If you’ve previously read my blog post on Anxiety, this post won’t come as brand new information. For those who haven’t read it, let me give you a short synopsis. I recently opened up about suffering from Anxiety and my dire phobia of vomiting. Writing that post was important to me, and I wish continue to share content which others may be able to relate to personally. On a more recent note, I’ve started to observe the different aspects of the struggles of anxiety, and how it affects my social life.
Let me rewind. As a child, I was high spirited, loud and confident. Most children don’t interact with their conscience. It’s the beauty of being a child. I was considerably playful and free spirited. I used to sing to strangers in my buggy and tell stories to customers in the local supermarket. As you grow older, you develop a broader mindset which determines how you’re going to behave in social environments. As a young teenager, I battled secondary school bullying, which I was lucky to power through. Life came with ups and downs as a teenager, but I soon found my path in University. This is where I met friends I can relate to and people who shared the same interests as me. In the midst of it all, my confidence was constantly fluctuating. My Mom used to always tell me to “fake it until you believe it” when it came to growing my confidence, but it led me nowhere. After five years in University, I came to terms with my social behavior. I concluded that although I wished for otherwise, it was in my nature to be quiet and introverted. Obviously I wish things were different, but at the age of 23, nothing has changed. I have the tendency to lose my voice in a crowd.
I have learned in time that those who are quiet are usually mistaken to be rude or stuck- up. I’ve often been told by my friends; ‘Before I got to know you I thought you were so rude,’ or ‘Before we got friendly I thought you hated me’. Typically, those who are shy are usually mistaken to be strange or ignorant. In my case scenario, I’ve been mistaken as stuck up. In November 2017, I decided to start a blog. It was something I’d always wanted to do, as I’ve a love for writing and always have. Of course, fear was stopping me. I feared that people would create negative feedback on my blog. My New Years resolution of 2017 was to write a blog. Come November 2017, a lot was happening in my life. I was studying for extremely intense exams, I was going through a temporary break up, and the stress of my future was starting to heckle me. It felt like the perfect time to start the blog I’d always wanted. I wanted something to focus on that I loved. I’d tell myself who cares what anyone else thinks, do this for you. So I did. To my surprise, the feedback was tremendous. I received messages from people I hadn’t heard from in months/years, praising my bravery for starting a blog. That being said, fear continued to linger in the back of my mind. I was always worried that my peers would judge me. I was that quiet girl in secondary school who barely spoke unless spoken to. I was that class rep who wanted to organize class parties but was too shy to engage with her classmates. I was so misinterpreted, and I knew that starting a blog could cause controversy. I feared that people would misinterpret my love for writing blogs as someone who’s overly confident. Someone who posts photographs of themselves because they’re narcissistic and high maintenance. Truthfully speaking, I hate having my photo being taken. My friends and family occasionally take my photograph, and it’s taken months to finally gain the courage to ask for my photo to be taken for a blog post. Initially, I’d giggle awkwardly as my friends would insistently take my photo in the main streets of my local town. It’s so easy to be misinterpreted when putting both feet forward so publicly, especially when you’re as quiet as I am in public.
As a shy person, I’ve learned that I work better one-to-one, versus in a crowd of people. Although I have a surrounding group of friends, I can safely say I befriended each one of them on an individual basis. While in a crowd, I lose my ability to speak up. Those with stronger personalities and greater confidence tend to over power my meek voice. I admire those who can speak over a crowd so confidently. I’m always the quietest person in group projects, the workplace, and even at family gatherings! That being said, I’m always bursting with ideas and stories I wish to share! I often relate to quiet people so well that I tend to befriend those who are quieter than I am. I have understanding for those who may not omit much confidence, or for those who omit confidence online, but are very shy in person. I really wish to create awareness for those who can relate strongly to this post on both sides of the spectrum. Sometimes it’s easy to lose your voice in a crowd, yet so easy to be misinterpreted as rude or ignorant.
To those who may not relate to this post at all, if you take anything from this, remember that some of the quietest people you know may be the best fun to be around. Not everyone has the ability to put both feet forward in a crowd. Time is of the essence, and if you’re eager to discover ones true self, give them time to establish themselves on a one-to-one basis. Some people are crying out to speak and have their voices heard. Some may agree that talking amongst a group of people is harder than it seems, whereas it may be second nature to others. Regardless, be mindful of those who may be misinterpreted or pre judged. Give that quiet boy in work a second chance, invite that girl in school to the next dance! Be the spark to light up someone else’s confidence. Sometimes, all you need is one person to give you the confidence boost you need. If you take anything from what I say today, it’s the wise old saying we’ve heard over and over by family and friends, NEVER judge a book by it’s cover. ☺️