My friend and me made a pact one day: To go out, be out in, or do an impromptu something that we weren’t used to doing-something that was the antithesis of ourselves…correction: our “self.”
You see my friend D is an actress and singer (pp. 277-280 | pp.239-242 | pp.353-356) and I’m a writer and artist. We both went a creative arts school and we maintained our closeness through to the time she moved to New York and continued on with her acting career.
One day, we were on the phone talking about how wires and nonverbal lines of communication get crossed between people-human beings.
This conversation came about because having lived in that big city for so long and going about her days of gigging on the weekends, auditioning during the week, some shows, some off-Broadway shows, a couple of Law And Order and other prime-time crime drama episodes; one day she had an epiphany: “I live in this big city and don’t have any real, solid, friends here and I was reading something about how I may come across to people and instantly. I thought about you too. You’re this recluse of a writer, all your friends are the ones you’ve known for years and too. Other people who don’t know us, they kinda don’t know what to think of us because sometimes we just don’t seem approachable or off in our own worlds, do you agree?”
“Yes. I agree, because I find that some people have this ‘may I come in’ look once they step to my threshold and while others just don’t ‘get invited’ to my threshold. I think what you see and know about me is that I send off the wrong or uninvited signal. And you do too though! But yours is really regal, royal and kinda snobbish even yet, I know you’re not like that!” I replied.
“It’s weird. But why do you bring this up. I asked?”
…“Because I was reading an article about how different forms of seemingly snobberish” (she stressed-‘seemingly’ as if she were a bit agitated by my choice of wording)—she continued: “Seemingly snobbery, standoffishness, rudeness, and seemingly unapproachable ways” (she struck back) …continuing with: … “stuff like that, I was reading, is often times shy people who don’t
quite know how to let people in so they SEEM snobberish or standoffish and blunt and unapproachable,” she finished.
What you have to understand is that, I’ve never been the kind of girl who had 3 to 6 deep friends as a unit. All of my friends are my friends (individually) and each of us have (and had) close, personal, deep friendship so much so that any disagreement or fallout is emotional at best and worse. So any and all conversations between us were displays on a table that two friends talk about and work on-whether it be about either of us or some other issue with something or someone else in our lives.
After she read the article to me, we bounced back some of our “a-ha” moments and our feelings behind what we feel we send off wrong signals-due to certain kinds of shyness that may not be seen as “shy” by other people (but instead: rude, standoffish, kirt, blunt/approachable or: snobbish).
This was a pretty interesting way to look at it (when forming opinions about other people) because to she someone as “shy” we almost equate that as almost virginal-this person that’s constantly darting their eyes and nervous to a fault where we can see sweaty palms and brows. We never she people that seem confident, or who’s ‘got it all,’ orrrrrrrrrr: rich and famous with all this sexy onstage, literal coolness and swag in sit downs and interviews as someone who’s “shy.”
Long story short and to pull you out of this segue in order to bring my point of this story to you is: My friend’s remedy was go get out there on the dating scene (both online and trying to be a bit more approachable), and mine was to work on being conscious of areas and ways about me when (in person) I’m giving out ways so as to not invite you to my threshold.
She started gradually taking extracurricular activities where other people were involved-like salsa classes and other extra things (outside of what she MUST do for her acting career).
I’m a writer and artist-the kind that draws and paints etc.-so my exercise required my being more approachable even so much as while in line at a store and anywhere else where I MUST get out and people are there.
So on a daily basis, together, we worked this through.
By end night, she’d call and ask: “Angie what’d you do different today outside of your comfort zone and/or let someone into your world even if for a few seconds of a moment in conversation-someone that you don’t know?” And I’d repeat the same to her. That’s how we worked this form of “shyness”—that’s seemingly [or even may very well be] a confident person (but beneath them is a shyness—IN PERSON).
This form of “shyness” is such that while they are able to do what they MUST do (like my friend and acting or singing and acting on stage)…behind closed doors—or when the lights go out and all the people who MUST be around are dispersing and gone away.
Even for my friends who, over the years, I’ve been friends with, the more I
Media Maestro .
Writing Rhinoceros .