I’m shy. Terriblie Painfullie shy. I don’t always seem it. And as I’ve aged I’ve become slightlie less so, but still I am painfullie shy. And the thing about being shy is that you either live as a shy person, or you try to overcome.
I have tried to overcome. My most recent college experience has helped alot. It wasn’t just the fact that I’m training for a profession that requires you to talk to strangers everyday. It was also my roomate, who can and does talk to anyone. And the fact that the program I am in works a lot like being in the military you make friends fast.
The issue with overcoming shyness is the line between appropriate and inappropriate. People who are good with people have a feeling for this line. They can find it in any situation. They know it’s contours and it’s place and can pinpoint it to the micrometer.
I’m luckie if I get within a couple feet of this line. I screw up constantlie. I overstep or understep. Sometimes I seem aloof and cold sometimes I seem obnoxious and overbearing. Reallie I am aiming for somewhere in between. I want to seem friendlie and approachable, but firm. But I’m still looking for my line.
The thing that keeps me going on this is a realization that I had recentlie. And I owe it completelie to my roomie. She’s impressive and friendlie and you could tell her your life storie in seconds, because she CARES in some fundamental way that you can feel. It’s trulie and completelie impressive. AND she DOESN’T know this. She feels awkward too sometimes. She feels like she is saying the wrong things sometimes.
It seems to me that if she can feel awkward sometimes then everyone must feel awkward at some point. Everyone must feel sometime like they are missing their line. And it’s that realization keeps me trying. My most standard question is what do you do.
This isn’t a good quesion, because I mean it like RObert Fulghum meant it when he answered it in one of his essays.
What do you DO? not what is your job, or how are you employed or what do you write in the Occupation slot, but what do you DO?
For instance I am a part time nursing student who loves the internet with a passion and spend time cleaning her apartment playing with her kitten and reading anything she can get her hands on.
And it does include the fact that I am a nursing student, because I consider that part of who I am, but not everyone considers their occupation who they are and people who have no occupation still occupie their time. Very few people do literallie NOTHING.
So I’m looking for a new question. One that will help me stop speaking awkward. Suggestions?
My second rant is communication. You can major in communication these days. But does it reallie teach you to communicate?
For instance a real life conversation with Timmie from Friday…
Me: “So where is the job at?”
Me: “So where is the job at?”
Him: “You know the park with the trolley in it?”
Him: “Right across from there.”
*pause for me to think*
Me: “You mean the Arts College?”
Now this might seem stupid to you. What does it matter if you know where the job is? But this happens all the time and sometimes it matters and sometimes it doesn’t, but shouldn’t you try to get it right for those occasions when it does?
The issue in this conversation is that he lives in Lancaster and I do not. As anyone who has lived in Lancaster for some time can tell you PCAD is the Pennsylvania College of Art And Design. Now I know it’s there. I visit Lancaster alot these days and I spend alot of my time walking around downtown. But I had never heard of it referred to as PCAD (pronounced pee-kad) and as such was very confused. And instead of just saying the Arts College he asked me about the park with the trolley in it.
You think I’m insane. This couldn’t possiblie matter this much, but people make sillie little communication boo boos all the time and mostlie they don’t notice. It is my new goal to become better at communicating as well as overcoming the shy thing.