Friday, September 29, 2006

Chatty I am not

I'm not going to lie to you,* I am a shy gal. My Mom says that the minute I hit the third grade, I became quiet. The only real reason I can come up with is, that is the year we made a big move. We moved in the middle of the school year which can be a pretty big deal. All the classes are established and you are the "new kid."

It has always bothered my how shy I am. I leave a party or group of people and wish I would have said more. I am the one that sits and listens usually only saying something when I am asked. I can be talkative if I know the people around me and if I am comfortable to be myself. It just takes me quite awhile to warm up.

We all have parts of our personality that we are unhappy with. I know this. As long as we recognize them and make a conscious effort to get better, we are not stuck with the traits we don't like. For example, I realize that some people may think I am mute. Now, I need to get out of my comfort zone and open my mouth. I think the best way for me to do this is to give more compliments and ask more questions. Do you think that's a good way to get started?

Is there anything you want to change about yourself or even better, any advice for me?

*I had to throw that in there for Blake and our good friends the Andersens. It's an inside joke, sorry.


Sara said...

First of all, I am shy, too. I ALWAYS wish that I could be a little more talkative. Now that I think about it, my shyness probably came about around the 5th grade, when my family moved to Georgia. I was always the Snow who never said anything, which as you can guess, is an odd thing for a Snow to be.

I have gotten better since I graduated from high school. In the last year especially, I have worked really hard at being more sociable. But it really is a constant effort. It's something I have to really think about because my tendency is to just sit back and watch.

But I've found that giving compliments and asking questions is the best way to improve. Sometimes I do feel like a broken record -- giving compliments and asking questions all the time. But if you start talking to the right person, the compliments and questions become a conversation. And if someone doesn't respond to your way of breaking the ice, they're probably not your kind of person.

Good luck, Lindsey. You can do it!!!

Anonymous said...

I wish I had your problem. I have the opposite problem actually. I am not shy at all and I wish I could be a little more reserved sometimes. I will strike up a conversation with just about anybody and I don't mind making a fool of myself if it will make others more comfortable in a certain situation. I think as a young kid I was somewhat shy, but when I got in Jr. High I just broke out of my shell. I learned to laugh at myself and to try to get to know people.

I agree with Sara. If you want to improve, just start asking people questions or giving compliments. Try striking up conversation with someone in line at the grocery store. It's fun and it's a good way to start breaking out of your shy shell. Don't worry about feeling foolish because most of the time, the people you are talking to will not think that of you. They will appreciate your efforts. If you happen to say something stupid, just laugh it off and don't worry about it. If you laugh at yourself, people will realize that you're comfortable enough with yourself to not be offended or embarrassed.

Also, I have found that asking people personal questions isn't always a bad thing, even though most people are scared to do it. People will often not ask somebody they just met about their families and kids because they think it is inappropriate to ask personal questions right off the bat. But everybody likes to talk about their families, kids, etc. So, ask them a question about that and be genuinely insterested, and you will have a friend for life.

Jordan McCollum said...

Meh. We can just hang out and be shy together and not talk to each other or anyone else...

Yeah, okay, that doesn't sound like a lot of fun.

Annette and Rick said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Annette and Rick said...

I agree with the question and compliment ideas. When I used to be very shy, I realized that if I took a sincere (people appreciate genuineness) interest in others, then the questions and conversation often followed automatically. If you really search your brain, you can almost always find something to follow up on from your past experience with that person or ask questions anew. As you break the ice, you start to find other things to talk about with the person, as well.

I once saw a sign that read, "If you don't understand my silence, you won't understand my words." For a long time, I used that saying as a copout, until I realized that my silence (while I waited for only profound things to say) came across as being rude.

I also think that part of being a good conversationalist is knowing what you have to offer to others (humor, compassion, etc.). Think back in the past to what might have drawn people to you and what they have drawn from you. Then incorporate that strength by focusing on that attribute in your interactions with others.

Anonymous said...

Wow! Thanks everyone! Thanks for the advice, encouragement and support. It means allot to me that you would take the time to write your feelings on this topic. I have taken what you wrote and I will try it all out. I'll let you know how it goes...

Jordan, luckily I'm past the shy stage with you. I'm really glad we have gotten to know eachother. You have made moving into this ward so much better! Here's to many more BBQ's!