Don’t Stop Being Shy or Quiet – Please

How many times have you thought how great your life would be if you could just stop being shy? If you could just get rid of that quiet/shy side.

If those dreaded, not-so-attractive qualities were gone? Wow, you’d be in a completely different place right now, oh yes.

More friends.

More conversations

More standing up for yourself.

More feeling relaxed.

More being YOU.

If you’ve thought or felt any of the above, it’s probably felt like some kind of dream that you have no idea how to create for yourself. This elusive way of being that you try to make little grabs at once in a while but end up feeling disappointed because you always seem to fall back into your old ways.

You think it’s never going to happen and you end up stuck going round in circles, sometimes trying, sometimes not.

But what if you didn’t even need to stop being shy or quiet? What if the only thing you’ve been doing up until now is wasting your precious energy focusing on getting rid of something that you really don’t need to chase away?

Yep, i’m going to say it… don’t try to stop being shy, quiet or reserved. You really don’t need to do that – honest.

You’ve perhaps got that side of yourself down as something ugly… unacceptable. In other words, YOU’RE ugly and unacceptable and maybe yes, the things people have said or the reactions they’ve had towards you have led you to believe that what you think about yourself is perfectly warranted.

But no. You’re not ugly and unacceptable, nor are those shy, quiet sides of you either.

I know you may have felt out of place and not accepted by some people and maybe some of those people really didn’t want you around (let’s face reality here) and if that were the case, they probably had their own stuff going on in their life; in their head.

You know how it is. Some people think they’re better than you – it makes them feel better about themselves – or they project certain feelings on to you or you’re simply not a good match for each other and that’s ok.

It has to be ok, even though sometimes you really want to be a good match with someone because you really like them so it’s disappointing when it doesn’t work out.

But that doesn’t mean your problems in life stem from a word (shyness) that describes certain behaviours you display or don’t display, unless it’s a genetic thing as some research suggests.

What it comes down to is the way you’ve been feeling over the years or more to the point, what you’ve been thinking. But don’t take that as a reason to berate yourself, and think ‘wow, I really am hopeless’…

It’s not as if you wanted to have this life. You didn’t one day wake up and think to yourself, ‘this is a good day to start thinking thoughts that hold me back from now on’. No, they all kind of crept up on you.

You started thinking thoughts about who you are and how you are. Over time, more thoughts were added in and because you thought those thoughts every day, your behaviour fell in line with them and you fell into a pattern.

The pattern of thinking and therefore, acting in a way that shy people are said to act.

As i’ve already mentioned, research out there suggests that it could be to do with genetics or learned behaviour from others to name a couple of things but i’m not going to pretend to be an expert and say i’ve done any kind of research into those areas.

What i’m focusing on is the NOW. You as an adult who’s capable of making changes for yourself NOW as opposed to getting fixated on the why and how it all started. If you need to revisit your past, then a therapist would be ideal for you.

Other than that, i’m talking about the kind of shyness that stems from what other people think of you. The fear, the criticism…

When you think about it, if your shyness were to do with genetics, that’s even more of a reason not to try to get rid of or overcome it, it would be pretty difficult, no?  I’m going to guess that over the years, you’ve had (and continue to have) unhelpful thoughts about yourself and what people think of you that have made you hold back so genetics or not, you can STILL make changes.

But those changes don’t need to be about overcoming, getting rid of – doing away with. It’s about changing your focus and turning it towards getting to know yourself beyond your shyness and enjoying being who you are.

When you work on that, you’ll start to feel differently about yourself, more confident about who you are but it won’t necessarily happen in an instant. However long it takes is however long it takes but the journey will be worth it.

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