Do you consider yourself a shy person when it comes to connecting to other people? For some, talking to strangers or even to friends and loved ones can come off as being a terrifying experience. Or at least scary enough that you’d want to avoid that kind of contact at all costs. Does this describe you? And can you explain why?
Now, I’m not talking about being ‘introverted’. That’s different. I can understand someone that just likes their private space and isn’t really interested in being surrounded by people all the time. That’s fine. But there are people that I talk to all the time that tell me they’re shy but it makes them absolutely miserable. They can’t talk in public, they feel disconnected from their friends, they’re afraid to go to the chatroom, they’re afraid to post on the forums (even anonymously)…they actually WANT to take a step forward…but won’t.
Why? What is it that we’re so afraid of? Tell us your story if you’re feeling up to it. I spent a lot of my life being painfully shy myself, and I’m still plagued by it from time to time. But I’m a LOT better than I was, believe me. Shyness can be a serious problem for some people. There’s nothing to be ashamed of when talking about it, and there’s no real ‘cure’ for it other than self confidence and practice. So give us your ‘shy guy’ tales! And if you’re one of the shy people who have never posted here before…now would be a great time to make an introduction. 🙂
– “Not really…I can talk to anyone one on one, no sweat. But I do get stage fright. But that’s not about shyness, it’s about being the center of attention.
Some people have mistaken my preference for being a recluse, for being shy. But it’s not the same. I just prefer my own company most of the time. That’s not to say I don’t value the relationships with family and friends, that I have.
I’m more often the ‘approached’ rather than the ‘approacher’, but if someone strikes up a conversation with me, I’ve no problem chatting with them. I wouldn’t say that I was particularly quiet. I just don’t feel that need to go find a particular person to have a lengthy chat with — at least most of the time, anyway. Now and again, I might, either cause I’m bored, or I have something on my mind, or I’m worried about them.
I don’t usually have conversations with strangers though. Like people in the street, in a shop, or an elevator. It’s just not me. But I’ll be polite if someone else starts one with me. But it’s usually awkward because I don’t know them. This is something else some people assume is down to shyness, but it’s nothing to do with that.
I just think that’s part of my culture. In Huddersfield no one really does that except for the elderly. People would sooner mug you than make conversation with you in the middle of the street. So that’s the way I was raised. But here in Scotland there’s so many friendly folk, it took a bit of getting used to, lol.
I also find that people mix up loneliness with being alone. You can feel ‘lonely’ in a crowded room. And you can be content with being alone most of the time and not feel lonely at all. Some people feel the need for friends and company, any company as long as it’s with someone. They don’t like, and maybe even hate being alone for too long. Others also try to make as many friends as possible. Everyone’s a potential friend.
Personally, I’d rather just have a few close friends. I’m not looking to be friends with every Tom, Dick and Harry.
That’s also fine. Everyone’s different.
I’ve been this way for as long as I can remember. Even when I was a small child, if I spent too much time around other people, I felt like I wanted to ‘escape’. Which happened quite often cause I was raised in a large household. I was never shy, nor was I quiet. I was just as rambunctious as every other kid around me. But after a while I just needed some space.” – Mike84
– “Said this before, people misinterpret shyness. There’s shyness, bashfulness, lack of confidence etc. Bashfulness and lack of confidence is usually a temporary young teen scene which usually goes a way as they age. Shyness if you don’t control it can became like a disease it often leads to mega depression and sometimes death it’s more permanent.
– “I’m shy. But I like to talk online. It’s easier when I don’t have to physically be there.” – Lacey
– “They fear that the inner voice inside is right. That:
I am unattractive
I am undesirable
I am unlovable
I am worthless
I should be dead
Each rejection supports these points and makes them sharper. The pain of any rejection aplifies the pain of these points to unbearable levels. Usually, for very shy people, their sensitive natures play against them in this hard world and others smell weakness so they inject these points into them like lasting venom. Done early enough, the damage becomes permanent.
It’s too bad, really. The shy person is just the sort of person most of us are looking for: the one who feels the deepest and loves the deepest. The one where sex becomes a feast of rare delights. The one who is the cure for the loneliness we all have. The loyal one. The beloved one. The one who knows pain and wishes only to take it away from someone they love.
