When I tell people about how shy I can be, they do not believe me. They act surprised and say that they do not see that at all. “But you talk to me so easily!” They’re sure I’m exaggerating. Ok. I get that. They don’t see me acting shy, so they don’t think I’m shy.
What I wish more people realized is that shyness can depend on the situation. There are some situations where I feel very comfortable. I feel confident about giving my opinion or joining in. In those situations, I am not shy at all. I know it, and I would never say that about myself in those situations [If I’m comfortable enough around you to tell you I’m shy, then being around you probably doesn’t make me shy anymore (honest)].
Other situations are a totally different story.
In some places and around some people, I have no idea what to do or say. I’m tense. I have social anxiety up the wazoo. I stick by the person I know best. If there’s no one I know, I sit on the edge of some conversation and do my best to shut up – and I cringe inside whenever I blurt out something without meaning to. It makes me want to hide. Or go home.
As much as I want to barricade myself at home sometimes, I can’t, or I know my depression will take over everything. That doesn’t make it any easier to kick myself out the door.
Lately, I’ve been forcing myself to get out. I hope that if I get more familiar with talking to strangers or dealing with different situations, I’ll start to feel more comfortable. I’m sick of that awful tension in my chest and stomach when I’m around people I don’t know.
And it would be nice not to confuse people, too.