This topic makes me laugh but its a sad truth that I’m learning to deal with. It would seem that your average “shy” person is afraid of social interaction whereas I am just blissfully in love with my comfort zone and don’t like to be bothered with most people… there is no fear involved.
I’ve always been aware that I’m an introvert, but with that said their are many different levels of that classification and the Meyers-Briggs personality test is proof of that. I took one a few years ago and discovered that I was an INFJ (Introverted iNtuitive Feeling Judging) person. I didn’t really need a test to tell me that but it was nice to get a confirmation I suppose.
A few days ago I read an article on LifeHacker called “How I Got Over Being Shy and Embraced Talking to People I Don’t Know”, the title piqued my interest because I was like “Hmm, I don’t like talking to people I don’t know… so maybe I am shy and in denial about it!” however as I read through about the writers fears of interaction with people at work and at social functions I realized that I didn’t quite fit the mold.
I’m not into being the life of the party but if I’m at one you won’t find me hiding in the bathroom, you may find me in a corner playing on my cell phone but I’ve never been one to hide from people. I would just rather be at home and that doesn’t make me shy, just antisocial. However, in admitting that to myself I also have to be painfully aware of the fact that being antisocial and being “stuck up” have a fine line between them… I don’t think I’m better than anyone, I just like to mind my business and sit back and observe what’s going on around me in silence. This can very easily be interpreted as being stuck up and it has been for me many times in the past… but you can’t change what people think of you so you have to learn to shake it off.
It’s always hilarious to me when a person gets to know me better and realizes that I’m not nearly as quiet as I come off to be. They will often be like “girl, I thought you were so quiet and now you won’t shut up!” and I just smile. I’m a bit picky about who I decide to let in on both a friendship and romantic level, so very few people know the real me. I think the only fear involved with my introvert tendencies is that I’m afraid to let the wrong people in, but I’m sure many people have that concern.
I believe the only time I’m shy is perhaps when I’m around a person I have a crush on before the ice has been broken, in those moments I literally do want to run into the bathroom and hide. I’m a bit shy when it comes to intimacy too lol, but I’m not going to dwell on that subject because I’m a lady 😉
Point blank, I can force myself to be social when needed… I have done it many a time for work purposes as most of the jobs I’ve had have been as some type of manager or supervisor. However, I’m not a people person… I have a handful of really close friends and I am okay with that. My favorite versions of “going out” include a movie, dinner, museum, shopping and things of that nature. I’m not a fan of clubs or parties, and to be honest I’m not really big on large scale family functions (such as reunions) either. I make an honest effort on occasion to force myself out of my comfort zone but I have to admit that at times its a little exhausting.
I think my lack of a desire to be social has both helped and hurt me over the years… on the one hand I may have passed on the ability to make a good connection or friendship with someone simply because I didn’t want to be bothered with getting to know them… yet on the other when it comes to getting promotions at jobs it has been a great help. When you go into work focused on doing your job and not on making new friends and chit-chatting all day… the extra energy you have to put into your work does not go unnoticed. As I previously stated, quiet as I may be… I know how to speak up when I need to and how to butter up the right folks in an effort to succeed.
With all that said, as comfortable as I am in my present state… I would like to change and be a bit more social. I can talk all day long from behind a computer screen but I have to admit that I hate it when someone asks me a simple yes or no question and the conversation is over as soon as it began because I don’t have a clue of what more to say to them… that has to stop! I’m sure there’s some kind of book or video I can watch to help give me the extra nudge and advice I need… I’ll be sure to keep you guys updated with my progress on that.