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My friend Julie grabbed my hand and said "You have changed my world!" It was a fantastic compliment.
What had I done? Julie...is a lively, vivacious, woman full of energy and great conversation and holds greats parties. But appearances aren't always what they seem. She explained that all her life she has been painfully shy. When she lived in the UK she wanted to join a women's group in and tried for 3 weeks in a row to make herself walk through the door but she was too scared.
Julie even tries to make her husband walk in front of her into bars and restaurants, because she is too shy. When we met in France a year ago, she had been living in France for a few years yet and was feeling lonely and isolated. Once she had made a big effort to break the ice with her French neighbours she was fine but she wanted to make more friends and was too nervous of making the first move and joining a club or going to yoga because of her shyness,
I invited her and her husband for a meal, we all got on very well. I then decided to organise a girls day out, and invited my French and English girl friends along. We visited a Costume Mueum and Handbag Exhibition - a pretty girly outing!! From there on Julie and her husband got invited by my friends to BBQ's, parties and all kinds of days out. Now she has a growing circle of friends ..but I bet those friends have no idea of her shyness. She masks it so well.
Did you know that Johnny Depp, Nicole Kidman, Roger Moore and Kim Basinger are just a few of the actors who literally put on an act to cover their shyness? Suffering from shyness didn't prevent them from being successful and famous.
I used to feel shy but had to overcome it as my work involved networking with strangers...giving a presentation at a conference for 300 people and even talking on live radio and tv....somehow I got through it because I wasn't talking about ME as such....I was representing the company I worked for...totally different. During a radio interview I was once asked for my opinion and I froze....I was so used to talking about the company, I even took on a different persona, I couldn't answer and there was silence for what seemed like ages.
Providing shyness does not make you seem arrogant and offhand...Shyness can be a positive thing...you enjoy your own company and relish solitude. Do you think shyness is a bad thing?