Tuesday, May 8, 2012

On Being Shy

I have had this blog post running around in my head for quite awhile.  It is a look inside me, the real me, the one inside my head.  Hopefully it will let others know what has been going on in my head and why I may have acted the way I did! 

I have always been shy.  My mom says that when I was little and I was playing, I always had to come back and "check in" or "touch base" and then I'd go back to playing.  And my grandpa used to always tell me the story of how I always followed my mom around so closely that he was worried that she'd back up over me!   My mom also says that she was worried for me when I went to Kindergarten (but I loved school and so I did fine!)  Being shy also presented problems when my parents took me to get my picture taken.  (Especially if the photographer wasn't the best with kids!)

I even had trouble smiling for people I knew like my aunt!
That's me in the front on the right
(if you couldn't tell by my lack of smile)

I have been able to overcome some of my shyness as I progressed through life.  In 6th grade, I was too shy to tell the teachers I prefered to be called "Becky" and spent that year being called "Rebecca" (to the day I graduated, I could tell the people who had been in class with me in 6th grade as they always called me Rebecca!)  I remember in 8th grade when they announced a meeting for those interested in joining track,  I headed to the meeting and 2 other girls from my home room were also going.  They turned, looked at me, and said, "YOU'RE going out for track??"  I almost turned around and went back to class!  But I really wanted to be on track, so I continued.  By the next year, neither of those 2 girls were on the team anymore!  Belonging to the track team, and then the cross country team, helped me to open up a little.  It gave me something to call my own.  I also had the orchestra, although orchestra was the "geeky" music group.  The "cool" kids were in band!  (It helped, though, that the director liked the orchestra better!)  Going off to college continued my progression in overcoming /dealing with my shyness.  I had 2 different Christian groups that I belonged to, plus my church, and I enjoyed going and hanging out with people.   Dan talks easily with people so I have been able to "tag along" with his conversations and that helps, too. 

Another problem I have had, which may stem in part from being shy, is difficulty in making friends.  Other than family members, I haven't had a best friend since I was in First Grade, and that was a girl who was in the afternoon group of Kindergarten and I would see her waiting for school when I got out and was going home!  We had the one year together and then she moved.  Then before 3rd grade, we moved.  In 3rd grade, I had a friend that I played with every recess, but after that year, I don't know what happened to her, she disappeared (she probably moved, too).  Then I entered the "I'm their friend, but I'm not too thrilled with being their friend" stage. This meant that I ended up with the "underdogs" a lot when I really wanted/needed someone who was less needy than I was.  The girls that I wanted to be friends with weren't the popular kids, but I was too shy to approach them.  I've always had a hard time looking people in the eye while speaking to them (like I wasn't worthy enough) and I'm sure that came across as I wasn't interested in them.  I would tell myself, "Why would they want to be my friend anyway?"  My freshman year of college, I had a roommate with whom I connected, but the next year, she joined a traveling evangelistic group and moved away.  (Do we notice a theme here?)  Another thing that may have contributed to my problems with opening up to someone is the fact that my family went through 3 adoptions (7 kids total) who ended up "divorcing" our family.  My parents were accused of things that never happened or something small that did happen was amplified 1000%.  I had a harder time with the last adoption as I felt it disrupted my place in the family more.  I had finally accepted the situation when the bomb exploded.  I think it made me even more gun shy than before!  Now in the age of blogs and Facebook, I can communicate without having to worry about eye contact and feeling awkward, but then I find myself worrying that I should have said something a different way, or wondering if someone thinks I'm being annoying by posting all the time (Like they will think "Oh, not her again").  Or if one of my friends seems to post on a mutual friend's wall/comments more, I find myself feeling like it's because I'm not likeable enough.  (back to the "why would they want to be my friend" again)  I may have had friends, but they are more surface relationships.  I have always longed for a best friend with whom you share real things.  

Here is an older blog post that also tells a little about who I am

And this is a humorous look at my sleep deprived state from a couple years ago!



LadyShuttleMaker aka MadMadPotter said...

Well Becky,
All I can say is that the smile on your face in your profile picture is fantastic and it is also nice to see you open up and get to know you better.

I was also shy up until college were I forced myself to run for freshmen class president (and won). No one called me shy after that! But I still have a hard time making friends...(deep long lasting friends).

Amy :) said...

Wow, Becky, how is it possible that we are sisters having similar feelings and never shared them with each other? I feel like such a bad big sister. :(

But wow... what you've just done here is *really* tough to do. Opening up about some of the struggles you've dealt with in life, and the leftovers of it that have carried into adulthood.

I feel like lately, God's been talking to me a lot about how I shouldn't worry so much about what other people think of me. That what HE thinks of me is what really matters.

Becky, you really *are* worth being "their" friend... God made you and He did a great job! :)

And I apologize for not being closer with you. The three years' difference in school isn't really a very good excuse, and I'm sorry.

I love you!
Your big sis,
Amy :)

Amy :) said...

Oh, and I love that old family photo... we're all so little and cute! :)

Burtonbunch said...

Oh, Becky, I totally get it! I was always very shy as well...I never spoke out in class or Sunday School or anything like that. I did have a friend throughout my growing up years, but we both had issues that we felt kept others from liking us---for me I was sure it was my acne and my clothes. I hung on to my shyness until I was in nurse's training; God had led me to a field that fit me! It was the first time I really felt comfortable. From there I slowly grew out of the shyness...people that know me today but didn't know me back then have a tough time believing I was extremely shy! You obviously are a very talented and loving Mommy and wife, and know that God loves you deeply! Love to see your smile! I love you! Love, Aunt Marge

Becky said...

Yes, I always sat in class and wished the teacher would just call on me so I could give them the answer without me raising my hand and seeming like a no-it-all!

Ladytats said...

A lot of what you wrote sounded like my life. I didn't really have good friends until high school, and then only the not so cool kids. After I married I moved away from any friends I had and it was almost 20 yrs before I found another bff. Teaching CCD classes at church for many years helped, then getting appointed by Father to the Director of Religious Ed helped me get enough self confidence that now, I don't mind speaking out to the parish council, the Deanery Council or the Diocesan Council all of which I have been or are still a member of for more then 15 yrs.
I now have a very best friend and we leave the guys home and go traveling.
Believe in yourself Becky, you are a wonderful mother, an excellent crafter and you should be proud of what you have accomplished and what you can do. You have made the first step in standing up and saying "I am here, see me" congratulations and keep it up.

Maureen said...

And my goodness, you are the absolute spitting image of your mother!! - in that old photograph, I honestly thought that it was you!

wickedtats said...

You're a beautiful person =) and that's what counts =).