Monday, February 21, 2011

Hello, I'm Shy; And You Are?

Shy = timid, bashful, awkward in company; reluctant.
Shyness (also called diffidence) is a social psychology term used to describe the feeling of apprehension, lack of comfort, or awkwardness, especially in new situations or with unfamiliar people. Shyness may come from genetic traits, the environment in which a person is raised and personal experiences. There are many degrees of shyness. Stronger forms are usually referred to as social anxiety or social phobia.

Two words used to describe me would be shy and quiet; those words have followed me pretty much my entire life. Most people who know me, I'm sure, would have those two words on their list of adjectives for me.
I am shy. I am quiet. It is my nature.
When I was younger (10 or 12) I hung out with the neighborhood kids putting on plays and making up stories in our basement, but that was just showing off my creative side.
I'm pretty good with kids and the elderly or the sick, but that is just my patience and understanding and kind nature.
Take a look at my resume or work history or ask around and you'll find out that my customer service skills are quite accomplished. I'm good at talking with others because it is usually part of a job and I like making people feel comfortable and at home.
Really though, I prefer to spend down time doing my own thing. I do like hanging out with my friends and taking part in conversations, but usually I prefer to sit and listen. To observe and let others lead.
"Where is Mark?" Off sitting in a corner or in the background, silently trying to blend in.
I am shy. I am quiet. It is my nature.

When it comes to meeting new people it is usually done through work or the handful of friends I already have; most of those through my sister. (Thankfully she doesn't charge me a social networking fee)
I don't like standing in front of groups giving speeches or making presentations.
I don't care to be anywhere near the centre of attention.
I have difficulty when it comes to asking a girl out.
I embarrass fairly easy and my cheeks turn a rosy hue.
I am shy. I am quiet. It is my nature.

Recently when talking about some of the things that I do I was told, "you're really not that shy." But we were talking about a different world; online, cyberspace, and more to the point, the writing world.
I have a website that I've created for my book. I also share other written stories, some of them personal, other artwork I've done and I have a page dedicated to friends, family and other inspirations. (Although only some as the list of things I find inspiring could get very long) My most recent prose piece is a very personal view on my life and some of the things that I have gone through.
I Twitter, I Facebook, and now I blog.
Through my writing and this technological world I have learned to open up, to be honest, to evolve a little. But the way I see it, it is not about NOT being shy. It is about sharing and learning and understanding. The more I write about myself, the more I share, the more I think I grow and understand. I need that. For various reasons I find life scary and confusing at times! But when I write and tweet and blog and then read other blogs and tweets and Facebook messages and listen I begin to understand and feel more comfortable and not be afraid. Most importantly though, sharing my writing and my thoughts allow me to express myself in a way that I really don't consider to be about me; I get to contribute and to share my experiences with others. And if, by chance, I get to help with my words..... even better. And still, all of this, at the same time, can help me in my own way, if that makes sense. And when I do all of this stuff I am sitting alone somewhere, by myself, at my computer.
I am shy. I am quiet. It is my nature.

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