Go to the library sometime. Find him. He’s sitting there toward the back, there a bashful beauty hiding from those that hate him because of his sweetness. Or the one against the wall afraid the others will ‘know’ the secret mantra of the Five Deadly Points in his head and expose them for all to ridicule, because the Wolves have done it before.
The one who is Gay and can’t be because he is told that is evil which means that he was BORN evil. Thus he bears the added point:
I am damned
To the list.
Loneliness and isolation are the fruits of shyness and eventually that shyness just turns into bitterness and what was once beautiful shrivels and dies. It becomes a black pit where once a heart was. Just because someone ‘not’ shy never bothered to say ‘Hi!'” – MrM
– “To begin with, I used to be a shy and insecure person. This is because I grew up with an abusive mother and an absentee father. My mother would endlessly compare me to other kids which created an inferiority complex when I was a child. No matter how good I am, I will never be enough in her eyes. Even if I was bringing medals at home, she always have something negative to say. The approval and affirmation as a human being I should have received when I was a child was never given. Thus, I was a mix of opposites. I feel like everyone is better than me. But as I grew up, I learned to be competitive that’s why I had the knack of being arrogant and bragging. Something clicked inside of me and I would crave for the approval for other people.
To make things worse, I was exposed to early sex play when I was 8. A group of older guys molested and used me for their sexual pleasures. I was passed around like a ragdoll, thinking it was something normal things that guys would do. But when I grew up, I was wrong. Because it left me damaged in receiving love. To me back then, love is only received if you have something done for them. In reality, love should be selfless and doesn’t demand anything in return. It should be freely given. Furthermore, my best friend was killed in front of me. The trauma left so much up until this day. In the end, my idea of love was twisted. That twisted mindset will show up every now and then.
It allowed me to be a highly competitive individual that puts excellence into a different level. I became strict and disciplined with myself. To the point that I have high expectations of others as well. The perfectionist inside of me will always scream for every unnoticed mistake that I make. And it didn’t give me the freedom to be a normal human person with a dose of weaknesses.
This is why my stories are always themed with human weaknesses. Because we shouldn’t reject those. But rather, we embrace our weakness because if we start being pretentious and display a perfect life, but a rotting one inside, it would be all useless. Change should always start from the inside. Real power begins at the confession and acceptance of our weaknesses. That’s why I create scenarios that force my characters to accept their downsides. Reality doesn’t always allow us to do such.
Right now, some people confuse me as extroverted because I easily create friends wherever I go. I have accepted my ups and downs. It allowed me to live honestly without batting an eye in regards to the opinions of others. Thankfully, God sent me to a safe community in church wherein I was protected and nourished with love. I turned from shy and insecure into someone who is transparent to people.
Perhaps I shared too much. I almost stood naked in this post. And if I did, someone would have loved to slap one of my butt cheeks. Although that would always be welcomed. :)” – Solus Magus
– “That question has changed for me over many years and is like I am many different people because of the change. I was always shy as a child with people I didn’t know. After being in the presence of others I would become accustomed to them. As I went thru school, I was afraid to show any outward feelings to most kids my age. I had crushes on girls and guys. I was afraid to tell them how i felt about them and too shy to learn about them.
As I became close to some male friends, I was not shy to interact with them as kids do, but I was afraid to let my feelings towards them be known if there was a physical attraction.
I became close to one boy about the age of 13 and we would go to each others house. We were both interested in Piano and often played each others music and actually enjoyed that. Nothing ever came of that but after we graduated high school and went onto different colleges, we drifted apart. I remember he was very shy as well and we both were sort of loners but were not very shy with each others. He happened to be the student with the highest grades in everything. I guess that was an attraction to me. I was no slouch as a student, but i noticed that I was faster in learning subjects then he was, but he was more patient and did better overall in school. I admired his abilities a lot.
We would see each other at many high school reunions over the period of our growing older. He never married as I had and he never had children. I use to wonder if he might be gay but never asked him.
