The Shyness Project

Opening up about Myself

Over the weekend I wrote a very open, honest, and confiding email in response to a close friend.  It took a while to write, and I was nervous about sending it and I had to reread it a lot.  I was nervous about what I was saying and how it would be received, and even nervous to check my email for the response. I wrote about how I missed her and wanted to talk to her more but that I don’t talk openly in most groups and that when it comes to honest and personal conversations I’m a one-on-one kind of talker.  She opened up about something and I told her what I admire about her- her confidence, enthusiasm, humor, and how she is so fun and can draw people into her and be so open with so many people.  It turned out to be a really long email even though I could have easily made that email less personal and shorter.  But I wanted to open up to her so she could see more of the real me, not just the surface me.

After a very good response (phew!) I wrote back again, and told her about some other things that she probably didn’t know about that seemed ok on the surface.  I told her about my conversation about how my biggest insecurity is my shyness and how tired I am of being called shy or quiet after having been told that my entire life.  And again, I got a really good response and I was really relieved and happy.  She even told me that she doesn’t think that I’m shy or quiet AT ALL!  I couldn’t believe it!  I think that’s the first time someone’s ever told me that they don’t think I’m shy or quiet, and she’s a very extroverted person too!  I’ve heard so many shy or quiet remarks about me over the years that I thought it was painfully obvious that I’m shy, and that no one could ever not think that about me or I’d ever be able to escape that label.  But hearing that she thought that was an incredible feeling.  I felt like a heavy armored suit had been lifted off me, and I felt a new sense of confidence.  It’s not that being shy or quiet is a bad thing, it’s just when you’ve been told that you’re something all this time it really starts to creep into your identity.  Maybe it isn’t as obvious as I thought, and isn’t as much of my identity as I think it is.  When I saw her in person we were both really happy to see each other and hugged each other tightly.

I never knew opening up could feel so good.  I’m putting myself out there and making myself vulnerable, and it’s actually turned out to be a really good thing and I feel so much closer to her now.  We were hanging out less and less as the year was ending and I was kind of worried we might lose touch.  But now I think being so honest with each other has brought us even closer than before, and I am so happy about that.

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18 thoughts on “Opening up about Myself

  1. lawyerchik1 on said:

    That is awesome, Brittany! 🙂 I’m so glad that your friend responded so positively to you, and I’m really glad that you guys were able to strengthen your friendship!! You rock!!

  2. Eric Sylvester on said:

    I’m very proud of you kid!

  3. This is so cool! first time reading you. About your post, you know what? people had called me shy many times. That’s because they don’t take the time to really know me. Maybe that’s the same with you. This friend knows you better. Let people in and you real you will come out! 🙂

    • Thank you! 🙂 I think you are right, the people that have called me shy don’t take the time to really know me. Or they see me in one situation, like a classroom, where I am more quiet and attentive, and just infer that I am a shy person. I just like to listen to what the teacher is saying and get my work done, so I’m more serious in class sometimes. I think she knows me better too, and I’m glad that you see that the people who have called you shy don’t really see the real you. Thanks for pointing that out, and thanks for writing! 🙂

  4. I really like what youre doing. I don’t know how many of my posts you read, but I’m a pretty outspoken person. It’s good to see someone trying to get their true self out to the world and conquer fears. Way too many people would be content to hide within themselves. Congratulations, and keep up the good work!

    • Thanks! 🙂 I haven’t read many of your posts yet, but I just subscribed so I can remember to! Thank you so much, honestly it’s really tough to put yourself out there so much when for so long you have kept a lot of the real you to yourself. It’s hard to trust that things won’t change for the worse once you’ve opened up about yourself and that you won’t be seen differently. I think I sometimes look more cool, calm, and confident than I feel and other times I look a lot more shy and quiet than I think I am. Thanks for your encouraging words and for writing!

  5. This is super awesome to hear! I think sometimes the fear of opening up is worse than actually doing so and you were so brave to do that and I’m glad you got such a great response! 🙂
    And being a quiet person doesn’t necessarily mean you’re shy…some people just don’t say much unless they have something to say….which I think is a good thing because sometimes talking TOO much can get you into trouble! LOL

    • Thanks Sharon!! 🙂 Yeah it was better than I expected and was a really good feeling to open up on some things I hadn’t talked about before. I open up to her a lot already but talking about my preconceived shyness was a toughie since I’m so sensitive about it. Blogging a whole blog about shyness and using the word “shy” a million times has proved to be very helpful though in making me less sensitive about it and more understanding of myself and others’ experiences with shyness.
      Definitely, I’m sure a lot of people who are quiet get called shy more than they should. I’m definitely not loud, but I am friendly and always try to make people feel comfortable. Haha yeah it’s good to have some balance. Thanks for writing!

  6. Loved this post- I think it will inspire others to confront what’s on their minds/hearts and reach out to others! Thanks for writing and leading by example! 🙂

  7. kindamixedup on said:

    It takes a lot of courage to open up like that. Congrats! And I am so glad your friend responded positively as well, that is a friendship to be valued. Do you feel like it’s a weight off your shoulders or something like that? In any case, I’m impressed. wow!

    • Thanks so much! Oh yeah, I get so nervous when I put myself out there that much. Even posting on this blog is really nerve-racking, haha! I’m really glad she took the info as well as she did, I definitely value her friendship. Yeah it does feel like a weight off my shoulders, and sometimes I think people don’t realize that I have insecurities and that I’m not “perfect” like some think I am. Everyone has insecurities and everyone has problems, and I think being honest about that helps us realize that it’s ok and that it just makes us human. If we were all perfect and had everything figured out then we wouldn’t have much to strive for. Thanks again, I love hearing from you! 🙂

  8. Good for you! It’s good to open up, but only when you’re ready.

    • Definitely, just open up about the things that you think you can talk about now. You don’t have to open up about everything, especially something that you’re not ready to talk about. Thanks for your comment Hook! 🙂

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