The Shyness Project

Skirt Surprises

This week I jumped right into things and wore a black skirt, pink sparkly top, dangly silver earrings, and black sandals to school because I thought it was going to be a hot day again, but it turned out to be windy and on the cold side.  I was kind of surprised by what did (or didn’t) happen when I wore the skirt though instead of my regular jeans.

In the morning after I complimented a friend’s necklace and mentioned how cold it was compared to yesterday, I had to actually point out that I was wearing a skirt before she noticed and said it looked nice.

In the first few periods of class the two friends I have those periods in didn’t really notice or say anything, until snack time one of them noticed and said they liked my skirt.

At snack I saw one of my closest friends and she noticed right away and said I looked really cute today and gave me lots of compliments.  I said that since I don’t normally dress this way at school (I usually just wear skirts and dresses when I go swing dancing) so I wanted to go out of my comfort zone a little and she understood and resonated with a “yeah, like switch things up!” and smiled a lot.

Later on some other friends said I looked nice or cute throughout the day, but no one seemed surprised or anything.  It was an interesting discovery, and it really just goes to show that people don’t notice as much as you think and are mostly focused on themselves.  I know that we’re told that all the time but having an experience like that does really help you realize it. I was surprised more people didn’t make a bigger deal about it or try to embarrass me.  I guess just because one friend did that before I somehow got it in my head that it would happen again, but it didn’t.

I did have a few negative thoughts throughout that day that I was able to pick up on and refute.  When I first got to school and was walking past two boys in an empty hallway, I thought I heard them say that they were glad they weren’t girls or something like that, and thought maybe they thought I looked silly all dressed up or something.  But I realized that I could have heard wrong and even if I did hear right it might not have anything to do with me and I don’t know the reason why they would say that.

Right before snack when I was about to meet my friend who gave me all the compliments, I thought “I look stupid” as I walked down the stairs, but then immediately caught onto that and told myself I look good and I don’t look stupid.

I’ve also been giving out a lot more compliments too, and have been taking notice of things others have been wearing.  I try and give 3 genuine compliments a day now and for the most part I’ve done that.

Besides switching things up clothing wise, I’ve still been participating in class.  In third period I answered a question without even thinking about it and it seemed like no big deal.  And yesterday I raised my hand in psych class (remember this one, the one that was so difficult to participate in?) to answer a question without even thinking about it and without any preparation or nervousness.  And today I answered a question 6th period without thinking about it.

Whoa.  What’s happened here?

Hope you all have a great weekend!

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6 thoughts on “Skirt Surprises

  1. Wow!
    Brittany, you are so “on your way”.
    No, scratch that. You’re there.
    It took me until about age 38 to realize the things that you are becoming so very clearly aware of now, and at 38 it is harder to change. Though still far from impossible.
    The fact that you are actually answering questions in class “without even thinking about it” means that the lessons you are trying to learn are becoming deeply ingrained.
    You are in fact, re-wiring the synapses in your brain, and that is a skill that most never even discover, let-alone learn.
    I’m so very sorry that I haven’t been by since first discovering your blog. It’s a long story that will probably be a blog post soon, but I have been having great difficulty reading. Seriously. I’m only just now beginning to be able to add more information into my brain, though I’m trying not to overload.
    I am so glad I stopped by here!
    Keep on going. You have chosen a brilliant path by choosing to consciously grow. The fact that you are seeing such results really means that you have no limits!
    Rock on!

    • Thank you Jenny for your lovely comment!! 🙂
      Haha, thanks, I still have much more to do but I do feel like I’m going through some real changes here. 🙂 I still have my times where I hesitate and miss some hand-raising opportunities, but this week has been particularly good, especially with the not thinking about it part!
      It’s interesting thinking about the changes in terms of re-wiring the synapses in my brain, I like that. 🙂 It’s definitely tough and feels like you’re swimming against the current sometimes, but it is pretty cool discovering what you’re capable of if you put your mind to it. There was this poster in my Spanish teacher’s class my sophomore year of high school that said “You are who you choose to be.” and I kind of just dismissed it before and didn’t believe it. But we do have more power than we think, and do have the power to change things like the choices we make. Granted there are several things we can’t change, but if we’re not happy with something or satisfied with where we are, we can take steps to improve/grow.
      That’s certainly alright, and I’m sorry to hear that you’ve been having a lot of difficulty reading, hope things are getting better. I look forward to your post when you can further explain that! Sounds really scary!
      And I’m very glad you stopped by here too! Thank you so much, I really appreciate it! 🙂

  2. lawyerchik1 on said:

    This was a good post, Brittany! I like how much your awareness of your own negative thoughts has prompted you to change them instead of letting them sit there and fester! I think it’s great, too, that you felt confident enough to speak to other people and notice them! Overall, it sounds like you are learning to support yourself and develop confidence from inside – awesome!!

    [Also, FYI: the boys’ comment that they were glad they weren’t girls probably wasn’t a “negative.” They could just have been noticing that you were cold, and they were approaching it from the standpoint that they were glad they weren’t girls because they could wear pants!! :)]

    • Thank you Cheryl! 🙂 I like that I’m becoming really aware of those thoughts too and am able to point them out and correct them right away now. I don’t think I really was aware of them like this before, but now when they pop up I realize what’s going on and am aware of what my mind is trying to get away with.
      Haha yeah there are many possibilities of what was going on with that, and that’s certainly one of them! It only bothered me for a few seconds after it happened and then I caught myself and it didn’t bother me anymore. 🙂

  3. kindamixedup on said:

    i’m so glad to hear that you are taking risks like that. And see how nothing bad happened – about you dressing up differently? You seem to have had only positive feedback (and about those two boys in the hallway… it might not even have been about you indeed; and even if it has been about you, we don’t know what they truly meant. In fact, maybe they meant it in a good way, like “that girl is dressed up well, personnally, but i don’t bother to check how good i look so in that sense I’m glad I’m not a girl” (Because of course, we all know girls spend hours on themselves before they leave for school or work – at least that is what the stereotype says.) ) In any case, we will never know, so let’s not focus too much about it.

    “I try and give 3 genuine compliments a day now and for the most part I’ve done that.” Good idea. I might try to do that too. A lot of times, I keep compliments to myself because I am either too shy to compliment somebody else or I am too concerned about bringing attention to myself, so I keep my mouth shut. And it’s a shame, cause it does make people happy. Just today, one of my collegue was sporting a new haircut. I liked it a lot, but I didn’t say anything. *sigh* “I like your new haircut, by the way” that’s what I need to say. “I like your new haircut…”

    • Yeah it does seem like my perception of how things will be received is almost always off and things go better than I think. There are a lot of different possible interpretations of the comment I thought I heard, and that’s one of them too. It didn’t bother me much though, it was just a initial reaction that soon faded. I know I was just projecting my insecurity of trying something new and noticeable on to them with that thought.

      There have been a couple of times where I meant to say something but then hesitated and didn’t, so I know what you mean. But yes, compliments mean a lot and can make a person happier than if you hadn’t said anything otherwise, so it’s good to keep trying. Maybe you can tell your colleague that you like his or her haircut the next time you see them, and say “I meant to tell you on Saturday that I like your new haircut…” or something like that, I’ve done that before and it still seems to mean the same. Thanks so much for commenting! 🙂

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