At our most recent reunion a few weeks ago, someone asked if he had children and he said no, but he had adopted a nephew. I asked what happened to his brother and he replied nothing happened. So I asked why you would adopt his son and he said the nephew was not his brother’s son. I didn’t question him further because I was shy about that and I didn’t want to put him on the spot. I did think that maybe that is a way a closeted gay man would say he has a young man living with him. And that way he would not have to tell he is gay. I felt really strange making this presumption. If I had known he was gay when we were in school and not been afraid to reveal i am gay, I might have had a relationship with him. Maybe next time I will ask him but there obviously would be no relationship between us since we both appear to like younger men.
As I grew up, I was very shy about meeting women and it took me a long time to overcome the fear of talking to women to date and establish a relationship. I think by my late 20’s I had overcome my shyness and was able to meet and date many women. I never came out as gay because of the very severe attitudes towards gays or queers as we were known as during that period. It was obviously not a term of endearment. And to be found out as queer was virtually a social death sentence which very few had the courage to allow to be known.” – Philszzy
– “To be honest, yes. Yeah, there really are times when I’m really shy when it comes to talking to people. I mean PAINFULLY shy, to the point that I perspire a lot when talking to new people I have just recently met and could not remember the name.
I also don’t like going to parties not only because I’m introverted but because I don’t like a scenario when I meet this guy in the party and when we see each other outside of the party we’re like total strangers to each other. I hate for that type of stuff to happen, and that stuff happened a lot. Meeting new people in parties is really a sure way for me to embarrass myself without fail.
I’m really shy because I never really want to be the center of attention, to much of anything, especially when telling stories i prefer telling a story to one person only instead of telling a story to a group. So you can say that I have severe stage-fright, my hands shake when I stand in the front, I can’t look any of the audience in the eye even if its for just 5 seconds or so.
I guess I’m like this because I’m afraid that they will lose interest in the middle of my story or lose interest on what my opinions would be. i guess I just don’t really want to be regarded as “that lame guy”. And I think it’s also because of that I’m a somewhat clumsy person and I think i’ll screw my supposed “performance”.
To be honest, I never even consider posting anything, like in Facebook, Instagram, and even Twitter, those accounts exist only for reading in my case. I always think I could either offend people and bring a discussion I don’t want to be apart or disgust them to the point of me getting mocked, and that for me is a bad thing, and as I said before be seen as uninteresting or lame.” – MasterM
– “Shy. Yup.
This is something that has evolved and improved as I have grown, but still persists. I think a common theme is the sense of being different, both in self-knowledge and other people’s perception. In grade and middle school I was persecuted relentlessly by at least my grade and the ones a year older. I figured out I was gay early, but never met anyone willing to admit to that until college. I had sex-play with boys, but I wanted more. I am also not gifted with gaydar, or ability to tell if someone is attracted to me (short of something overt). After racing bicycles for a couple years, I was left mostly impotent. Being a 100% bottom, it shouldn’t have mattered, but it took time to get over being embarrassed. There are other stories, but I think most come back to the sense and fear of being different.” – Jon
– “I struggle with most social situations, 1 on 1 with a friend is ok but even with friends once there is a group I find it harder join in and start overthinking and convincing myself that what I have to say is either irrelevant or boring plus with the various neurological conditions I have going on sometimes my conversation can be stilted and people can take it that I have stopped talking when actually I’m just trying to get my words out and at that point they quite often just talk over me which really frustrates me but then my mind will just switch off from the conversation so I give up trying.
With people that I don’t know I usually bluff my way through but its mostly me on autopilot saying as little as possible and looking for a way to get out of the situation.
Things like training days I find really difficult, for a few days beforehand my anxiety will be sky high, I will be off my food and will struggle sleeping, usually its because I think I am going to make a fool of myself, In reality that never happens but I can never shake the feeling. Even going into new buildings, shops, bars etc can start me worrying and overthinking which I know is ridiculous.
Just the thought of typing this was making me short of breath but then once I got going its fine, As with most things outside my comfort zone if I really push myself to do them then its all good its just getting past that initial worry.” – Tricky71
– “Not shy neither forward.
