If you are like me, you have been accused of being rude or snobbish, stuck-up or cold. Let me assure you that I am none of those things. What I am is shy and uncomfortable with approaching people, so much so that I will often avoid running into someone so I don’t have to experience that surge of discomfort.
I’m not talking about planned dinner with friends. I’m talking about the unexpected run-in.
Does this seem strange to you?
I am the person who will, if I see someone I recognize ahead, turn and sneak around another corner if I haven’t been seen.
I will go out of my way to find a store that will most likely be a place where I won’t run into anyone I know.
Some days I don’t leave the house.
There have been times when I’ve gotten into the car, driven to a store, and simply could not bring myself to get out of the car.
I don’t go to the gym and I don’t take walks around the neighborhood.
No, this has nothing to do with any person I might encounter. Nor am I on the FBI’s Most Wanted list. I’m a normal gal who has to be on before I can be comfortable socially. On any given day, I’m about as far from on as I could be.
And this often comes across as rude.
I have been plagued by this insinuation since high school when the first stirrings of shyness and introverted tendencies started. Of course, before that I spent long hours in my room alone, but I also needed that middle school contact with friends. It was in high school when I started to feel different, preferring to stay home on a Friday night or go to dinner with my mom over going out with friends and dealing with the uncertainty of how the evening would go and who we would encounter.
I’m still that way. I will avoid many casual encounters. I’m not prepared for them. I need to be ready for a social meet and greet and I’m usually not. So I duck and roll in the other direction.
Why does it matter if I run into someone in a store?
Because I feel such a surge of discomfort, I often start blabbering incoherently, leaving me self-conscious and embarrassed over how I acted. Sometimes I’ll replay the scene well into the next day. It’s just better to avoid it. Right?
But I’m not rude.
What about you? Do you ever come across as rude when you’re just plain shy and uncomfortable?
Let me know!