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Party boy

Just a short update from this party animal. Yeah, right!

As you might recall, I've been trying to push myself out of my comfort zone when I'm in a social situation. But I have no desire to push myself into being something I'm not. I'm probably always going to be somewhat shy in social situations, and I can live with that. The problem for me is that I don't want to feel like I have to become "invisible" just to get through the evening.

So the two parties we went to a few weeks back were something of a success. Yes, that's right. Two parties in one night! I call that Saturday night our "party circuit."party

One party was just with two other couples and I felt the most comfortable at this one, I guess for obvious reasons. It just felt more manageable and I felt less pressure to "be on."

The larger party was a bit much for my tastes. I already knew a few other people there and Evan, my new friend, and I stuck together like bandits. I also got to know him a little better.

He's 19 and goes to another college in the area and is originally from Tennessee. He's got this really nice Southern accent and I kept trying to get him to talk so I could listen to him.

When I told him I liked his accent, he became a little self-conscious and said he's been trying to hide the accent because apparently he's gotten some flack because of it. It seems some people hear his accent and assume all kinds of negative things about him. When I told him I could listen to him talk all day long, he sorta had this bewildered look, like I must be off my rocker or something. I told him it had this calming effect on me, which he thought was cool.

So we did this thing where we picked different words or phrases and we both pronounced them in our own accent. He said I didn't have a strong Boston accent like some he's heard, but he did got a kick out of how I pronounced certain words or phrases.

He said I have a slight tendency to drop my "r" on certain words, like "park," which he said comes out like "pock," with a long "a." He also said I pronounce "party" like "potty," and we got a lot of strange looks in our direction when we both about fell on the floor laughing at that one!

Anyway, I'm getting a few good insights about my shyness:

1. When I was at the larger party ("potty"), I realized I'm actually a very observant person. Since I'm not busy doing a lot of talking, I spend time sizing up people just by watching them and their body language. Evan and I did this thing where we picked out some people and made up some stories about their life. I mean we had a whole short story going about a couple of people... where they were from originally, what some of their secrets were, embarrassing things that happened to them, and so forth.

2. Remember for my birthday back in November when Matty took me out to eat at that restaurant owned by one of my favorite chefs? Well, I can't remember if I mentioned this when I wrote the post about it, but she came across as a little shy in person as well as when I've seen her on TV. And look at her. She's quite the success. When she came to our table to greet us she didn't say very much, and aside from me being highly nervous to meet her, I really liked how she didn't make her appearance at our table all about how she's this celebrity and how lucky we were to be at her restaurant. She was very gracious and somewhat low-key and actually seemed happy we were there.

As I mentioned at the beginning of this post, my goal is not to overcome my shyness. I'll probably always be somewhat shy. The thing is, my shyness is one part of my personality and I'm learning to like certain aspects of it, instead of seeing it as a defect that needs to be "fixed." 

I actually kinda hate it when people have said to me, "Oh, don't be so shy." They make it sound like something awful and something I need to be ashamed of. Well, I don't see it as awful or tragic or shameful. I need people to just chill and see me for who I am. I'm quiet until I get to know you, and you may have to make the effort to start the conversation, but if you think my shyness is something distasteful or uncool, well, move on along. I don't have time for you or your nonsense. And it's your loss anyway.

The bottom line is I don't really care about being the center of attention. That's just not me. My goal is to feel like I don't have to go invisible in social settings. That I can be as visible as I feel comfortable letting myself be.

The thing is, Evan and I had a nice time being pals at the party. We genuinely laughed at each others jokes, helped make each other feel comfortable about being around so many loud people, and even made each other feel "normal." I left the party that night thinking about how I might forget everything Evan said, or how he acted, but I'm still feeling good about how he made me feel. And I could tell he left feeling good about how I made him feel. Those are the things that really matter with friends. I believe people rarely forget how you made them feel.

So I want to keep working on how to stay centered inside my own skin so I can enjoy myself, shyness and all, at these "potties" we go to sometimes. :-)
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