The Shyness Project

Archive for the tag “compliments”

I Wore a Dress to School!

On Friday I finally decided to wear a dress, and it was the first time I had worn a dress to school since…well, preschool I guess, back when my mom got to dress me.  (After that in elementary school I rocked leggings until I was 7!)  Supposedly it was going to start raining again on Sunday so I figured Friday would be my last chance to really dress up for a little while, and wanted to end on a high note.  (though I’m still going to keep dressing nice)  I had looked at this dress in the beginning of April and told myself by the end of the month I would have the confidence to wear it to school, and I finally did wear it.  I worked up to it by wearing fancier tops and skirts first.  I know for some people wearing a dress to school is no big deal and is an easy decision, but considering that I used to dress as simply as I could so I wouldn’t get any attention for my clothes, it’s a good improvement for me.  I didn’t want to wear shirts with words on them either because I didn’t want people trying to read my shirt, especially if it said something embarrassing like “Kiss Me I’m Irish” (I’m not even Irish!) or something about cute boys that my mom would pick up and try to get me to wear.  I still think that’s embarrassing though, haha!

But back to the dress.  I decided the night before to wear it since the weather was getting really hot.  That morning though, it turned out to be really windy and a little cold even.  Why the weather always tries to make my plans more difficult I don’t know, but I was still determined to wear that dress.  My mom tried to talk me out of it though and thought I should change into something else, but this time I stood my ground on this and told her this was going to be one of my last chances to do this.  Her doubts hurt my confidence a little bit, but I walked out the door to the car, no turning back.

I was a little cold, and I did feel a little self-conscious, but I put my sunglasses on and walked through the halls telling myself that I looked nice and to remember to focus on what other people were wearing.  I did have to keep my hands down just to make sure the wind didn’t try to pull any fast ones on me though.  It certainly would have been easier and less nerve-racking if there was less wind and the dress was a little longer.

While walking to first period one of my girl friends said I looked nice today and one of my guy friends resonated with a “You do look really pretty!”  Another friend turned around and saw me and exclaimed “Oh my gosh you look so pretty!”  So that was a nice reassurance to hear in the morning, and I told them they all looked nice too.

On my way to fourth period, I had to pass through a crowd of people in the quad.  Maybe it was just my imagination, but it seemed like one of the good-looking popular guys I passed looked at me longer than someone normally would when you’re passing them, like with interest or something.  And it seemed like one of the popular pretty girls was giving me a glaring look.  It was kind of funny, and not something I’m used to.

When I saw my friend Annie at lunch, she did a double take when she saw me!  She exclaimed that I looked really cute, and then said these past few weeks I’ve been dressing really cute.  I thanked her for noticing and told her I was trying to dress more confidently.  She asked where I was getting all these clothes and I told her that I’d had them for a while but never wore them to school or anything, the only time I’d worn some of this stuff was at swing dancing.  She said she wanted to start getting some cuter clothes too since she feels like she’s been wearing the same thing for a while now.

Although I did feel self-conscious whenever I was walking, it was sort of fun standing out and looking pretty at school.  I didn’t wear any make-up and most of the time I don’t bother to wear any anyways, but I still felt pretty in my dress.  It was a bit of a pain because I had to be so careful with it, but it was worth it.

On the left: Not a dress, but one of the many notorious outfits my mom put me in.  And on the right:  What I wore yesterday, taken afterschool when it was finally nicer and less windy!

Vulnerability and Energy

Lately I’ve been good about speaking up when I want to compliment someone.  Just a few hours ago I complimented a girl I sit next to but don’t talk to much who was wearing a pretty dress.   I answered a couple of the teacher’s questions in Lit class yesterday too when only about me and one other guy were answering his questions.  Everyone else was silent, and I think a lot of people hadn’t read, but luckily I’d finished the book a few weeks ago and knew enough to be able to respond to his questions.

This month I am going to let myself be more vulnerable with friends and share my stories, experiences, thoughts, and open up and confide more.  I’ll probably have to hang out with people one-on-one to be able to do that, as it’s much harder for me to do that in a group and I tend to have my deeper conversations when it’s just me and one other person.  In doing so I also hope to learn more about my friends and have a deeper connection with them.  Another goal will be to act more energetic, enthusiastic, friendly, and silly to keep things light and not too heavy with all the deep opening up I’ll be doing.  My psych textbook was saying that if you want to change your attitude you can change your behavior, since when you change one thing the other will feel a need to align itself with that change as well.  So I will try that out.