But I appreciate people, friends around me or to call etc. I couldn’t imagine life any other way it’s how it should be and with most people is life is too short to live any other way. By time you read these comments that’s it you’ll never get that time back it’s gone, finite You can’t get a mere micro second back. I’ve said before I’d hate to be on my death bed wishing I’d done wtv and if I die a natural death in natural aging process them hopefully I will have accomplished most of wtv at least tried. To do these things I now we need to be with people and meet new wherever it’s the way life works. Lack of confidence can’t be part of the package. If you have confidence in yourself then other people will have confidence in you they will respect you, like you, love you. Nobody will like or love you if they suss you can’t respect yourself, have nothing to offer, nothing to contribute to life, real life and everybody wants to liked and loved again it’s what life is about. I’m talking real life here not online life mostly that’s phony.
As some people here know we used to have younger guys drop in when I was at my parents house introduced to us, the first one was a straight friends little brother he was being stalked on Twitter by some weird old creeps. It was I then because I wasn’t with Rob at first. Little bro got more kids around who suffered from lack of confidence being gay, I’m not gonna say shy. They loosened up and got on fine together. Now they’re older teens and doing well irl happy just as they should be. I always pumped into them and that all they need is confidence to get out there. Nobody will mock them cos they’re gay they’ll be fine. It dropped off as they got older because they were going out, clubs, bars wtv but at times they tell us about other kids who have that lack of confidence just like they did.
Young people and older may think I’m talking trash but believe me if you want a happy life just bring on that confidence don’t hide online get out there even if it’s just hanging out with straight boys. Guys here know I’m all for young guys coming out be proud of what you are, be confident and respect yourself. I know it’s not easy for some because of where they live but hey 10 voices are better than 1. 100 voices are better than 10, 1000 voices are better than 100 etc. etc. it’s the way to change the way of thinking. Never think you’re the only gay boy in town I promise you you’re not you’ll realise that when you leave school. Live your life in the closet and you’ll never be happy. Be brave, respect yourself and have confidence. It may be hard at first but hey, little steps.” – Dot
– “A lot of it came from issues that I was having at home. I mean, I don’t think people understand how hurtful a life of constant criticism and verbal/physical abuse can be. It creates a ‘break’ in your psyche after a while. And I was so used to feeling like I was hated and stupid and wasn’t good enough for anyone to pay me any attention, that I began to say those same awful words to myself, even when no one else was. So, I loved my small circle of friends because we all grew up together. But strangers? New classrooms, or having somebody new at our lunch table, or trying to get an after school job? I would be ready to crumble at the first sign of trouble. And if there wasn’t any trouble, I’d convince myself that I was just too stupid to see it, so I’d invent some reason to crumble anyway. It can be such a difficult state of mind to get around, even for the simplest of tasks.
See, when I talk about shyness, I don’t just mean not being able to talk to people or wanting to be the life of the party. I’m talking about wanting to desperately reach out and be noticed, but you CAN’T…and it makes you miserable! I can’t tell you how many people over the years have written me emails to tell me that they want to meet people, they want friends, they want to get along with their family members, they want love…but there’s a social anxiety that gets in the way of that. It’s a really difficult obstacle to get around. I try not to push too hard, but often end up in an argument because everything I say either gets turned around or shot down and it’s like, “ARRGGHHH!!! Who’s side are you on??? Aren’t YOU the one that’s miserable? Help me out here!” But then I remember feeling that way myself and realize that’s what shyness DOES! It defends itself. It’s like removing a stubborn parasite from the middle of your stomach and it won’t go away! You end up arguing to stay miserable instead of getting better, and that’s no help at all. It sucks. Believe me, I know. But, like I said, it isn’t something that can’t be improved upon. It doesn’t have to last forever.
Two things helped me get past the way that I used to feel all the time. Does that mean I’m never bashful or full of anxiety or self conscious about certain things? No. I’m human. I get nervous like everybody else. But I’m a LOT better about it than I used to be.
The first incident that helped me out was actually due to me being horny. Hahaha, of course. Passion can be quite the motivator. I was working in this big place with bars and a kitchen and bowling lanes etc, and it was opening up for the first time downtown Chicago. We were both 19, but he looked like a 15 year old high school. Gorgeous! We had a staff of about 2 or 3 hundred people at the time, and one of my college roommates was also working there with me. I wasn’t out to ANYBODY at the time, so I had to be super super careful, especially with friend of mine working right next to me. I was DESPERATE to meet him though! Talk to him. Get a few handshakes and hugs. Get him completely naked! (Did I say that last one out loud?) So I would make eye contact, occasionally say hello whenever he walked by. But…I didn’t want it to seem like I was showing him special attention. I mean, he was so CUTE…people would have suspected that something was up whenever I smiled in his direction. So I tried to dilute things by saying hi to everybody whenever I came to work. Nothing else. Just a nod, “Hey”, and that was it. That way, when I approached my dream boy with a grin, it didn’t seem weird or out of place.
