Wednesday, September 14, 2011

I'm not boring, I'm just shy

I am a shy girl. While some of my friends contend this fact (they think too highly of me), I know most of the people I encounter everyday can attest to it. Actually, they might not be able to, because they might not remember me in the first place. After all, being a shy girl also means being forgettable.

This is what my soul looks like when I'm meeting new people.
Probably not as cute and cuddly.

My family and friends always meet my declaration of crippling shyness with disagreement because they've seen the real me. They know I am capable of humor (albeit slightly self-deprecating and deadpan), can talk for hours on end about one thing or other, laugh endlessly at the oddest things, and randomly break out into song and dance or Shakespearean monologue. But the thing is, I've had years to get comfortable with them. And anyway, my claim is that I'm shy, not that I'm boring and soulless.

I swear, I'm not just one of those girls who say they're shy when you meet them and the next thing you know, they're in the center of the room dazzling people with their hair flips and megawatt smile and coy voice repeatedly insisting, "No, seriously, I'm shy!" I REALLY, SERIOUSLY AM SHY. When I'm on my way to meet new people --- at an interview, for example, or a shoot, or a party, or any type of social gathering --- my heartbeat always goes triple pace, I get cotton mouth and my breath catches in my throat.

Sure, I have my off-days: when my confident alter-ego decides to possess me, or when I've had more sugar and coffee than I can handle (though I have a very high sugar tolerance, so it does take an insane amount of sugar for me to be on a sugar high), or when the people I meet have that certain something about themselves that make me feel instantly comfortable in their presence. But shy is my default. I'm actually surprised I survived four months as a Greenpeace on-street campaigner.

I envy those people who make burning first impressions, who are so interesting from the get-go that they leave a mark on your mind even in such a short period of time (and Ice Betia, if you end up reading this, yes, girl, I actually have YOU in mind!). I love the idea of chance encounters, single-serve conversations with strangers that you remember forever. I imagine, these are the experiences that great movies, books, poems and songs are based on. I always wish I could be that girl who changes a person's world the moment we meet, even if only for that single moment.

Unfortunately, my shy demeanor and social impairment make people dismiss me as boring and plain, which makes it worse because I don't like boring, plain things. I love the unusual, and I know I am, and the tragedy is that the world will never know.

Believe me, I've tried a lot of things to overcome this chronic shyness. I've read self-help books, done "motivational exercises" and even consulted the help of my more outgoing friends. I'm just about ready to give up hope.

Maybe I should just wear a shirt everyday that says "It takes a while to get to know me, I'm not boring I promise." Ohhh, or maybe a tattoo, so even if I am shy, at least I'm bad-ass.


  1. Lies! You, my darling girl, are one of the most interesting, enigmatic people I've ever met! If anything, I wont be carrying a diploma as I walk out of La Salle's Literature program, but rather with having known you and having been blessed enough to call you my friend!

    As with all things, there are two sides to your dilemma. I believe that its one thing to be able to charm people off the bat, and that it is another to have people in your life who have taken the time to take you apart and find out who you really are. It's taken me years of training and getting over my own hang-ups to be able to talk to almost anyone about anything. It doesn't hurt that I'm easily amused by the smallest things. And being such wide, voracious readers gives one a decent enough idea of almost anything, and being one who reads gives you a better understanding of people and why they are the way they are sometimes.

    The honest to god truth is that I'm shy too. Most of the time I'd rather not talk and be left to my own devices to entertain myself. I'd rather be with good friends than have to put up an act in front of acquaintances. That's all it is, really. An act. Having a background in theatre makes socializing easier. "All the world's a stage, and the men and women merely players."

    Don't get me wrong. Not to say I'm a fake or anything - I believe that everyone, even strangers, deserve a little love, a little warmth. Even the people who others dislike, as long as they've done nothing to me, deserve to be treated with kindness. Its making the world a better place to be in, at least for a little while and just a little bit.

    So I don't think you should be shy, love! You have such a light about you, regardless of whether you've opened up to people or not. I, for one, know quite a few people who would love to get to know a polar bear :)

  2. Alexis! You really are one of the coolest, nicest people ever!! I am also very happy and feel very lucky to be able to call you my friend. Thank you for the advice and the sunshine. Well-said, as always coming from you ;)

  3. Mandy, now are bad-ass with tattoo :) and one of the brightest people I've met in the Philippines who is always excited! Your always excited russian friend:)