Adventures of Shy Girl · Personal

No Longer A “Shy” Girl? | Adventures Of Shy Girl

Ever since I was in elementary school, peers and adults would describe me as the “shy girl”; the “shy one”; the “quiet girl”. And I was shy. I would hide behind my mother even around people I knew well. When I wanted something I had to whisper it into her ear and likewise she had to coach me through simple sentences. In middle school, I sat off to the side, away from the noise. Teachers would rearrange seats and put me next to the troublemakers—hoping, that my quietness would rub off on them. As if my being quiet was infectious, a disease that could be caught. I was always silently angered by these backhanded compliments that always came along with, “Why can’t you be like her?”. Further setting me apart from my peers.

I can’t say I didn’t earn the title of shy girl back then. I had a speech impediment and never wanted to talk. A side effect, I guess, from being teased. From there it snowballed as I got used to being quiet and not speaking up. I stopped being able to formulate thoughts into words and words into sound. Even when I talked, I mumbled. In Girl Scouts and classroom projects, everyone would choose: quiet, shy, kind to describe me. During my first job interview, when they asked me to describe myself I had to bite my tongue to stop myself from saying shy. Because who wants to hire a shy girl to work in a store?  

Being shy has always been ingrained in me: A unchanging part of my personality; the starting link on any chain; a fixed point on my map.

When I started college this all held true, and even though I added anxious nothing was removed. About halfway through my college career, a friend said something that would have stopped me in my tracks had I been moving. He said, “Kelly, I don’t think your shy.” He didn’t mean to but he sent shock waves through my formally solid foundation. No matter what changed in my life, I always knew that I was shy, quiet, and kind. Until this moment.

I stumbled my words, and shook my head. I tried to argue my points for how I’m shy but he just shook his head, confident in his decision. His foundation shaking decision.

Since then, I’ve been off-centered. Who am I? Am I still quiet and kind, or did those go away too? When I look in the mirror, I recognize my face but not the look in my eyes. I’ve always been shy. I mean. I put it in the title of my blog. There is not another word on this planet that I would associate so closely, so intimately with as “shy”.

Doctors told my parents and I, that I would grow out of my shyness. I never believed them. But were they right?


 

So…I’m having a bit of an existential crisis as I struggle to reconcile not being 100% shy with what I’ve always known. I’ve also realized how true this statement is, “People can’t be defined.”

So as I ponder who I am, and other big questions I ask you these smaller, less severe questions: Have you ever experienced this? What would you do in my place? How would you react? How do you define yourself and do you think others see you differently than you see yourself? Let’s discuss.

Until next time,

~K.D.

 

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6 thoughts on “No Longer A “Shy” Girl? | Adventures Of Shy Girl

  1. That was the worst in elementary school, when the teacher would people all the loud kids next to the quieter ones (me). It almost felt like a punishment. I’ve often said that my friends know me better than I know myself because they actually see me and pick up on my behaviour/tendencies. I don’t because to me, I’m just being me. So if this guy says you aren’t shy, believe him! Just tell yourself every day that you are not shy, rather than telling yourself you are shy. Could make a big difference. Hope this helped!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am so glad to hear that this happened to others and that somebody else responded to it in a similar way. I always hated when teachers did this because it often took away from my education.

      Thank you for answering, it begs the questions though, can you be shy in some instances but not others and still be considered shy? Though this friend of mine doesn’t consider me shy, others do. I would love to hear your answer! Thank you for reading and commenting. 🙂 ~K.D.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’d say yes, you can be shy in some instances and not shy in others. This probably just qualifies you as “shy at times” though rather than “shy all the time” which is perfectly fine. It could just be you’re more comfortable in certain situation than others – we all are. I know that college broke me out of being quiet and reserved but I didn’t notice it until halfway through college that I had changed. And even then, I would sometimes go back to being quiet/observing in situations I wasn’t completely comfortable in.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I have dealt with the same thing. I am out of my shell now, but I have close friends, some of my church, and my professors who I am comfortable around. I struggled with my speech as well. Although no specific impediment but I would mix up words or parts of words – i had a probable ld as a child. So i hardly talked til high school and then it was to a few select people. My best friend said the same to me, that I wasn’t ever shy and couldn’t possibly be introverted, which was until I told her they thought I had selective mutism as a child and such. You are you, and you stay that way. I’d take being observant and watching people over spending time with artificial people just to be social, It’s better being choosy.

    Liked by 1 person

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