R.a.n.t. of week 11/18/12
So what is the intent of my hidden self? In my case, (as the rant title implies), it's being shy. I've always felt I have a secondary person inside of me, just bubbling to get out. True, when I'm with those I've known for a long time, I don't have a problem releasing him. But in new situations, with new people, or a combination of both, I have a hard time being open. On-line and in writing, I never have a problem showcasing my other side. But typically in real life situations, to my dismay, I withdraw inside myself and seek a corner to hide in. Any party or reception I attend I'm generally found sitting alone in the back or with those I'm very familiar with. Being shy can be such a burden and a bother, but I don't generally talk about it. I sometimes wonder how those who don't know me, perceive me. Do they recognize I'm extremely shy? Or think I'm merely aloof, antisocial and/or a 'stick in the mud'.
Yet, this can be dealt with. Speaking for myself, a smile, eye contact or a kind word does wonders to break the ice. Just keep in mind, being shy usually means the person also struggles with finding things to say. I'm not one for idle chit-chat. I have a hard time talking about the 'weather'. But if you get me going, and we start talking about something I have an interest in, you will probably have a hard time shutting me up.
Additionally, part of the solution falls squarely on the shy person. All people are different, which means all shy people are different. I have one friend who's wife is so shy, she has a hard time replying, even when asked simply how she's doing. And still might have to ask her to speak up. But initiating eye contact is also important for the shy person. I tend to keep 'aware' of my surroundings but often I notice people walking around with blinders on. So if you want to draw out a shy person, find a common interest (a hobby they like), establish eye contact, greet them warmly (but give them space if they need it).
Shy people, we are not off the hook. We HAVE to work at being receptive. One of the hardest things in life is trying to get a shy person to open up when they refuse to be approachable. I've been on both sides in this matter, so I know. It's really hard to get 'the time of day' from someone if they intentionally are (or seem to be) ignoring you. Not everyone wants to get someone's attention by running up and waving their hands in front of their face.
6 Keys To Open Up Shy People:
2. Kind Words
3. Be Approachable!
4. Establish Eye Contact
5. Find a Common Interest
6. Don't Expect a Conversationalist