Blog : Posts tagged with 'shyness'

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Englishness

In which we can’t complain


This post was originally written down the other day, in a notebook, sitting in a cafe with K. Post follows:

I’m not sure why, but I can’t bring myself to complain in shops. Maybe it’s a British thing. Maybe it’s a shy geek thing. Nevertheless, whatever the reason, I can’t bring myself to complain in shops, which is why I am sitting here in a cafe drinking herbal tea, instead of the cold drink I was planning to enjoy. I don’t normally drink herbal tea, at all, and sometimes when I’m thirsty I like to have a cold drink then a hot drink, close on each other’s heels. The server misunderstood me – it is a chilly day, after all, and I received two hot ones.

No doubt the server – who sounds American and therefore almost certainly would complain if she found herself in my situation – would not mind if I’d said: hang on, I meant the cordial, not the herbal tea. But, being shy, and geeky, and English, I said nothing, and decided that I would enjoy the tea even though I hadn’t meant to order it. Fortunately, it’s actually quite nice.

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Sociability

In which we don’t talk to strangers


I am my own worst enemy.

I’ve never been good at socialising, and I’ve never been good at meeting new people. This means that when I’m in a crowded place, with few people I know, lots that I don’t, I panic. I shut down. I sit in a corner on my own, feeling awful, assuming that everybody else there knows everybody else, that I’m the only lonely person there, that I may as well just go home because noone else would want to talk to me anyway. No doubt this is all nonsense, but it’s what I convince myself.

I should learn that none of it is true, that I could go up to strangers and talk to them, if I wanted. Because once I do start having conversations, interacting, doing stuff, I end up having a wonderful time. The only problem is that I’m rarely able to make that first step for myself. That’s what I need to learn to be able to do.

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