Even if, over the years, you turned out to be a social butterfly, it's possible you were once a quiet, withdrawn kid. The great problem of being a shy kid is that you’re small and adorable; everyone wants talk to you and pinch your cheeks. They hold out their hands for high fives, ask how you're doing, whether you have a boyfriend or a girlfriend. Then puberty hits, and the shyness is compounded by hormones, physical awkwardness, and the increasing demands of society, school, and family. But don't despair! Take comfort in the fact that everyone who was a shy kid can relate to your struggles.
Stop being shy? Gee, why didn’t I think of that?! Being pressed to talk more or told to simply stop being shy only made you dive further into yourself, because shyness doesn't have an on/off switch.
When You're Told to Stop Being Shy
If your speaking voice wasn’t loud enough (and let's be honest, it wasn't), someone inevitably yelled out, “I CAN’T HEAR YOU!” Not only did you have to continue reading after that, you had to force yourself to speak loudly, every introvert's worst nightmare. You remember it well - the terrifying moment when the teacher got upset at the lack of participation and called on students to answer things at random. It was like playing Russian Roulette, but someone else was holding the gun.
When the Teacher Randomly Called on You
Being in the icebreaker circle was like waiting for the scare in a horror movie - you know it's coming, you can't stop it, and you want it to be over ASAP. You watch others as they smoothly, calmly, coolly share facts about themselves. You’re filled with anxiety, hoping you don’t make a complete fool of yourself when your time comes to speak. And, inevitably, you do.