Then, something else happened unexpectedly. People started saying hi to me first. Which was scary at first. That anxiety returned with a vengeance, but I didn’t want to be rude. So I started talking to them too. Those conversations got a bit longer and longer. The break room became more fun. And once I started talking to them some more, joking around and stuff, I discovered that people weren’t half as SCARY as I once thought they were. And I wasn’t really embarrassing myself or pissing anyone off. I was just being myself, and that was good enough. After about two or three weeks, there was hardly anybody that didn’t know me by name and vice versa. Never actually ‘got’ my dream boy, but we did become REALLY good friends and started hanging out all the time. Just the two of us at his house. Sighhhh…he’s one of the reasons this site exists, in fact! So, trying to find a sneaky way into his heart is what helped me to get a little better with the whole shyness thing. You have to find a way to PROVE to yourself that you’ll fare just fine when it comes to being around other people. Nobody can tell you to have courage or that it doesn’t matter. You need to find your own proof. And it can be terrifying taking those first few steps, but it’s so WORTH it! Trust me!
The second thing that helped me out? The Shack! Hehehe, that shouldn’t be surprising at all! Talking to you guys has been the greatest experience of my life! Not just reading/writing stuff, but being able to interact with people online and talking about things that I was never able to talk about before. I was 23 when the Shack started, and it was frightening to try to pry my brain open and speak about my true feelings and attractions. I was extremely guarded when I started out. The only way for me to ‘speak’ was through the stories I was writing. I could still claim to be detached if someone took offense or got mad at me. But it was answering emails, going to the chatroom, posting on the boards…I’ve learned so much. I honestly believe that social confidence is a muscle, and you have to train it in order for it to get stronger. You can’t just sit back and say, “I’m not good at talking to people” and expect it to ever get better. No more than you can expect six pack abs by watching TV shows all day. You have to talk. You have to meet people. You have to joke around and share a piece of yourself while allowing other people to do the same. It works. And rather quickly, I might add. This site has made me who I am today. And naturally, that has spilled over into my real life as well, to the point where online Comsie and offline Comsie are practically identical. It feels so GOOD to be able to speak my mind and express myself without the crippling fear of being rejected for it looming over me all the time. So, if you guys are shy but want to one day go for something more…take those first few scary steps towards being a little more social. Just a LITTLE bit. You’ll be surprised how quickly it gets easier for you to engage the people around you and find a few kindred spirits in the process. K?
Hang in there. I’m being serious when I say that I’ve been where you’ve been. And I’m not saying that it’s going to be easy to get better. But if you ever find yourself defending the thing that’s making you miserable…you’ve got to stop. K? Go out there and find something to help you get better. A lot of folks are feeling the same anxiety. They don’t bite. Not unless you ask them too. Hehehe, in which case, you’ve got yourself a buddy for life! :P” – Comicality
– “Not shy per se, but not forward.
I used to be very shy, and I admit that I do still suffer from the initial introduction phase of talking to people.
I have always found it difficult to relate to people more because it always seems they talk or are interested in things that I either not of or don’t like myself. So instead of sounding dumb I just keep quiet.
I will admit I have an issue with public speaking, but I hate having everyone focused on me….. so in that respect guess I am shy or just not confident enough in such situations.
Now if you were to ask my mum she would say as a kid I was shy, but as an only child I was also a loner and quite quiet which led to bullying.
I don’t like debating because I always seem to loose and even if I know Im right I find it hard to get my point across. (That said Ive worked with people recently who were so exactly opposite my views, beliefs etc there was no chance of wining!)
One thing that has ALWAYS bugged me is that when in a conversation, or meeting etc if Im asked my views or asked if i have any questions I completely blank. Even if i know beforehand what to expect… only after will i think of questions or then have an opinion…. maybe I need time to process. But when put on the spot the mind goes blank which i know sometimes makes me seem shy or boring.” – Dom