I never realized I was shy or socially awkward until I was seventeen years old.
I had a few friends, and as for everyone else...well, I never really thought about them. I was happy, so it never really occurred to me that there was anything more to a social life. Plus, I went to a small school so everyone was used to my eccentricities. I didn't meet a lot of new people.
Well, except for the notable absence of girls, but I always figured the right woman would come along when the time was right.
Anyway, shortly afterwards, I joined a heavy metal band and expanded the amount of new people I was meeting I started meeting new people and realizing I was--to put it delicately--a social moron.
One of the people I paid attention to was the lead singer in my band, who was excellent with people. What made him so good with people? He didn't do that much that was different than what I did. I couldn't figure it out.
The difference between him and me socially, I noticed, was five percent. Maybe even less.
Where I shut up, he would ask how someone's day was going. He would make one extra attempt to talk to a girl, he'd make that one more phone call.
That there is the difference. Fiver percent. Maybe two percent. Maybe ONE percent. And that one percent difference gave him 100% more results.
I'm starting to think that shyness or gregariousness isn't a quality. It's a behaviour.
It isn't something you are. It's something you DO.
I'm not saying introversion or extroversion aren't really qualities. It's true that some of us get our energy from others and some of us get it from time by ourselves.
But as far as how it affects your real life. The difference isn't you. The difference is what you do.
-Make that phone call.
-Call a friend and invite them for dinner.
-Go out to a bar you've never been before and chat with a stranger.
Believe it or not, you can do these things whether you're shy or not.
It just takes that 1 -5% extra effort.
But the rewards...the rewards are far more than that.
-May All Beings Be Sexy
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