Those are two behavioral things I can work on.  Two cognitive things I can work on are to quit expecting negative results & the worst to occur, and also to imagine positive responses and closer friendships.  For a lot of my friends I only have the remainder of senior year to be with them and get closer before we all split ways for college.  I will probably see several of them again during breaks and what not, but it will never be quite the same as it was in high school and will be more difficult to get together.  I hope I stay in good contact with my high school friends even through the distance.  It will be different without them though, as I’ve lived in the same town for all of my life so far.  I won’t be moving away until after I get my general education completed through community college, but in two years or so I will be in a different place.  I am excited for that though even though I am nervous too.  I think it’ll be important for me to go somewhere different with a fresh start.

Laura Croft and Skirt

Yesterday I wore my beige jeans for the first time and a nice top and came to school sporting my sunglasses.  I didn’t think I was dressed up enough to get any notice, but my friend Annie raved over me and my sunglasses exclaiming that I looked like Laura Croft (Tomb Raider), which made me laugh.  It was flattering but I don’t think I quite looked like Laura Croft.  She said all I needed was brown hair and to braid it.  Annie was wearing a skirt in heels and I complimented her and said she was the one who looked really nice.  She started talking about how she didn’t think it was going to be chilly today but it was after all and she was kind of cold.  I took notice of this because I’ve tended to do the same thing when people have given me a compliment when I wear a skirt.  I tend to thank them and babble about the weather automatically like I want to take the attention off me or something, haha.  But I pay attention to it now and it does seem like a natural response for others too.  It helps avoid any awkward pauses after compliments too I suppose if you can’t think of anything else to say after you’ve been complimented.

Today I wore a long flowy brown skirt and a fancy white top and sandals.  It was kind of windy out and colder than yesterday, but I decided to go for it anyway.  One of my friends asked why I was dressed so fancy today and I just said for the heck of it and why not.  I was cold sometimes but for the most part I was inside and protected from the gusty winds outside.  When Annie saw me at lunch she gushed over my outfit again and I thanked her and complimented our friend Emily since she was wearing a nice green dress.

It’s been nice dressing up and giving out more compliments.  When I dressed up this morning, I just decided to focus on giving out compliments and not about what I was wearing.  That way I’d feel less self-conscious about the change and more outwardly focused.  The more I’m dressing up, the more I’m realizing that it’s a positive experience and no one thinks it’s weird to come dressed more fancily than the typical blue jeans and plain shirt.  It’s kind of nice knowing that when I dress up I’m likely to get some positive feedback too.

Doing Well

Everything’s been going well since prom.  I’ve been in a good/happy mood and have been extra friendly.  I’ve been acting a little goofier too since discovering how much fun it was to let loose at prom.  I’m going swing dancing on Friday so I hope they play some fun music to dance to in addition to all the swing songs.  Hopefully it will be a busy and fun weekend as I’ve invited some new people to come play Ultimate Frisbee and am hoping to play tennis and possibly make some other plans.

I’ve been dressing in brighter colors mostly as it’s been too cold to wear skirts or dresses.  Even if I don’t get complimented, at least I can still compliment others each day.  It’s not too hard to notice something nice or different someone is wearing, whether it’s a top, necklace, shoes, or whatever.  This helps me keep the focus on others too when I feel a little self-conscious when I dress up.  At prom of course a lot of compliments were thrown around because everyone looked so nice and everyone was so excited for prom.

I’ve also been exercising more lately and have been taking my neighbor’s dogs walking whenever I can, and this week I have gone every day so far except on the weekend when she’s home.  Afterward I’ve been doing crunches, light weights, and just started doing lunges and squats.  I’ve also been eating healthier and have had more fruits and less bad stuff.  It’s been a little while since I’ve had a soda, even though I love it. I think these things have all been contributing to my happy mood too.

Hope you all have a great weekend and a Happy Easter!  We get a 4 day weekend from school, hooray!

Only Seeing the Tip of the Iceberg

There was a deep and honest discussion today in 6th period that ended up continuing all period.  Apparently an event called “Challenge Day” occurred yesterday and two of the students in our class had participated in it and were reporting back.  Basically about 100 students were selected and they each had to talk about their troubles and things that were going on in their life that others probably didn’t know about but would help others understand you better.  The boys reported that everyone thought it was kind of a joke at first but after a while they realized it was serious and learned more about why some people act the way the do, especially some of the meaner people they didn’t get along with before.  They learned why they might act mean and more about what was going on underneath the personality they displayed to others.

