So Awkward Journal

A Journey Out of Shyness

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100259935Even the seemingly most confident person feels shy, awkward, or uncomfortable in certain circumstances. And then there’s us. The “Shy’s,” who feel awkward in just about any situation. We’d give anything to be confident and outgoing. This blog is for you.  A journey from shyness, one baby step at a time.


Are You a Conversation Killer?

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Ever feel like you have nothing interesting to say? Or wonder why anyone would want to talk to you anyAre you a Conversation Killer_ canvaway because you’re so boring? When someone asks “What’s new?” you shrug and answer, “Oh, not much,” and the conversation falls to the floor and lies there dying a slow agonizing death.

If you feel boring, you quite possibly are! But there’s a simple way to resolve that! Do something you can talk about! What are you interested in? Are you an artist or love going to art festivals? Do you have a weightlifting goal you’re working towards? Do you love trying new recipes? Maybe you love photographing old wooden bridges or birds, or have a passion for a certain type of volunteer work.

These are things that make you interesting. When someone asks how your weekend was, tell them about the 5k you participated in, or the amazing pork roast recipe you tried. They will invariably ask questions about it, and voila… a conversation is born. And not just any conversation, but one you are passionate about, making it easier to converse without feeling awkward. If you are passionate about the art festival you attended, conversation will come naturally when you speak about it. You will cease worrying about what to do with your hands because you’ll gesture naturally. Your fear of awkward silence will disappear as you tell your story. Talking about your passion has a wonderful side-effect too! Now that this person knows about your interest, they will likely ask about it the next time they see you, creating a subsequent easy conversation for you.

Another benefit of getting out there and enjoying your interest is you will meet new people with similar passions, particularly if you’re attending a group function surrounding your interest. Let’s go back to the art festival example. If you see a particular painting you love, talk to the artist about it. Artists love talking about their work, so the conversation will glide along easily. If you love cooking, take a cooking class. Don’t worry about going alone. Every person in the class also loves cooking, so talking about your shared passion with a stranger will come easier than you think. Plus you may just meet a new friend! It can be difficult for a Shy to make friends, so finding people who share your passion can naturally lead to new friendships.

So don’t just sit there! Search your community for events that might interest you and go! It’s perfectly okay to go alone, so don’t worry about that. There will be plenty of like-minded people there who just might strike up a conversation with you!

And next week when someone asks, “How was your weekend?” you can answer, “Well, I went to this amazing…”

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Face Your Fear

Face your fears, they say.  Well, I found myself facing a fear a few days ago. Now mind you, I had no intention of facingel reno 1 said fear, but circumstances thrust me into the situation.  I had to drive to the outskirts of a small town about forty minutes away for a work event.  On the way back I saw a dirt road…and some windmills.  I’m not talking just any old windmills, I mean, the ginormous windmills on steroids that produce electricity.  No, I’m not afraid of windmills, just hold on, we’re getting to that. Continue reading

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Victory feels good, even when we don’t win

When’s theyay last time you did something you were proud of?  Anything…from accomplishing a task you’d put off way too long, to doing something even slightly brave?  Take a moment to recapture the feeling of euphoria you experienced afterwards – your chest feels fuller, you walk a little taller, a satisfied grin creeps out the side of your lips.  Victory feels good, even when we don’t win.  Continue reading

Keeping a Conversation Going

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Your insides scream as the silence between you grows more and more awkward.  There’s a certain point (I haven’t actually counted the seconds) where you become extremely aware that the conversation needs a shock from a defibrillator, then it kersplats on the floor. For a SHY, talking one on one with someone can be challenging. Continue reading

Wishful Thinking

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175336973At what age do we give up trying and turn into the wishful? Do toddlers sit on the floor thinking, “I wish I could learn to walk?” Does a child mope around saying, “I wish I knew how to ride a bike?” Of course not! They just try it! And they keep trying. Even though they fall smack on their caboose a thousand times, they keep trying. And accomplishing that goal, they set their sight on something else to conquer.

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Gift Opening Awkwardness

imageSome people love receiving gifts. But many dread it. SHYs often view public gift opening in the same light as public depantsing…exposed, observed, and judged. It’s bad enough being in the spotlight for those hour-long minutes as you slowly peel away each bit of tape, but you also worry about having the right expression on your face when the gift is unveiled. And why, why, why is saying “thank you,” so difficult for us?

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Dreaded Holiday Chit-Chat

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cat from Fred busbinThe twinkle of red and green lights, the crackle of an open fire, the smell of evergreen wafting from the tree and sugar cookies baking in the kitchen are soothing signs the Christmas season is here. But the holidays can be far from soothing. In reality, we’re stressing about finding just the right gift (or affording just the right gift) or fitting into the perfect little black dress after stuffing ourselves on Thanksgiving. And for those who find small-talk more challenging than algebra, the assortment of social events that come with the season are more dreaded than giving up sugar in January.

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No Chocolate Bars? Try Enthusiasm!

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Are you the person who fahershey bardes into the background in a group because you’re so quiet? One thing we Shys struggle with is coming up with something to talk about. Whether it’s interacting with co-workers, classmates, or a group of strangers you are thrust into for some reason, we feel like we’re the only person in the room who has nothing to say. Continue reading

You Did Great…

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I noticed her when she walked out of the room with her team. An 11-year-old with a look of devastation on her face. Her team had just given a thirty second presentation in a “fun” competition. It obviously hadn’t been fun for her.

While corralling my two teams practicing for their presentation-a lofty feat-I noticed her standing by the stairway, all alone, looking forlorn.

Abandoning my team, I wandered over and leaned against the rail. When I asked if she was okay, she looked up with eyes of shame. “I forgot my line,” she blurted out, as if  confessing to a murder. Continue reading