Why it does not pay to be shy
I used to be really shy.
I mean REALLY REALLY shy. I remember my first crush like it was only yesterday. Her name is Sharon. We were only seven. I guess TV has a big effect on a growing child. Perhaps it was the happy endings in the fairy-tale type of cartoons I watched. Perhaps it was the nice warm fuzzy feeling I got from watching soapy romance serials on the then SBC 8. Whatever it was, at the age where other boys detested girls and thought they were yucky and would rather play with other boys, I thought girls were special and there was one whom I felt was way more special than the rest.
I guess I’m not very good at hiding my feelings. Maybe it was the way she caught me looking at her. Maybe it was the nervousness that was obvious to the both of us every time I talked to her. Whichever the case, being the smart girl that she was, she soon figured that she was special in my eyes.
I remember that even then, I already possessed a gift- I was able to express myself much clearer and better than most people with written words. And probably because of my shyness, I got my messages across more effectively with pencil and paper than through vibrations of the air. I recall that I actually wrote her some sort of a love letter. Yes, my very first love letter.. at age 7. I think it was only about a paragraph long.. written with simple words.. words that I had been taught till that particular point of time (which wasn’t many), to tell her I like her.
Sharon never did see that letter though.
Instead my mom actually found it and was questioning me about it and I told her a white lie that it was just a game that I was playing with my cousins and quickly brushed it off. In fact, it was no game. To me, it was as serious as it could ever be.
I am sure that you could already anticipate that there was no happy ending to this tale. What actually happened was that one day, Sharon actually approached me with a friend. Flashing that irresistible smile of hers, she asked me a simple question… “Do you like me?”
I was taken aback. I guess I didn’t expect her to be so direct. I guess I wasn’t prepared. I must have turned bright red… probably just a little short of the color of the red markers on the teacher’s desk. I wanted so badly to say yes but my innate shyness overpowered me and the yes I was supposed to say turned to a no.
She never spoke to me ever again after that.
Even till today, all I can do is ask “What if?” What if I said yes? How would things have turned out? Maybe we could have been childhood sweethearts.. or maybe she could have broken my heart. But I never knew.. because I didn’t say how I really felt. Because I couldn’t overcome my shyness.
All our lives, we ask ourselves “What if?” only too often. Perhaps about 80% of those “What if?”s in my life can be attributed to that innate shyness. But I can safely say that I have been doing my best to try to overcome it. People don’t quite understand how hard it is for naturally shy people to do simple things like asking someone out. It is a feeling that no words can do justice to.
So next time, if an innately shy person asks you out, do say yes. If things don’t go well, the only thing that you can lose is a few hours of your life and I am quite sure most people waste more hours stoning. On the contrary, things might just work out and you will be one of those lucky people who see a side of that person that few people get the chance to see. Either way, you would have gotten to know the person a little better and allow him/her to get to know you a little better as well. And that’s not such a bad thing is it? At least the decisions both of you make later on is a reflection of what you know about each other rather than what you think you know.
And if a girl I happen to like asks me whether I like her again, I will shoot myself if I say no again.
Note to Readers: This was actually something I wrote in an old blog back in 2003. The reason why I reposted it here is because I was greatly inspired by a movie I saw 2 days ago – Adaptation – about a Screenwriter’s frustration in adapting a best selling book “The Orchid Thief” into a movie. It is a tale of his innate social anxiety and how it cost him dearly – to be unable to experience the beautiful moments in life. Nicholas Cage played the lead role to perfection and it’s a movie I highly recommend everyone to watch!
Recommended Resources to Combat Shyness!
Panic Away – A Revolutionary New Technique To Cure Acute Anxiety And Panic Attacks In Easy-To-Follow Steps Without Any Medication!
The Social Strategies – Overcome Shyness And Social Phobia… By Playing Games!
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