Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Overcoming Shyness

I'm a big introvert am scared of speaking in public, have stage fright, am shy, etc.  I prefer typing an email, text, blog post, etc. than talk to people, even on the phone.  This is something I've struggled with for years and just seems to be overwhelming me.  I want to get out there and meet new people, go to or have parties...just have actual friends I talk to on a regular basis.

Part of this journey I'm on I've started reading personal development books.  Sure, I'd rather get lost in fiction but this is something that I need to do.  Reading a non-fiction book takes me a lot longer to complete.  Today I started reading The Shyness Solution by Catherine Gillet.  Right off the bat in the first chapter there's a questionnaire to rate your shyness level.  I'm including the questions here (reformatted to fit not displaying all the options) with my answers and results.  So many of the questions involve the reader being single not married so I think the results may be a little skewed.

A little entertainment before the questionnaire

Let's Play 30 Questions

  1. Do you feel nervous in situations where you will be meeting new people?  b) Yes, I sometimes do.
  2. Do you find yourself wishing you had more friends?  c) Yes, I'm always wishing for more friends.
  3. You're walking down the street and you see a friend walking toward you with someone you don't know. What would you do?  a & b) It all depends on what we're all doing.  If either of us look to be in a hurry I just wave as I walk by.  Otherwise I'll greet both and converse for a few minutes before moving on.
  4. Where do you feel most comfortable?  a & b) I'd feel comfortable with one good friend or a few people I'm close to.
  5. Which scenario sounds most inviting to you - intimate dinner with a few people at your place, going out to eat with a few friends, or staying home alone and watching an old movie?  a) I really want to be able to invite a few people over for dinner parties.
  6. When you go to a party how soon do you leave?  a) I'm usually the last one to leave because Benny doesn't want to go.
  7. You're on a long flight and the person next to you seems to obviously want to talk.  Do you?  a & b) I'll engage in the conversation.  If it's interesting I'll continue otherwise I'd take out a book.
  8. You're sitting at an outdoor cafĂ© with a couple of friends.  They get into a heated argument.  What do you do?   b & c) Depending on what they're arguing about I may attempt to change the subject or excuse myself and leave.  I don't think I ever could remain waiting for them to resolve it.
  9. How do you tend to meet new people?  c) At work/church/school or wherever I'm already going to be.  I don't tend to meet people on my own or through friends.
  10. How many friends and acquaintances do you have?  c) I have a few acquaintances and not many friends.
  11. Your best friend knows you'll be alone on Thanksgiving, so she invites you to spend the day with her extended family.  Do you accept?  a) Yes, I'd accept the invitation.
  12. You meet someone you feel very comfortable around and you would like to be closer friends with her.  She invites you to her beach house for the weekend along with several other people you've never met.  Would you go?  c) I think I'd say I'm sorry but have other plans.
  13. What do you do when someone is angry with you for something you feel is unjustified?  b) I'd probably wait a while until she's had time to think about what happened then call and talk on the phone or stop by.
  14. A person you're attracted to asks you on a date for the upcoming weekend.  Do you accept?  b) I'd probably tell him I was busy and ask to postpone until the next weekend.
  15. At a party, where do you feel most comfortable?  b) I'd be in the kitchen helping the hostess with food and drinks.
  16. At the beginning of the semester, the instructor tells your class that an oral presentation will be required for completion of the course.  What would you do?  b) I'd talk to the teacher about my fear of public speaking and ask if I can write an extra paper to satisfy the grade requirement.
  17. It's your best friend's birthday and she's having a small dinner party comprised of people you've heard of but never met.  What would you do?  a) I'd go to the party and try to have fun for her sake.
  18. You're walking on the treadmill at the gym and an attractive guy on the treadmill next to you tries to strike up a conversation.  What would you do?  a) I'd smile politely, letting him know I was interested, talk for a few moments, and then excuse myself.
  19. In what kind of group do you feel more at ease?  b) A small group for sure.
  20. You've been shipwrecked on a deserted island.  You can bring only one thing with you.  What would it be?  a) I've always hated this question! LOL I'd rather bring a person than a pet or books.
  21. You're out for dinner with a few friends or acquaintances.  The person next to you talks to you and during the course of the conversation he senses you're shy.  Do you agree with him?  c) I'd agree with him then feel self-conscious.
  22. What's your idea of a perfect evening with an intimate partner?  b or c) I'd like to spend a quiet evening with friends at our house or theirs. Otherwise we'd order takeout, rent a movie, and stay home with each other.
  23. It's a beautiful, crisp Sunday in fall.  What would you prefer to do?  c) I'd probably go for a walk in the park by myself and carry something to listen to music.
  24. You were told by your boss that you'd be getting a raise in the new year.  It's now January and the paycheck in question arrives yet you don't receive your raise but your coworkers have.  What are you more likely to do?  a) I'd talk to the boss or his wife (since she's the one that does payroll) and ask what happened.
  25. A friend has done or said something that hurts your feelings.  Do you say anything?  b & c) I'd stop talking to them without giving any reason but eventually forget about it and start talking to them again.
  26. You're upset with a partner or family member over something he/she has done that you feel was wrong.  Do you say anything?  b) I'd probably say nothing was wrong if he/she asks if I'm upset.
  27. A new love interest calls to cancel your date for that evening, saying that he has to work late, and asks to reschedule. What are you more likely to do?  a) Provided this is the first time he's rescheduled I'd say that I understand and ask what day he has in mind.
  28. There's an exhibition of your favorite artist at a large museum and you'd really like to share the experience with another person.  What would you do?  a) If I got an email about the show I'd forward it to her and ask if she'd want to come with me.
  29. How would you rather communicate with friends?  a & c) I'd rather talk in person when possible otherwise via IM or email.
  30. A close friend, who you haven't spoken to or seen for a while since he moved to another part of the country, calls you. You hear his voice on the answering machine as you screen your calls.  What would you do?   a) I'd probably pick up the phone and talk to him.


