Ever since middle school, I’ve been labeled “the quiet one.” In a lot of cases, it’s true; it takes me a while to warm up to new people and act like myself. I’m initially reserved and shy, but once I get to know someone, I don’t shut up. Being shy can really suck, though, especially when people are always making the wrong assumptions about you. Here’s what I wish people really knew about me:
- I’m not really that “sweet.” Whenever I talk to new people, I try to be as nice as possible because it seems like the best way to avoid social awkwardness (and to, you know, be a decent person) — so along with quiet, “sweet” is the first way most people describe me. What they don’t realize is that under the right circumstances, I can be as bitchy as anyone else, and it always surprises people.
- My mind is never quiet. When I’m not talking, I’m thinking. My head never stops spinning, and while I may think of plenty of things to say, I just don’t. People might assume I’m absent-minded or not paying attention, but there’s plenty going on up here. Once we become better friends, you’ll hear a lot of it.
- I’m not stuck up. I’ve gotten this one a lot, and it’s actually really ironic. Many times, I’m quiet around people because I feel intimidated by them, so the idea that it’s because I think I’m better than them is just silly.
- I’m actually drawn to outgoing people. Think about it: two painfully shy people aren’t likely to get very far on a date. I like people who force me out of my shell and show me it’s okay to loosen up. Outgoing people are usually good at making others feel welcome and accepted. They’re also more likely to make the first move, which makes my life so much easier.
- Making eye contact isn’t easy. And it’s not because I’m shady AF! It’s just really difficult for me, as a shy person, to make solid eye contact for more than a split second. I do know the importance of eye contact, but it’s just not an easy or natural thing for me to do.
- I’m not mad. People say I have a resting bitch face. Yes, I’m sure I have one. No, I’m not mad! When I’m thinking hard about something, particularly in a group of people, I guess my face just looks really angry. It’s just concentration, though… and probably stress about what I’m going to say.
- I hear everything. When I’m not talking, I’m listening. Sometimes people have conversations around me and assume I’m not paying attention because I’m so quiet. Nope, I can hear you! I’m just silently taking mental notes and filing everything in the back of my mind.
- It’s not about anyone else. I’m not quiet because I hate people. I’m usually quiet because I don’t know them well enough to be myself. I have to really know someone before I let them see my true self. It’s frustrating, but it’s just the way I am. Nothing personal!