yourself please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or visit suicidepreventionhotline.org to live chat with someone. Help it out there and you are not alone.


Cover Image Credit: BengaliClicker

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Take A Break, Trust Me, You Need It

It was something I didn't know I needed. And I feel much better from it.

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I recently went on a little mini vacation. Where'd I go, you ask? Nowhere.

That's the best part.

Thankfully, I have a full-time job with great benefits. One of them being paid time off. I recently used all of my PTO, plus the two days I get off a week, which turned into a long and well-needed mini staycation. I stayed at home, slept, caught up on my programs, did some homework, and decluttered.

And you know what? It was something I didn't know I needed. And I feel much better from it.

I wasn't sick. I was mainly just stressed out and overwhelmed. It was like getting the rest I didn't know I was lacking. It was like having all the time in the world to do whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted. No due dates, no deadlines. No time crunches, no schedules to follow (except my school one).

I'm not telling you to take a week off work and school. But, if you have that opportunity—PTO, spring break—then take advantage of it.

You don't have to go on some extravagant vacation either. Doing something as simple as staying in bed all day, watching Netflix, and spending time with your loved ones is just as relaxing.

It also taught me the importance of self-love and taking care of yourselves. I was stressed, and I feel like I'll never be fully "de-stressed," but for a while, I was able to sit back and smell the roses. I was able to recollect myself, spend some time on me.

Sometimes, you just need a day. Whenever I feel like I need a day off, whether it be with work or school, I usually feel bad about it. I feel awful missing class, or having to call out sick to work. I eventually get over it, though, because at the end of the day, I'm taking care of myself.

Missing one day won't kill you. Take care of your mental health.

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