Shyness is a strange thing. At work, I go out to see people all the time, visit complete strangers in their homes, chat to them about all sorts, with no problem at all. I just put on my work face and go to it. People think I'm confident, because I can stand up in front of a room of people and deliver a presentation about *whatever*.
But then comes the real world. Squeaky has just started going to dance classes just round the corner from our house, and she's loving them. There's a few children she knows from school and preschool, and she's in her element. Me, however? Well that's another story. I'm sitting in the parents' room, clutching my phone as a security blanket so I don't have to talk to anyone. There's someone who I went on a course with last year, a couple of mums I vaguely know from preschool, and worst of all, someone I know through work. Living and working in the same area, it's inevitable, I suppose. But I don't want to talk to anyone. I kind of want to run away and never come back, rather than speak to people. I don't want people to know I have any sort of life outside of work, I want them to think I'm just Support Robot, not an actual person.
|Image courtesy of marcolm at FreeDigitalPhotos.net|
Thing is, this is exactly what I don't want Squeaky to grow up like. She's got enough "difference" as it is, being far too smart for her own good. I want her to be confident in social situations, and that's why I'm bringing her, as well as involving her in other classes and clubs that she's interested in. Though will it backfire if she sees my discomfort and anxiety? I suppose I should just put on my big girl pants, and get over it. No-one is actually looking at me, no-one really cares that my t-shirt came from Primark, I haven't washed my hair this morning, and I'm just another face in a rather noisy crowd. Is the moral of this story "Get Over Yourself"? It may very well be.
Shyness and social anxiety are strange creatures, I just want to keep them at bay. For both of us.