Friday, November 4, 2011


This past week I've bumped into two learning experiences that make me want to reevaluate how I see myself.

Earlier in the week I went on an excursion with two other stay-at-home women.  We enjoyed the company and lamented that it was rather rare for us (as individuals) to get out of the house.  I lamented that I was having trouble finding friends here in Oahu because I was so shy.  Both of them together instantly exclaimed "You're shy?  We never would have guessed that!"


Later in the week I attended a training class for Air Force Key Spouses.  Part of the class was finding your "True Color" which is a very quick and dirty personality identifier.  I fond myself with one other person sitting at the Blue Table.  Blue people are described as:

Your communication style creates peace and harmony.  As a Blue personality you are gifted with tremendous people skills.
You have a strong need to make a difference in the lives of other people. This strength is immediately noticeable in the way you make heart felt connections and bring out the best in those you encounter. People usually feel relaxed and comfortable in your presence.
You love to build self-esteem and make others feel good about who they are. You can easily motivate and inspire people to make changes in their lives and reach their potential.
Along with the above our class leader also mentioned that Blue people tend to be more extroverted.

Hmm.  Again.

I've always seen myself as shy.  It's extremely difficult for me to talk to people or be in a situation where I don't know many people.  I get nervous if I think someone can see me drive.  I often am stumped for things to say and initial conversations usually die awkwardly.  After socializing with lots of people I feel drained.

That being said my desire for human contact trumps my social anxiety.  I would rather feel uncomfortable and weird if it means ending the loneliness.   Now that I've run into more evidence that people see me as extroverted I wonder if it means what I thought it did.  Perhaps extroverts aren't people who easily flow through relationships and conversations as second nature.  Perhaps they all work hard at it, plan it, practice it, until they achieve the look of someone who doesn't get nervous surround by strangers.  Perhaps it's like being brave.  Where you act in spite of your fear rather than because you have no fear.  I am shy, but I put myself out there anyway, in spite of it.  I might be brave.  Or I might be extroverted.

It's times like these that I wish I could listen in to the thoughts of someone else.  I'd love to know if all those people who seems so outgoing to me have the same fears, worries, and doubts I do.  I want to know if they had to spend years practicing how to keep a conversation flowing or how to introduce themselves in an easy and welcoming way.  At the same time as I listen to others thoughts I really want to see myself through their eyes.  Do they see all the hurt, fear, and turmoil I feel?  Am I as transparent as I feel I am?  Or do they think I'm like them.  Outgoing, friendly, the person I really try to be.

Ever asked yourself if maybe you might actually have the thing you really want?  What happens when the answer is yes?

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