Grand Totals
A's - 14
B's - 13
C's - 10

Wow, I'm not sure how to score this with everything about the same!  Mostly A's is 20 or more, mostly B's is 15 or more, and mostly C's is 20 or more.  I didn't reach ANY of those numbers, even with some having two answers!  So here are the points I agree with about me:
  • I'm committed to working hard to change the stigma of being labeled "shy" into a strength which will work in my best interest in order to achieve what I want most in life.  A
  • I recognize that the self-defeating behavior of negative thinking is holding me back and I'm trying to change and grow. B
  • I feel uncomfortable in unfamiliar situations and I also tend to avoid confrontation, but I'm moving forward to face my fears, whatever they may be. B
  • I know I have my work cut out for me, but I'm definitely up for the challenge and success is in my near future.  B
Mostly C's involve someone who's been deeply hurt in the past and only feel safe and secure when they're alone.  So it looks like I'm not as shy as I thought!

Has anyone else read this book or taken a similar questionnaire?  What were your results?


  1. Interesting! I'll have to check out that book. I'm totally an introvert, too! So many of your answers reminded me of myself!

  2. You are taking the 1st step in conquering your issue! Congrats to you!

    1. That makes me wonder, is there a 12-step program for shyness?

  3. I have not read this book or heard of it but I do like these types of books. The only reason it takes me so long to read them is because I'm sooo busy blogging! You know, as in not talking to people. I wouldn't say I'm shy as much as I'd say I'm an introvert. I'm okay talking with people, I just prefer to have my me time.

  4. I was shy when I was a kid & can be an introvert at times. My daughter is just like me. She's very quiet. I always hated beind called shy because I felt like they were saying that I didn't have a personality or that I was boring. My daughter hates it when people say that she is shy too.

  5. Oh, do I relate! I'm an introvert and struggle with shyness. I hate meeting new people. It's the worst for me. Once I get to know someone I'm fine, but I'll terrible at small talk and that sort of thing. I force myself to do it, but it's hard.

  6. I take these quizzes all of the time because I can't figure myself out. It seems I'm always somewhere in the middle! Maybe an ambivert? It depends on the situation and my mood, and it varies. I would love to know if I'm more an introvert or extrovert.

  7. I feel the same way. I'm shy and prefer other forms of communcation like email, text, and such too. It just gets me real anxious when I have to talk in front of people or when I think people are judging me.

  8. Yay! I'm glad you aren't as shy as you thought especially since it seems like you really want to get out more. I remember taking quizzes like this in magazines and I was always on the in between side of things. As I've gotten older I think I've become even more outgoing. I hope to hear some updates on you feeling more confident with getting out there more. Either way, in getting to know you, you seem like a wonderful person regardless :)

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  10. Nice throwback post! How are things now? I am shy too and also prefer email and texts rather than talking on phone. #wowlinkup

    1. Shyness hasn't gone away but I think it's lessened. I can talk on the phone with no problem; it's just the in person stuff I have issues with.

  11. I was shy but I have overcome a lot of that due to my hubby. I still have self doubt but it is not as bad as when I was younger. #wowlinkup

    1. My hubby's not really shy it's just he gets lost with the language issue. So we're almost reclusive outside of shopping, work and Weight Watchers meetings but I really want to get out and do stuff more.

  12. Wow ok - seems like a year later you have gotten over your shyness. I can be shy in certain settings. #wowlinkup

  13. Really interesting! I've taken Myers Briggs a couple times and am often right in between introvert and extrovert. I've been definitely trying to work on being more outgoing too! #wowlinkup