Our teacher drew a picture of an iceberg on the whiteboard and sectioned off a really tiny piece at the top and said that was the part we showed to others, our personality.  The rest, the majority of ourselves, was underneath the surface and was what he considered to be our character.  Most of us show very little of our true selves and we are mostly judged on that teeny portion that is above the surface.

The boys said the biggest message they wanted to share was to be open-minded about others because you don’t know what they’re going through underneath the surface.  They talked about name calling a bit and labels a while too.  Our teacher had us raise our hands if we’d ever been talked down to or called something you didn’t like by a guy, and then by a girl, and nearly everyone raised their hands for both.  He explained why people do that and why they call you something you don’t like or pick on you.  He said if you’re the one being picked on, then the others in that group join in because they think “at least we’re safe” and at least the focus isn’t on them.

I can definitely see that being true and I thought of my 6th grade experience where I was the one being singled out and picked on by the group I was with.  The people in that group didn’t want to be the one targeted so once one of them started picking on me the others added to it and continued it all year. They were really just acting out of insecurity though if you think about it, and it wouldn’t have mattered what I did or what I liked or how I acted, they still probably would have done the same to me for the purpose of making themselves feel safe.  One of the girls who was a part of that group and the one who did the most betrayal and hurt to me is in that class awkwardly enough, and I glanced at her when the teacher was talking about that and wondered if she was thinking of how she had acted that way in middle school.  It’s hard to tell though because she acts like nothing ever happened between us and I never got any sort of admittance about it or an apology.  But oh well, I’ve moved on.

Another thing the boys brought up was compliments actually.  At the challenge day event the instructor was telling people to compliment pretty girls or something like that instead of seeing a pretty girl and making assumptions about her that she is a slut or whatever else people often think.  This sparked a debate and one girl said that she would not want to compliment a pretty girl especially if she knew she was pretty because she wouldn’t want to fill her head with air and she doesn’t like cocky people.  Another girl said she would compliment a pretty girl.  Then one guy brought up that if you compliment one girl and tell her she’s pretty but then don’t compliment the girls next to her then it can hurt their feelings, so he thinks it would be better to not compliment them at all otherwise you’d have to compliment everyone then and tell them that they’re all pretty.  It was an interesting and lengthy discussion. After class I walked out with the same guy and a few other of our classmates and we talked about the compliment thing some more.  I said to avoid the hurt feelings it would probably be best to compliment peope’s outfits or things they do well on rather than complimenting their personal looks.  If someone is wearing a fancier top or did really well on a test or something it’s easier to compliment that than something more general, and if there are others around it’s probably good to try and think of some nice things to say to them too.  One girl said that she dressed up nice one time and her friend dressed up nice too, but only her friend got compliments all day and no one said anything to her, so she felt kind of hurt and felt that she looked nice too.  So compliments can be tricky I suppose, but I think the main thing to remember is to be aware of others and try to spread the love so people don’t feel left out.

Compliment Central

On Monday I wore a long flowery green, white, and pink top with a green jacket that I’d never worn before with jeans.  It’s been getting cold all of a sudden and our previous week of the great summer weather has disappeared.  It’s been really windy now and it’s supposed to even rain tomorrow unfortunately.

But I managed to dress fancily despite the cold.  Emily and Ashleia said “You look cute today!” as soon as I came over to join their little group in the morning.  Ashleia liked the long flowing shirt especially.  I told her she looked cute today too and that she always dresses so well.  I also said that it’s harder to dress up now that it’s cold, and they too were mad that the warm weather had just suddenly vanished and the cold had come out of nowhere.

First period I told Sue that she looked cute today and looked good in blue.  She was surprised because she didn’t think she was dressed up, but the dark blue sweater with white stripes did look really nice on her in my opinion.  After I said that she complimented me and said she liked my jacket and shirt and felt the fabric.

When I saw Pearl when we met up after 4th period I complimented her sandals which I liked and was the kind I was actually looking at yesterday when I was trying on shoes looking for ones for prom.

When we went to lunch and met up with Annie, she noticed what I was wearing right away and loved the jacket and shirt.  She gave me lots of compliments once again, she’s always very kind to me.

So it was a good day, and I gave out several compliments and received several compliments.  I notice that the same friends seem to compliment me each time and I’m grateful for their support.

It is getting harder to dress up as it’s getting colder though. How do you dress up when it’s cold?  It feels like instinct to want to bundle up in a warm cozy jacket no matter how plain it is on certain days.  I think most of my prettier tops are short sleeve or sleeveless and the jackets thin so it makes it harder…and wearing skirts or dresses right now would make me really cold.  Hopefully it will heat up a bit more next week!

 

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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