There's one question that's been on my mind for years now; why am I so shy when I require socialization to be happy? I took to google and found the term "introverted extrovert". Of course, I found it on urban dictionary, so I could have a completely incorrect term, but I think it's close enough to what I mean to describe. I thrive in social situations, and I need to talk to people and just feel like I'm included into the mass of people I see daily, but I'm also very shy and social situations make me feel sick to my stomach. I can't message people first (even on gag), but as soon as someone messages me first I can hold conversations for hours and get really deep with people, especially if our personalities are similar. I LOVE people, but they also scare the shit out of me.
My cousin (who most of you know as SweetHomicidalQueen) is a very outgoing person. She can walk up to women in walmart and tell them how pretty they are, or she can ask a waitress for her number. I think the things she thinks, but when I go to say them I hesitate and it feels as if there's a literal dam build up in my throat and chest that just won't let the words out, so I walk away completely defeated by my own shy nature. She had to be the one to make the friends for the both of us when we started out at this new school, but now that I know they like me I can talk to them constantly and we've gotten close as if I had been the one to initiate the friendship myself. I just can't talk to people until I'm sure they want to talk to me, but I can't even describe how great I feel when someone actually tries to talk to me or when they let me know that they do like talking to me and enjoy having me around.
I also enjoy spending time alone and reflecting on the day, my life, and just myself in general, and I can sit for an hour or longer just day dreaming or making up stories/songs in my head. I've always been a creative kid, so anything can become a game to me. I've made up songs while cleaning my room, or started acting out shakespeare when I found a skull shaped keychain or a plastic dagger. I can enjoy time alone, and it's especially helpful after I've had a taxing conversation with someone. I enjoy socialization, but it does take a toll on me and I need to just sit and think about things for awhile afterwards.
What's so difficult about starting a converation, you may ask. Honestly, I have no idea. I used to be the most talkative and outgoing child in my elementary school. I would wal up to a group of boys, tell them they were cute, then say," Okay, we're friends now, bye!" Seventh grade rolled around and I had to move away. I left the state I grew up in and ended up in Kentucky. I didn't talk in any of my classes unless it was required, and even then I had this sort of whispery quietness to my voice. I couldn't even force myself to speak up, which resulted in having to repeat myself a few times until the teacher gave up and kids laughed. I finally just stopped trying to communicate all together. I packed extra pencils just in case I dropped one under someone else's desk, and I brought several books and a pair of earbuds (even though I didn't even have a phone or music player) just so that I could avoid social interaction. I started to get depressed. I soon realized that I needed social interaction to be happy. Everyone in school thought that I was weird (and I made such a good first impression by never talking to anyone, right?), so I knew I wouldn't be making friends there. I took to the internet.
I found this cute little virtual world game called ameba pico and I because one of those kids, always playing on this stupid game, making online relationships and spending real money just to dress up my character so more people there would talk to me. I made so many great friends on that site, but then it got shut down a few years after I started playing. I was crushed. My only outlet for talking to people was gone, and I didn't know what to do. I went into this state of mild depression until freshman year, when I met the skater group.
They were outcasts, just like me, and they accepted anyone as they were. One of the guys in the group noticed I stood alone while waiting for my bus, and I had to wait half an hour so it probably made me look like a total loser. He walked over and struck up a conversation. It turned out that we had a lot in common, and he pulled me over to his friends and I made even more friends. It felt great to laugh with people my own age. It turned out that I had found a pretty great group of people to hang out with. They were assholes a lot of the time, and they weren't the best role models considering all of the drugs and sex they liked to talk about with my little virgin ears listening, but they were sweethearts when it was necessary. They found out about my little socialization issue and started building up my self esteem as best they could. They'd encourage me to walk up to that cute girl over there and tell her she's pretty. After a few months of their encouragement I would do that, she'd thank me and I'd walk away with my breathing off and my heart beating so hard in my chest that my legs even started to shake. It got better after awhile, and I even joined debate team. I'd leave every day with a major adrenaline rush, but it was kind of great to be included in something.
Now, though, I don't have the same encouragment. Some family issues happened, and someone from my past came back to haunt me. I had to leave my mom's house and move in with my uncle back where I grew up. I had made tons of friends in that school back when I was in my happy and outgoing years, so I had a group to sit with at lunch and I had people to help me out along the way. Things were great actually, and my confidence started to build up. Fastforward a few months and now we're here. My uncle got a job in yet another state, so now I'm at a school I absolutely hate with people I absolutel loathe (besides a few choice friends). My only support system is my cousin and that doesn't work out too well because I'm kind of a major wimp, and I value familiarity (my cousin and I just met a few months ago). I don't do well with change, so all of this movement has thrown my confidence way back down to before I met the skaters. It's hard being so shy but still requiring socialization to be happy. I get sad a lot, but I usually overcome it by writing. I get compliments on that and photography, which adds a temporary boost to that confidence level I keep mentioning.
I know this take was more personal experience than actual advice, but I hope it helped you see through the eyes of someone going through this messed up personality crisis. If you've gone through this yourself, just know other people feel it too, and I'm here to talk/compare our experiences if you want to, feel free to message me about it and I'd love to hear your sides in this!