I’ve always been a quiet human. I’ve overcome a lot of worries and push myself every day to gain confidence and be a friendly, open person. When I was little, I was painfully shy and wouldn’t want to talk to unknown members of my own family let alone strangers, always hiding behind and holding onto the back of my mum’s knees. I would never speak up for myself and though I was never bullied, I was pretty much a push-over as my silence made me seem weak.
I was quiet in high school, learning later that my inability and dismay at talking to other students I didn’t know made me seem arrogant and rude. Little did they know that I wasn’t judging them but was terrified they were judging me.
I was quiet at the start of university, keeping myself in my room for the first couple of weeks, desperately missing home and hoping I would settle in. These three years are when I started to massively come out of my shell (for want of a better phrase because ew) and my shyness dissipated into a more normal form of self-diagnosed social anxiety. I massively worry about meeting new people (friends of friends mainly). Will they like me? What will we talk about? What if there’s awkward silences? Are they judging me? And spontaneous plans send me into some sort of internal frenzy because I haven’t had time to mentally prepare myself.
Since university and through working with the public and another degree, I’m a separate person from who I used to be. My confidence has grown massively, I know I’ll never be one of those people who can strike up conversations with complete strangers without being at least mildly intoxicated but now, shy is no longer an adjective I would use to describe myself. I’m still awkward in certain situations and socialising for a long period of time exhausts me, leaving me needing to cosy up in my room alone for at least 24hours.
I feel being a quiet person allows me a different outlook on life and the people around me. I prefer to listen to other people’s stories rather than tell my own and even though I don’t always have something to say, being reflective and thoughtful are positives I see in myself as a result of this. As the months and years pass I see continual change in me and I can finally say I am proud of who I am.