This week’s post is all about making friends and conversing and how difficult this can be when you’re shy!
When you’re shy, making friends is very hard. I’ve always found confident and extroverted people to be a little intimidating because they’re so much more out there than I am. But I also find shy people really hard to get along with as well as no one can kick start the conversation which leaves a silence that is at best comfortable, at worst awkward.
Once you get past the awkward introductory phase, conversing does become a little easier for me with both extroverted and introverted people. Once the barrier is down and you can get to the core of a person, the shyness or the confidence with strangers isn’t really needed anymore.
But that doesn’t mean I don’t still struggle sometimes.
One-on-one conversations, unless we’re super close, I really struggle with. There are no extra people involved in the conversation to help me if I flounder and can’t think of anything to say. There are no other people to spread the attention out so it’s not completely focused on me. I spend the entire conversation terrified that there’s going to be an awkward silence.
Group conversations aren’t all that great either. As I’ve said before, not only am I shy but I also have a really quiet voice and I’m not all that dominant. If the other members of the group are louder or more confident, I will just be talked over and ignored, albeit unintentionally. I find this incredibly frustrating but have always been too shy to speak up about it. This is something I’m working on as there’s no other way to solve it.
My ideal group size is between 3 and 4 people as there are enough people to distribute things like eye contact but not enough people that the conversations becomes too loud and unruly.
(this next part isn’t just about friendships, it’s about anyone)
I’ve since realised that my shyness and inability to speak up, can make me quite vulnerable. I’ve never been brave enough to say how I feel and when you allow someone in your life to make a comment that upsets you, that says to them that that kind of behaviour is okay.
One thing I really despise is comments about my weight. But I’ve never told anyone to not make a passing comment, I’ve always just laughed it off and then moaned quietly about it later on. Not only is this a bit two-faced of me, but also really stupid. Laughing implies I’m not bothered by the comment. I’m slowly learning I don’t have to laugh anything off if I find it offensive. People shouldn’t be able to make comments about me or my body if I don’t like it and it’s my right to say so.
Making friends is hard when you’re shy and conversing with people who you aren’t comfortable around is difficult too. But that’s nobody else’s fault and it’s not mine either. That’s just the way I am!