Shyness is nice, and
Shyness can stop you
From doing all the things in life
You’d like to
Something I never realized until I moved abroad. Something very Finnish in me. People started telling me I was shy, asking why and how it was like. In Finland it was normal to be backward, turn red, or stutter when speaking in public. I wasn’t all of these, but every now and then I would turn red in tough situations. And it didn’t bother me too much. Until I left my home country.
The first time I moved abroad was when I was 20. And of course, I moved to the land of extroversion and outgoingness. The USA. And the thing was that at first I didn’t even realize that shyness was something you should hide as good as you could. So I was being myself and wasn’t really willing to change that. I almost felt I was proud of it sometimes. When being asked “How is it like being shy?” I would respond: “It’s awesome”. The same thing followed me when I moved to Paris. I was once at a party with friends and some random guy started making fun of me because I was more quiet than the others. It didn’t really offend me, I just answered, “Yes, I am, can we talk about something else now?” But he wouldn’t stop. I was strong and could handle it, but I still feel bad for all the others he has possibly bullied. And personally, I don’t see shyness as something you should completely get rid off. It’s something that makes us human. And what makes us human, makes us beautiful.
It’s never black and white, it’s good and it’s bad. If shyness is really stopping you from living your life to the fullest, or you’re feeling so anxious in social situations that you rather stay home alone, even if you’d want to join, you might want to do something about it. You can start with little things, like exchanging extra few words with the cashier at a cafe or a supermarket. Their job is to be nice to you, so they’re usually pretty easy to begin with. And I still feel shy myself. Sometimes. Mostly when I have to speak Swedish. It’s my third language and takes much more effort than English and Finnish. And I have an accent when I speak. And sometimes, people make fun of it (friends who don’t mean it in a bad way, but still). So I really notice that I talk much less, feel uncomfortable and avoid situations I’m not familiar with when I know Swedish is involved. But, I’m working on it. Little by little.
So, if there’s something you’d like to try
If there’s something you’d like to try
Ask me, I won’t say no, how could I?