One of my earliest memories is of my Mom telling me to be quiet. I was 5 or 6 and had just come home from school. I asked her when I was allowed to talk.....I had to be quiet at school, on the bus, at the dinner table....when could I talk. LOL
The truth is, I was/am a very shy person. It takes a lot for me to stick my neck out there in social situations and I am by far 100% better than I was. As a child, social situations literally made me sick. I can remember going days at school and on the bus where I didn't speak to anyone. I did have friends, and I did talk to them, but I often felt left out of conversations that they were having with others. A snide or sarcastic comment from anyone would shut me up for a week. A cousin told me once that if I couldn't sing the song right, to not sing it at all (in her defense I was singing Johnny Cash and I am a soprano).......I still occassionally doubt my ability to sing (I am not Miley Cyrus by any stretch of the imagination, but I can carry a tune). Getting in front of people to sing, speak or play flute was the worst kind of torture.
In high school, at a parent teacher conference my freshman year, Mr. Buttemeyer told my mom that I was an introvert and that she needed to get me some help. My mom didn't see where that was a problem, but she came home and told me I needed to talk more. LOL Now my mom seemed to me to be the popular girl in school, always knew everyone and could carry on lengthy conversations with people she had just met.....I envied her swavy in social situations. Her telling me to talk more was like a cheetah telling a turtle to run faster.....it just wasn't going to happen.
But I did try harder. Acquired myself a larger group of friends made up of many guys. I find guys much easier to talk to. If they don't like you, don't want to talk to you, or think you are stupid, they will just tell you. You don't have to wonder "do they think I sound stupid", "do I look like I just got out of bed"....for the most part they will let you know without you even having to ask. I still, to this day, have trouble dealing with females. Maybe it is the comparison factor. I worry about what my hair looks like, whether my socks match and whether or not I am wearing baby food before I ever manage to say hello. And God forbid, that she be someone in a tailored suit with pefect hair.....I am already out of my league before I even started.
All this to say, I discovered after high school, when I met dh and his family for the first time, that people believed me to be stuck up. I was astounded, because I was as far away from stuck up as a person could be. I would do anything (almost) to be included and accepted. Apparently I gave off that impression though....you know, since I very rarely spoke. LOL It is a miracle I ever met anyone in my entire life. So I tried harder. A smile seemed to break the ice often so I used it. It became easier to make small talk with other people. I discovered that most people weren't judging me, they were just trying to live their lives as best they could.
My oldest son, Lee, has never met a stranger (neither has dh for that matter).....he drug me out of my shell a little more. The things I would have avoided doing, he loved to do......the places I didn't want to go, he did, and guilted me into it. Most people who see me now would never believe that I was so shy as I child/teenager/young adult. I'm not perfect in my approach to social situations though. I often ask who will be at a function so I know if there is someone there I already "know" and can latch onto. If I see an acquaintance in town, sometimes I don't go up and say hi....."what if they don't remember me, what if they don't care to talk to me....etc". I have these conversations with myself all the time! And then I think, "what if they were thinking the same things?" We could have made a connection and didn't.....because of fear! What a deal that would be.
If you are a close personal friend.....I apologize. Not because I don't love you....I do!.....but because I talk. A lot. I have a ton of things to say and if you are "lucky" enough to be someone I will freely talk to, you will be the one who gets to hear all the things that ramble around in my brain. It can sometimes be an ugly place in there! I also love to listen and want to hear about all the ugly things that are rambling around in your brain.
Remember when we were teenagers and would just drive around all night talking? I yearn for those days back....not for the youth or lack of responsibilities, but because of the connections that were made in the sharing of hopes, dreams and futures. Laughing about some little thing that happened that day.
I write, here and on facebook, because that is almost like being able to sit down with a cup of coffe/tea/coke/cold beer and talking to you for hours on end. You share your struggles/hopes/dreams/laughs and I will share mine. For all the hours I spend writing, what I am really hoping to do is make a connection with someone. Mainly you :)
I hope that you have a great day!