im very reserved around people at first, but once i get comfortable with them i can be myself. but a lot of the time people don't give me that chance to get comfortable with them, and i think they just assume im weird because im quiet.. i feel the same with guys. i feel like they think im boring at first because im quiet :/ how do i just make myself feel comfortable or not care what they think in the first place?
I can very much relate to your struggle.
Honestly, I think it’s something that a lot of people have a difficult time with. So know that you aren’t alone in that.
Some people may not be reserved upon first meeting new people, but I think that it takes everyone a while before they genuinely feel like they can be themselves with a person.
That said, I totally understand how in many cases, people can misconstrue our initial reserved attitude to mean that we’re cold and uncaring and even boring. But the truth is that when people make those judgements, it isn’t about you and isn’t any sort of reflection on your worth. It’s about them and their own misconceptions and limitations, and you don’t have to internalize that.
Anyone who thinks being reserved and quite is synonymous with weird and boring is not worth your time or friendship anyway. The right people are going to recognize that some people are shy and that their shyness doesn’t take away from how interesting and awesome they are. The right people recognize that some people open up more quickly than others, and that the ones who take longer are still worth waiting around for. These are the people you need to hold onto. Let go of the rest.
I understand that you want to be likable and accepted. We all want that. But you don’t ever have to put pressure on yourself to be a certain way in order to win people’s affections. It isn’t your job to be interesting and outgoing. You don’t owe anyone anything, and you sure as hell don’t have to spend your energy trying to convince people that you’re worth keeping around.
Like I said before, the right people are going to recognize your worth. You don’t have to make time for people who don’t.
The reality is that there are always going to be people who don’t think we’re worthwhile. No matter who we become, how we act, how confident we present ourselves to be, or how many interesting things we have to say, there is always going to be someone who doesn’t approve. And that’s okay. That’s life.
You can beat yourself up all day long for not being good enough for certain people, but it won’t change the situation or make the struggle any easier. All it does is make you feel worse and keep you stuck.
I know it isn’t easy, but try to be compassionate with yourself. There is nothing wrong with being shy and reserved. And if people don’t want to be your friend because of it, that’s on them.
But don’t let those people let you forget the people who won’t be turned away by your shyness. Whether they’re people who are shy themselves or people who recognize that most of the time, it’s the quiet people have a lot of really important things to say, there are people out there who want to get to know you and gain your friendship. They may be difficult to find, but they’re out there.
I also think it’s important to think about whether there is something in particular keeping you from being more vocal around people. Again, there isn’t anything wrong with being shy. For me personally though, there were a lot of underlying insecurities that caused me to silence my voice and my opinions around new people. I wanted so desperately to be liked and to be “cool” and if I met people who felt superior to me, I would be intimated and close myself off because I felt like nothing I had to say was worthy of their time.
These people weren’t any better me. I just decided that I was inferior because I hated myself. I don’t know if this is the case for you, and it doesn’t sound like it is, but I just thought I would throw it out there anyway. Because if there is an underlying insecurity, maybe you could send me another message and we could try to work together on countering that negative belief.
I want to leave you with this quote I found that I think might help. It’s by a girl named Julia Bluhm who writes for SPARK.
“To all my fellow shy people out there, don’t worry. Don’t worry that you’ll never make a friend, or fall in love, or have your voice be heard. You will. It just might take a little patience. I know I’m never going to be a super outgoing person, so I’m just trying to accept my shyness with open arms. I can’t change who I am.
Sure, I still wish I could be as funny as my friend Izzy when we’re presenting a talk, or as confident and willing to argue as some of my SPARK sisters… But I also know that I have things to offer that nobody else has. You do, too. It might just take a little while to find them.”
Remember that. Yes, you may not have the same strengths that outgoing people have, but you have a unique set of your own that confident, talkative people don’t have. And it those strengths that make you important and interesting and valuable.
So when you start feeling down about being shy, remind yourself of those strengths. Remind yourself that the right people aren’t going to think negatively of you for being reserved. Remind yourself that YOU wouldn’t think any less of people for being quiet. Remind yourself that you deserve that same compassion and kindness. And most of all, remind yourself that you’re enough, and that you don’t need to change for anybody.
Sending a lot of love your way,