Being shy is one of the most frustrating experiences. You want to speak to people, you really, truly do - but you just can't. In your head, you're imagining the way a conversation could go, but you can't actually bring yourself to open your mouth and speak. Words won't come out. And if someone looks at you or directs a question at you, you automatically look to one of your friends for help. And you draw a complete blank inside - it's like someone took an eraser and completely wiped your mind clean. You try to grasp at something - anything - to say. And it's not that you feel you have to say something of the utmost importance in order to speak. You're not that pretentious. It's just that you don't like competing with a group to be heard. It's awkward to start speaking and then be interrupted by someone louder.
Being interrupted is not the end of the world, but for someone who uses a lot of effort just to speak up in the first place, it's like being shoved back down. Sometimes it's like no one really listens, anyway.
And in some ways, isn't that true? How often do people really listen to each other? It always seems like everyone is just waiting to say their own piece. I mean, I'm not perfect, I'm guilty of that, as well. But it's all the more discouraging to speak up when you know no one's really interested in what you have to say.
Speaking one on one with someone is different. Unless you let the other person just go off on their own monologue, you have no choice but to speak - and chances are the other person would rather a dialogue than a monologue anyway. But once you get to groups of people, it's way too easy to just hide behind everyone else. You can rely on other people to keep the conversation going and you really don't have to contribute at all. Except that's awful. You want to contribute - otherwise, what's the point in you even being there? And you want so badly to be noticed, but you think way too hard about speaking up and then the moment for speaking slips away.
So is the key to being outgoing not to think?
I hate being shy, I hate being quiet, because really - I'm not that quiet. Ask people who've been with me at times when I'm just being myself. I know how to talk, I know how to be silly, I know how to be myself. I'm smart, I have opinions, and I've spoken my mind before. It's just that it's so hard for that side of me to come out sometimes.
I wish I knew the trick to getting over this. I detest being so painfully shy. No one will ever know me or think twice about me. It's like I'm digging my own way into a life of invisibility. I want to get out. I just don't know how.