When I was in my younger years (okay, I admit it: I’m old), I was an extremely shy boy. I rarely talked to people and when I did, it was them who started it. And it never lasted than a minute or two because I couldn’t come up with any interesting topic and really didn’t know what to talk about. Before I engage in convos, I make lists in my head of the topics that I should come up with. I would freak out over any good comebacks or jokes that I made in conversations, and they would stick in my head for days, pondering why I couldn’t make such interesting talk all the time.
The matter of girls were worse. I rarely make eye contacts—or even any kinds of contacts, for that matter—with girls. When I did make the contact, I would become lost and I wouldn’t know what to do with my hands (they were literally “slithering” all over my body). When I talked to them… no, when they talked to me, my face would turn—as they put it—“red like tomato” and I would occassionally stutter and jumble my words. Often times they didn’t get what I said and I had to repeat my sentence, which was just as unintelligible. Esprit d’escaliers often haunted me, crap, that would’ve made a good topic; why didn’t I say that?! I often thought.
I hated myself for not being able to be an interesting person, so I tend to keep myself away from people and preferred to be alone, losing myself in my own thoughts. More often than not, I was scared of social interactions.
Eventually, I realized that the main reason of myself being like that was actually the fear of being deemed a dull, boring person by other people. It was the fear of not being able to come up with interesting topics. And worst of all, it was the fear of being rejected and isolated by the society.
I’ve always wanted to be a better person. I wanted to change—I wanted to actually literally say something from my own mouth instead of being silent all the time.
Now I’ve changed a bit, as in I’m not shy around girls anymore and I’m more comfortable talking with other people. However, sometimes social interactions still scare me. I still have problems coming up with conversation topics and I still avoid unnecessary social interactions. I’m still and always will be trying to not be socially awkward. I think of it as a test in the process of being a better person.
I hope in the next five or six years, I’ll be a different person and I will laugh at the memories of what I was five or six years ago.