I am an incredibly shy person. I know that this can not be a shock to many of you. It sort of fits with the whole “so, I’m a hermit, yeah, yeah” thing I have going on. It’s not so debilitating that I won’t interact at all with other human beings, but it is definitely one of the reasons that I’m not big on making approaches to strangers.
Shyness is a killer for networking. You remember that charity event that I was assisting with in December? Logically, if I saw the guest of honor on the street, I should feel comfortable enough to exchange a greeting with him—particularly since Frank Spotnitz may be one of the nicest people I’ve ever met in my life. But I know me. I’d hide from him. I’d assume that I was imposing by approaching him, or that he wouldn’t remember me (well, he does meet a lot of people). How on earth would I go about meeting strangers if I seriously thought about changing careers (and not just becoming a beach bum after I win my many, many millions through the lottery)?
But you know what else gets shut down from shyness? Dating. Thank goodness the people at Yahoo!Personals have provided me with this handy article: Dating 101: Four Ways to Overcome Dating Shyness (http://dating.personals.yahoo.com/singles/datingtips/87492/dating-101-four-ways-to-overcome-dating-shyness).
According to this article, by admitting that I’m shy, I’m accepting a negative thing about my mindset. They suggest that I say out loud that I am no longer a shy person and that eventually I will grow to believe it if I say it often enough. Yeah, because that works. Much like, “I am a millionaire” becomes accurate if I say it often enough, and David Tennant is heading to the States to sweep a certain friend of mine off her feet if I chant that in a mirror. As an aside, yes, I will definitely start chanting that in a mirror, Pen, just in case I’m wrong.
Item number three in the article tells you to realize that you are not being judged. Really? That’s ridiculous. Of course, you’re being judged. You have the power to not care about an anonymous person’s judgment, but telling yourself that a person, particularly a first date, hasn’t made immediate decisions about you, is delusional. A guy has at least judged whether or not you’re “fun” or a “3rd-dater” (or, as is my case, a “don’t bother”).
The final piece of advice is to just accept who I am—that I am shy because I’m harshly judging myself. Sound, reasoned advice, this one.
But I have a question.
What happens if accepting who I am means accepting that I’m shy?
Kate, pondering the eternal conundrum
P.S. I want you all to know that if I ever do manage to get myself on a proper date, I’ll log into twitter and bring you all along as moral support. That couldn’t possibly go wrong.