Typically, going through a website like facebook doesn’t help me glean much insight into anything useful or thought-provoking but I was met with a bit of a surprise as I went through the usual timeline routine a day or two ago.
The revelation I had?
I know a lot of people. “Know” might seem to brave a word – I’ll settle for saying that I’m familiar with quite a few people that I’ve met through school, work, or mutual acquaintances over the span of 22 years. Admittedly, I’m a very introverted person and thats why the discovery of the size of my friends list was so surprising. It’s not that I’m shy or don’t like talking to people; I’m just not a terribly social creature and for that reason, I miss a lot of the social connections that most people my age have.
But once I get to know someone, even a little, I loosen up and I can relax – I make friends easily enough.
There have been times when not knowing anyone was a situation I was extremely familiar with.
My family moved to Oklahoma City three years ago after I’d lived in the same small town in Kentucky for as long as I can remember. When I found out we were moving, it wasn’t the distance I dreaded; it was the fact that I didn’t know anyone in the place I would soon be calling my home. That was terrifying.
I had been out of school for a year and a half before I came to OCCC and that scared me, too – getting back into a school setting (where I had no friends, no connections) was extremely daunting and I wasn’t sure if I could do it. I think that one of the only reasons I succeeded at all in meeting people after moving to my new home and coming to OCCC was because I was extremely open to it. (And hello – introvert. Being open and committing to sharing myself and being around people was an absolutely scary idea.)
But I did it!
Being an introvert or not being social – being quiet, shy, or habitually lonely doesn’t mean anything for you.
Sure, it’s a facet of your personality but it isn’t necessarily a life sentence that says you’ll never have friends or you’ll never experience new things. Shy people and introverts have a lot to offer people in friendships and relationships the same way as extremely outgoing extroverts do.
And if you’re scared of reaching, scared of putting yourself out there, you’re not alone. Believe me.
That isn’t just a shy people thing, no matter how lonely and helpless it might make you feel. We’re only human, after all, and what we all want is to belong somewhere.
The beautiful thing is that as long as we keep wanting that, and as long as we keep looking, we can all eventually come to find that place.
Don’t let the fear of the unknown hold you back, and don’t let your fears become a security blanket. We all have it in us to be brave enough to take chances and do things outside of our comfort zone that we might’ve never imagined we could.
So what about you, readers? Ever encountered a situation you felt ill-equipped for and found yourself more capable than you thought? Ever had the opposite happen? Let me know in the comments below!