Truly Bad Films

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

On Being Shy

I'm reading Shyness: A Bold New Approach by Carducci and Golant. IMO, the title is underwhelming and silly, (Be BOLD about Being Shy! would have been better) but I wanted to check it out because I used to be horrifically, stinkingly, multi-dimensionally shy.

From childhood I was shy. People who knew me in high school (Mrs. Keysunset excepted) wouldn't believe I was the same person if they met me now. When I got to East Carolina University I struggled to throw off the baseball staduim tarpaulin of shyness that swaddled me. I couldn't join the newspaper or any other college club because interacting with people required so much nervous energy it was all I could do just to work and go to class.

Luckily, a job I had after college was particulary service-oriented and people-intense. I was an Activity Asst. Director at a Nursing Home (a job I undoubtedly landed because I was low-key and sweet-natured - certainly not because I was a keg of extroverted energy.) That job helped me unshy myself quite a bit.

Then I went to grad school and just because I was getting older more of the shyness wore off. I started my library career in 1988. It forced me to talk on the phone and interact with people of every age all day, every day - which was exactly what I needed.

So by the time I came to Virginia in 1993 most people would have called me "Reserved," but not shy. The thing that killed off the last bit of recognizable shyness about me was my five-day hypnosis workshop which I took in 1998. One of the first things I did in that workshop was scrub off the remaining flakes of shyness about me. I was sick and tired of all the feelings associated with being shy. So I did at least two sessions that week on getting better.

After that, I hardly ever felt shy again. I put up my websites and anyone who sees them now is totally convinced I'm a self-obsessed exhibitionist. (If you put "Liz" and the last name I was born with into Google and click "Images" you'll either laugh yourself hoarse or come away thinking I'm the biggest narcissist who ever lived.) But there are still vestiges. And some of them are so subtle that I didn't even know they were related to the old Shyness Sickness I used to have.

For example, I don't like to eat with a huge table full of people in a noisy place. Apparently this is a common problem for shy people but I never associated it with being shy. I thought it was because it's hard for me to hear people in loud dining rooms. But that could just be an excuse. It may be an old shyness symptom that never got addressed.

So, anyway, I'm reading this book and it'll be interesting to see which lingering symptoms of shyness I can eliminate. Life without being shy has been pretty damn sweet, so it's hard for me to imagine how much better it'll be when I not shy at all. Look out world! I'm coming over to borrow your sweat pants and hang out in your kitchen. Have you got anything to drink?


At 12:18 PM, Blogger GG said...

Well in GG's world we have one bottle of Merlot(From Austraila) and a bottle of Guiness that I plan on breaking open tommorrow on my one year anniversary of going to Ireland...

At 12:22 PM, Anonymous Pep said...

Having an Asperger husband probably helped, too.

I took you into my labratory and made you the socially adept neurotypical human that you are...ha! Now, my evil creation, do my bidding--hahaha, hahaha, ah hahaha!


At 10:07 PM, Anonymous keysunset said...

C'mon over, babe! I'll find something for you to drank!

Heh, heh. I'm still shy, but if I tell people that, they don't believe me. What in the heck does that mean! Maybe I should be bold and read this book ...

The thing I hate about being/feeling shy, is the idea that I miss out on stuff because I won't "put myself out there" to experience it.

And BTW keep knitting that air conditioner, I KNOW Pep is going to need it in a few months bwahahahahahaha!

At 1:33 PM, Blogger worshipnaked said...

Oh, Lord, I was SO shy, too, when I was a kid. It's strange, isn't it, when circumstances start to unravel that cloak around you. So great that you are moving way beyond that!


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