For some unexplainable reason, I tend to prejudice against shy people. For some intangible reason, whenever I meet new people, if my first impression of them is that they’re shy, it immediately is a huge turnoff for me. I admit, I’m not a naturally shy person and I can understand that if people can come off as over-enthusiastic and confident when you first meet them (basically me when I’m excited on a sugar-high), it can be overwhelming at times. However, being the instigator of conversations on many accounts, it makes me feel discouraged over the lack of person-to-person contact that exists in our modern day world and how our lives revolve around screens. Surely the people I meet can’t all coincidentally be “shy”?
A conventional definition:
Shy: adj. being reserved or having or showing nervousness or timidity in the company of other people.
To me, the word “shy” alike many words of today are misused. Being is shy is okay, at times. Honestly, don’t get me wrong. I try not to judge a book by it’s cover and I do have the patience to get to know a person regardless of the first impression I get. Many young kids start school being shy and because they are not used to a school environment. That is totally acceptable. However, I think that if you’ve graduated from primary school and you’re still “shy” that’s just a horrible, petty excuse that has been abused by too many people to this date and I think it’s time we spoke up and addressed this issue. I’m sorry but I think that these types of excuses are not “excusable” in this situation.
Firstly, the reason why I find shy people turnoffs is because when meeting someone, the aura around them is something that really affects the first impression they give me. Though I haven’t checked, I think that there’s something scientific behind the chemistry when meeting new people that really affects how a person is perceived. Let’s say, you’re going to a party and everything is going pretty well. Your friends are busy so you’re sitting down alone, holding a drink. You look over to the side and you see a guy/girl sitting alone leisurely looking at the whole party scene. Feeling elated amidst the celebratory atmosphere, you walk over and introduce yourself to the girl/guy. Your subject either:
a) introduces themselves and tries to begin an easy going conversation
b) introduces themselves briefly and replies with short, succinct answers that clearly show that they’re not interested.
Seeing as you’re the person who initiated the conversation, it’s most likely that you would prefer option a. Option b, often makes the subject seem very standoffish and hostile and if the excuse they come up for later is that they’re “shy” when meeting new people, it’s just really sad. Being the person to initiate conversations requires courage and I believe that it is something that deserves respect in return. Replying sincerely to a person shows your respect to that person and proves that you are willing to put in effort to get to know someone. I understand that many different factors play into the response you receive, e.g. the way you introduce yourself, whether the subject you’re talking to is in a good mood or a bad mood etc. but I believe it’s just good old manners to reply sincerely regardless of who it is, and the fact that people these days exchange a few brief words before turning back to their inanimate screens is really pitiful: not only are you missing out on a good chance to meet someone new, you’re also tarnishing the other person’s self confidence. Being “shy” ends up as a contagious disease. Oh the irony of a phone; an object created by technology meant to lessen the distance between people conversely increases the distance between people in reality.
Another scenario is perhaps more formal. Whether if it’s a school project or on some form of business that you are working on, when you meet new people that you have to cooperate with, I think that the people who come off as confident and contribute quality ideas are the people you would want to work with. Working with “shy” people may not always be a bad thing if the person is slightly stubborn but when working under consensus, it’s most probable that working with reasonably confident people is the most comfortable solution. Confident people tend to be more easily trusted and you believe that they have experience and a higher success rate in their work. If your client/partner is someone who doesn’t seem like they have confidence in themselves, how do they expect someone else to trust them too?
To all the shy people out there who are reading this, thank you for not being offended by reading up to here as this isn’t the most euphemistic, light hearted way of telling someone to speak out and have confidence. Youtuber Lilly Singh (aka Superwoman) once said, “the Loss Of Self Esteem equals to= LOSE.” and I find it a shame, to “LOSE” and miss out on many opportunities of meeting new people, taking control of the situation when the cards were in your hands to flip.
Therefore, I urge you to speak out, to be brave, to be confident. We’re living in a world with a population just over seven billion people. We pass by so many people each day and I don’t think anyone should be afraid to just say “hello” and start a conversation. Some conversations will succeed, some will fail and that’s okay because there are plenty of fish out in the sea! *not really considering how fish are dying but let’s continue*
For those who are afraid to come off as “arrogant”, don’t worry! People have the right to be arrogant about the things that they have achieved and are proud of but you don’t have to be boastful to be considered as a confident person. As Miss Maudie of the famous novel To Kill A Mockingbird said, ‘People in their right minds never take pride in their own talents’. I agree but honestly, there’s nothing to fear. It’s all about the way you present yourself. That is the major factor in forming the impression you evoke. If you hide like a hermit crab in it’s shell, you’re truly missing out. Life is short and whilst you can make the best out of it. You may think that hiding under the rock is the best way to live life in a carefree way and you’re entitled to full respect for that, but you never know unless you try to stand in the spotlight for a moment. Being shy may just be an impediment in your life that has led you to miss opportunities and we all encounter these sorts of road-blockers in many different forms. But if I were you, a person who is capable of changing things around for yourself, I’d be jumping up at the first opportunity to make my stance. If things don’t turn out well, it’s unfortunate but you can take pride and be self assured that you gave it a chance and you took the leap.
Being confident doesn’t mean standing in the spotlight and taking pride in your talents. Being confident is being sure of who you are which allows people to truly trust you as a person, to put faith into you.
As I said in my Strawberry Cheesecake post, finding the balance is hard and in all conversations, the correct tone, attitude and words when meeting new people is a skill that many of us (myself included) have yet to master. Balancing between being overly-arrogant or seeming insincerely humble. But don’t fret, there are plenty of opportunities out there.
So, I guess the message of this post is:
Be Confident, like an extra bitter Double Choco-Chip Cookie.
*I think that should be my slogan*
To Ms Ho,
Shoutout to Virginia for painting this amazing picture of my liege waffles: (teach me your art skills please)
Double Chocolate Chip Cookie
Servings: Approx. 16 Cookies
8 oz 100% unsweetened chocolate
1/4 cup butter
2/3 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 large eggs
3/4 cup light brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
8 oz dark chocolate chips
Preheat your oven to 180C
In a double boiler, melt the chocolate and butter whilst stirring slowly until almost melted;do not overheat
In a mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt
In a large mixing bowl, beat the eggs, brown sugar and vanilla extract on high speed till pale and airy.
Reduce the speed and beat in the melted chocolate and butter mixture
Mix the flour mixture in until just combined and stir in the chocolate chips
Drop heaped tablespoons of dough onto baking sheets and bake for 12 minutes
Cool for 10 minutes on the baking tray before transferring to a wire cooling rack to cool