Cookie loves meeting new people and introduces herself to newbies all the time. Cookie is quick to strike up conversation, especially when others seem uncomfortable. Cookie looks people in the eye when she talks to them. Cookie will dance when no one else is dancing. Cookie can be loud. Cookie secretly likes being the center of attention. Cookie speaks up. Cookie raises her hand. Cookie is the first to volunteer to lead a project… That’s why no one believes me when I tell them that I’m painfully shy. It’s not obvious. I’ve learned how to cope with it and cover it up. When I tell people I’m shy, most people say “Whatever, you? Ha!” But to prove my statement is true, here are some of the top Cookie-shyness indicators:
· I absolutely HATE walking into a bar by myself; or any other social gathering venue, for that matter. I have momentary internal panic attacks, especially when I don’t immediately see the people I’m meeting.
· I let people cut in front of me in line and I don’t say anything. In traffic, I’ll honk, but that’s only because I’m protected by my windshield and sunglasses.
· I can’t kiss a boy I like first. I always wait for him to make the move. And when he does, I get all clammy and nervous.
· I fidget. Even when I’m leading a conversation and looking you in the eye, I’m playing with something…my rings, my hair, a drink straw, my finger nails, or anything else near by. When I’m at a bar, it’s rare that I don’t have a drink in my hand, even if I’m not really drinking it.
· I smile and laugh a lot. Mostly because I’m just a very happy person, but sometimes it happens because I’m nervous, and that’s my instinct reaction to beat the butterflies in my stomach.
· When I’m calling someone new, it takes me at least 10 minutes of sitting there looking at the phone number and planning what to say before I’ll actually make the call. In the same respect, I don’t answer the phone when I don’t know the number because I can’t prepare myself for what might go on during the call.
· I’d rather e-mail a client than speak to the client on the phone. I do it anyway, because it’s part of my job, but it’s a painful process. I always take a deep breath before I make the call.
· When I’m meeting up with someone, I hate to be the first one there. Perhaps that’s why I’m always 10 minutes late for everything I do (I run on what my friends call ‘Jess-time’).
· I don’t tell people off to their faces. I rarely get mad at people anyway, but when I do, it’s usually over e-mail. I hate conflict.
· My first response to a difficult question is ‘um.’
· My heart races a mile a minute when I have to do anything that requires being extroverted or social. I do it all the time, but that doesn’t mean my insides aren’t mush.
See – there you have it. Cookie really IS shy.