Friday, February 17, 2012

Five minute Friday (no, it's not what you think)

This is a meme that Claire has been doing, not sure if she invented it, and the meme is this: you have five minutes to write about one word and what it conjures up for you/inspires for you.

Since I saw this lemur? on Lone Grey Squirrel's blog, and the topic of shyness came up today, I pick the word...


I have a quote from a song by The Smiths on my desk:
Shyness is nice, and
Shyness can stop you
From doing all the things in life
That you'd like to.

Only people who know me very well know that I am shy and believe that I am an introvert. This might seem incongruent with my blunt and honest personality, but the fact of the matter is that I am more stubborn than shy, I guess. Meaning I will stand up for an ideal or a person (or my own way, bad me) despite shyness.

I have what I realized recently is called social anxiety. It was so bad in college that if, say, I walked into a deli and forgot a straw for my soda, I'd be too embarrassed to go back in. I'd walk on the other side of the street if I saw someone I knew, because I was worried that I wouldn't know what to say.

Flash forward a few years: become a reporter, and you get over your shyness quickly. One of my editors, who was as boisterous and loud as the day is long, told me he was shy, too. Most reporters, he said, are formerly shy people. I wonder why that is.

It's amazing to me, because the shyness is selective. I can run an event with 2,500 people and not blink. I have even had the Secret Service show up one of my events, when then-Senator Obama's campaign was in town, and tell me I couldn't have the event. HA! We planned for a year and we had the bloody event. That didn't freak me out, either.

But put me in a room full of people I don't know at some occasion where I have no specified role, and I panic. Or more likely, slip out when no one is looking.

I keep the quote from the song by The Smiths up to remind me that I've made progress and to also remind me to push myself out of my comfort zone.


Lynn said...

It's nice to get this glimpse of your personality. I wouldn't have thought you were shy at all, but I understand that. Two people I have very close to have social anxiety also.

I do have a shy streak, too, and my college degree is in journalism. Go figure. :)

G said...

I'm not shy per say, but simply a walking contradiction like yourself.

Very opinionated and willing to stand for a pricinple regardless of the price paid (and yeah, you know I've paid a heavy price for some of my dalliances), but at the same time, wickedly guarded of myself and my privacy in public.

Detest family fucntions with a passion and loathe non-family get togethers if I know less than two people or more than 10 (aka staff parties).

But...once I get a chance to warm up and unwind, I'm a pretty good conversationalist.

Claire said...

Loved this, sweetie.

Totally can't take the credit for Five Minute Friday, however. It's the brainchild of an awesome blogger called Lisa-Jo, who posts a prompt each Friday morning for us all to blog about. I love the writing this brings out!

Calvin said...

True, I wouldn't have pegged you as shy from what I read on your blog. But I can relate. I don't think I am shy as such but I am an introvert by nature and yet as a nature of my work, I have had to do much public speaking. I think like you said, the stubbornness helps us overcome our weaknesses. :)

Riot Kitty said...

L: Thanks :) My college degree is also in journalism - how did I not know that about you?!
G: So I can be a walking contradiction and not be a hypocrite? :) Yep, I think we are much alike.
C: Thanks! I think it's a nifty writing exercise, myself.
Squirrel: Yep, you get it, exactly.

Scarlet said...

I get you. I went from not knowing English and feeling like every time I opened my mouth everything would come out wrong to not giving a rat's ass and saying what I had to say when I had to say it...and like you, I'm motivated by justice.

Interesting, isn't it? I don't seem shy either but I have my moments. We all do.

LL Cool Joe said...

I can be just the same, in fact I could never do what you do. I dj because I can hide behind my gear and play music and I don't have to chat or be with people at all. :D

Riot Kitty said...

S: That would be really difficult - good for you for saying what you had to say!
Joey: You're sweet, but I can work by myself a lot of the time. I like to hide. :)

A Beer for the Shower said...

Proving yet again that The Smiths are bloody brilliant. And, I too tend to lean towards introversion, especially in larger unknown groups. In fact, thanks for the inspiration. I just pulled up Louder Than Bombs on my iPod right now. Cheers!

Riot Kitty said...

ABFTS: That they are...and this is back in the day when Morrissey wasn't the egomaniacal, media-whoring pig that he is now...oh wait, I already said Morrissey, didn't I? :) Based on all of the comments here I wonder if writers are more prone to shyness, unless it's lyrics they're writing.

Shockgrubz said...

Hope for all shy people remains, although I do have some work to do on that front.

Workingdan said...

I'm pretty shy too...unless I'm on the internet where no one can see my face. I'm even shy around my kids!

I try not to be sometimes. I will speak my mind and too often I say too much. So I tend to stick with the shy, lest I offend anyone!

Riot Kitty said...

SG: So do I :)
WD: I don't worry so much about offending anyone, but maybe I should!

John McElveen said...

Where did my snappy funny comment go?? Oh Well...I think a lot of Extroverts...hide behind it because we are shy! I know I found that HIDING behind humor worked well early on in grade school!

Great perspective my friend!!


Riot Kitty said...

John: Answer: Google sucks! Humor works for me, too. Also because I like to laugh :)