How It Feels, To Be Shy like Me
Most children have their fair share of fears from believing in monsters under the bed to dealing with bullies in school or running from scary insects. In my case, fear came from other people. I feared being around other people, especially those I did not know, and this feeling made me avoid numerous social gatherings that would expose me to strangers. I remember my first day of school as a child; my fear was not that I would not make friends, but the new faces I would meet and what they would think when I spoke. My timid nature has played a vital role in my social interactions. I have not been able to make friends on my own. The few friends I have are there because they, in one way or the other, forced their friendship on me. I want to be a strong willed individual who is articulate and confident, but my true nature is one of shyness.
In my childhood, my shyness alienated me from the rest of the children. When I was asked to play, I simply declined and preferred to sit by my self as I watched other children play. It was not because I did not want to play, but an innate sense of fear to interact stopped me. Even when I engaged in play, it was because it was expected of me and I was never fully involved in the activities. I remember my teacher tried to have me lead a play song we had just learnt. I stood in the circle trying to find the words to a song I knew too well. The words never came and tears were about to well up when she saved the situation and started to sing. I was disappointed in myself and I felt like I had let down my teacher.
In 5th grade, I was expected to present to the class a history assignment I had done. Everyone had to do it because it would be part the overall grade. I dreaded the though of doing a presentation because I thought people would laugh. When it was my turn, I could barely walk to the front of the class. My perms were sweating and I was hardly audible. All through the presentation, my eyes were glued to the floor. The one time I looked up, it was directed to my teacher to let him know I was done. I heaved a sigh of relief when he indicated I could sit down. I was not proud of myself, and even though I wished it were a better presentation, but I could do little to salvage the situation.
In my time in elementary, I was fortunate enough yet unwilling to make two close friends. My unwillingness came from the fact that I would make friends who I would later part with. It was also because I did not know what to say to them and that made for many awkward moments. It is encouraging that good fortune has enabled us to be friends until now. Despite my shy nature, they approached me and insisted on being friends. They probably saw something in me that I did not. However, the fact that I had friends did not make me any more confident than they had found me, but it has made life in high school easier since I have two people with whom I can talk.
My shyness has been my defining characteristic throughout my life. I have been unable to stand before my classmates and appear confident and say or do what has been expected of me. My hope is to build the confidence that will enable me to acquire the ability to speak without fear of scrutiny, be comfortable with what I say, and do. I want to appear as a strong willed individual who has the confidence I see in others. This goal remains elusive until I am able to overcome my true nature, shyness.
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