Saturday, March 15, 2008

Peering out from behind the couch

Introverted, self-absorbed, shy, quiet, socially anxious, avoidant... from my limited perspective, it seems unthinkable that we don't all fall into one of these categories, but the word on the street is that we are as difficult for the extroverted, relaxed and socially outgoing to understand as they are unfathomable to us. Apparently, based on various data from various experts, shy people represent only about 20% of the population. The other 80% just think we're weird and standoffish. This is a chronicle of my journey as a shy girl in a loud world, during which I will probably undergo therapy for depression and social anxiety, because sometimes my situation really makes me want to throw in the towel. But I'll try to keep things light.

Be warned, though-- shy people may not talk much, but give one a keyboard and a blogger account, and suddenly you'll be privy to ALL her thoughts. Even though I will never be able to explain to the people I live and work with exactly WHY I sometimes can't speak intelligently, or at all, in real life, I'm hoping this serves as a kind of proxy for my quotidian failures at human interaction. Maybe you can relate to what I'm relating if you're a shy one yourself. If you're one of the non-shy 80% (everyone, please expect some more made-up or "estimated" statistics in the future if you continue reading my posts), then I'm hoping to cast a weak little BookLight beam on the experiences of the weird and standoffish people you know. They may come across as snotty, aloof, and sometimes downright mean, but it may just be that they're paralyzed with fear. Give them a chance. They really do like it when you talk to them.

By the way, comments will be moderated, and all that. In case you have ever wondered, it is not helpful to advise someone who's depressed, shy, anxious, or all of the above to "just snap out of it!" We've tried, believe me. So those kind of comments will get nuked practically sight unseen. There are no other rules about which comments will fly and which won't, except for my own discretion.