Anger and despair are probably what many shy people feel when it seems to them that others are not trying to initiate a conversation with them. They are some of the most frustrated people on the planet.
I sure do curse people out in my head when it seems to me they don’t try harder with me. I know, it is easy for the shy person to blame the world for their predicament. Typical thoughts for a shy person is, “What is wrong with me?” and “Why don’t people like me?”
I bring this topic up, because that is the way I have felt lately, especially at the workplace. Everyday, I work with people sitting right around me that do not really initiate with me when it comes to conversation or small talk. Everyday it is quiet, and everyday it frustrates me. The fact of the matter is I feel more alone with these people near me than anywhere else. So, of course it has to be up to me to create any small talk.
When I do initiate, unfortunately if I do not see any positive reaction I slink back down, focus on my work, and stay quiet. Internally I am angry, so I think, “”Eff’ you all”. That’s the way it is for intensely shy people, they are very sensitive, and they need a more reinforcing environment.
I don’t think I am a bad person, but it’s the way it is. Extroverted people usually get the most attention. So, my workplace becomes a very unpleasant environment, but as like other socially anxious people- I feel stuck. I am too shy to find another job, and because of the lack of my communication skills it is very difficult to force myself to move on.
I hear it a lot. If I complain that others do not initiate with me, they place the blame onto me, the shy person. “Well, why don’t you go up to them, and start a conversation,” they say. Of course my initial thought is, “what’s so wrong with me that they don’t come up and talk to me, or return my call, or ask me to go out to do something.”
It’s not the right attitude to have. Maybe it is true; people are focused on their own lives that they don’t care much about others, or is it they just don’t understand?
What I and every shy person has to learn is that it is really up to us to initiate and take more risks. That is just the way it is period. Sorry for the plain truth; but if the shy person is ever to reach a satisfying social life, he or she has to start conversations.
The truth is that when the shy person initiates, he or she takes control of their life. You- Mr. or Ms. shy have to become a leader. When a person initiates, he or she changes from looking within themselves to looking outward toward everyone else.
Maybe others are too focused on themselves to worry about you. Who cares. You should worry about others; you become the better person for it. Be inquisitive and curious. If someone reacts to something, react with them. Think up questions to ask them. Probe into their life (Not too personal, you don’t want to seem creepy).
Make funny comments even if you start to feel that your comments were too weird or quirky; it does not matter- what matters is that you are showing yourself. (Again don’t go too far with your comments, just make it light and quirky).
In the final analysis, do not waste your time and energy on negative thoughts about people. Negative thoughts (Like cursing people out in your head) leads to a depressive state of mind which makes you more quiet, more angry, and just dislike people in general. Say to yourself, “It’s not their responsibility to make you a better person, it’s yours.”
It just ruins your day to be negative, and you do not want that again. So, together let’s squelch those bad thoughts, stay positive, and initiate with the people around us. Good Luck.