Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Call It What You Want

Shyness, social anxiety, insecurity, call it what you want, all I know is that it is equally impairing no matter what you label it. I wouldn't wish it on anyone. If you have never dealt with shyness or anxiety then consider yourself very blessed.

I have found trying to explain being shy or socially anxious to those who have never experienced it before to be exhausting and in the end you get nowhere because all they have to offer you is what you have been trying to offer yourself for years. Really? All I have to do is get out of my comfort zone and stop caring so much about what other people think? Why didn't I think of that? You mean all I have to do is talk? I just need to grow up and get over it? Wow that seems so simple.

If only it was.

Then you have the people that tell you how they used to be "so shy" but somehow they managed to pull themselves from the depths of shy's hell and try to offer you the advice that helped them overcome it. Thanks for the advice but it is like putting your car key in someone else's ignition. It might seem to fit but it won't make it go anywhere.

So what is being shy really like? Well it is like being imprisoned in your own head. I really do have a lot to say but getting the words out there is whole other story. Being shy has gotten in the way of so many things In my life and I am at my wits end. It has gotten in the way of potential jobs, school, relationships, and just in stupid little everyday situations that normal people wouldn't even think twice about. Every social encounter feels like a TSA Patdown. I feel Exposed, violated, and exhausted.

So why can't I just try stepping out of my comfort zone? Well, the good news is that I can, but it is also mentally, emotionally, and physically exhausting so it has to be small amounts at a time.. And normally people give up on me before I can make any sort of progress. Expecting me to magically break out of my shell is like expecting a 300 pound asthmatic obese person to run a marathon with no training.

You might be wondering... Physically exhausting? How can that be? Well social situations are more tiring to me than my daily 7 mile run. I don't leave with a runners high, I leave with a headache.

I think what angers me the most about being shy is that I feel that people don't really know me. They see me as the quiet, boring, awkward person instead of the passionate, opinionated, creative, and completely awesome ( ok maybe not ) person that I feel like on the inside. It is like being in a dark prison screaming for someone to let you out but not a soul can hear you.

There is a constant inner battle going on in my head and I am so tired of fighting. I love words. I love talking. But why can't I? Why cant I just be normal?

BlogBooster-The most productive way for mobile blogging. BlogBooster is a multi-service blog editor for iPhone, Android, WebOs and your desktop


  1. Ah, I totally am right there with you. I am really shy and get pretty anxious (over the silliest of things!). Fortunately for me, my husband is really understanding and introverted, though not as much as I am, so having him there with me in awkward moments is especially comforting. One thing I've often found is that I beat myself up over the littlest of things in social situations. I've had to start commanding myself to give myself "grace. grace. grace." It's really been a great help to "preach" that over myself in hard, anxiety-ridden times. Anyway, totally with ya on this one!

  2. Amber, it took me so many years to be even slightly social that I am now. I'm still an introvert, but I do like the company of people. I like to hang around and just be part of an adventure.

  3. Baby steps...keep up those baby steps! I had a comment told to me that they were surprised reading your blog how very articulate and interesting you are that is expressed through your writing. If we could only say what we write, huh? Later in life I finally had to just say to myself....so what if I speak out right or wrong....what are people going to do, shoot me? Of course not, but I have to remind myself of that even now. xoxoxox

  4. Maybe being shy IS being normal,

    It sounds very familiar. Can't tell you the answer, because I Didn't find it yet. All I know is that being shy is a lot more normal than you might think.

    Stay strong !

  5. I'm sorry you feel this way. :( If it helps even though I don't know how shy you are in real life, I think you're taking a great step outside your comfort zone with this blog. I think it's wonderful!

  6. Wow, Amber, where are you? This was your last post and its been almost a week. I keep waiting to see you online on facebook and it hasnt happened yet. I hope your doing okay! Message me soon or something so I dont start to worry, lol!

    Anyways, I love this blog post. Very honest. Obviously, Im not as shy as you and I have no solution except maybe drugs. My whole family takes drugs for anxiety and it seems to help. I am honestly fine until I hit a crowd room, the grocery store, movie theater, the mall on black friday, anywhere really crowded then I feel sick to my stomach and dissy.

    I have no idea how to get over it. Its your bodys reaction to stress. If there was a solution to panic attacks, I would have done it already. I think maybe your shyness is the same type of body reaction. You cant help it but it is not who you are. Work on it at your own speed, like you said, sounds perfectly fine to me!