Put your hand up if you’ve ever wanted to say this to a group of people whether that was a group of friends, people you’ve just met or even in a work meeting? *puts hand up*
I was shy even when I was younger. It worked to my advantage the majority of the time though. In high school, I could have my mp3 player in my school blazer and one earphone in, and it was so low that teachers never heard it. As long as I was getting on with my work and not distracting people, many teachers never had a problem with it. I wasn’t the best student in the world, and I certainly wasn’t the smartest, but I tried my best. So my shyness has pretty much been there my entire life and I find that I can talk a lot more openly and honestly one on one or even with two people, rather than one big group.
Being a shy person is hard because for me, social anxiety is also added into the equation. I work in media so in my job I have to be out of the office sometimes, going up to people I don’t know and ask them for interviews. You get rejected about 90% of the time especially if it’s something like vox pops that aren’t set up. (Vox pops are the public’s opinion on a subject and you’d normally do these in the city centre if you want a wide range of opinions or at a certain event that you want opinions on a specific subject). If we have guests coming into our studio for interviews, you have to make them feel comfortable and you don’t do that by sitting in the corner so you do have to build up this almost fake wall and pretend that you’re comfortable to talking to strangers; when really, it fills me with dread. Not because I don’t like them (because I do) but it’s this sense of putting yourself out there and they have the ability to judge you based on that very small limited amount of time you are with them.
So why can’t I use this in real life situations outside of work? Take a blog event for example that I attended a few weeks ago, I seen so many women bloggers who’s Instagram stories I would watch on a daily basis, I would comment on their photos, I would read their blogs but could I go up to them and start a conversation? No. I was far too nervous and that’s when the social anxiety would kick in. It’s also a self confidence issue too. They have more followers, their posts are more popular, they get more likes on their Instagram, they know more about [insert subject] than me, they seem so much more confident than me, why would they want to talk to me? I’ve never been one to look at numbers especially on Instagram, so why does it suddenly matter so much now?
Do I seem rude? Yes, I’m at an event and it’s main purpose is to network with other bloggers, some I’ve met before, others I haven’t.
Am I rude? I don’t think I’m a rude person generally (However, I do have resting bitch face, something which is completely out of my control). I spoke to my boyfriend about this; when I first started talking to him before we started going out, the first time we bumped into each other, he said he didn’t know how to take me because I seemed very nonchalant. I didn’t seem to be very anxious or interested when really, I seen him as soon as he came up the stairs and I was really nervous, but only because I really liked him. So I build up this wall and was able to look like I was cool and collected, when really, I wasn’t!
Self confidence and self esteem are two of my weak points, I can admit that and it’s something I try and work on every day. Blogging, working in the job that I do and speaking to lots of lovely people from Twitter and Instagram (and meeting some of them in real life) really do help little by little but like anything, I still have a long way to go.
So the next time you’re maybe at a blog event or you’re with a big group of people in general and you see a few people off at the side talking in a smaller group or just sitting on their own, try and look at it from a different perspective. It’s not that they don’t like you, it’s not that they don’t want to talk to you; they might just not be great with talking in big groups or they might be intimidated, a friendly hello can boost someone’s confidence more than you might realise. And for anyone who I’ve met or you’ve seen me and I haven’t seen approachable, I’m sorry, that’s not the impression I want to give, and I hope I’ve been able to express why this is through today’s post.
If you’ve ever experienced anything like this (from either side), please let me know either in the comments below or over on my Twitter! I know I’m not on my own in this ❤