Just Because I’m “SHY” doesn’t mean I’m less of a person.

I am an introvert.

So I’m always associated with the word “SHY”.

And I hate that word.

It’s always brings out such a negative energy with it.

“You’re so shy and quiet”

“Don’t be shy!”

“She’s shyyyyy…..”

I heard that word “SHY” the day before my week off in December when I had a meeting with my boss.

And I immediately felt my heart sink and my brain explode.

From that one word.

It devalued me. It made me feel like sh*t.

It made me feel like a horrible teacher.

All because I don’t “communicate” enough with the families of my students. When we had larger problems of a student with behavior problems hurting others and ourselves. And problems with behaviors in other students. So we were on a high level of stress and being completely overwhelmed.

So from that one meeting and just working in a stressful environment, it completely ruined my Christmas and week off. I couldn’t stop thinking about it.

And then a couple of weeks ago, a couple hours before my weekend. Yet another use of “shy” was said about me in my work evaluation. Basically, I got a low score on my communication with co-workers. I kinda figured it was because during work, I don’t communicate as much with teachers of other classrooms. And it wasn’t that. She basically wants me to communicate more in situations that are outside of work. She mentioned lunch (and I knew it was because I like to have lunch in my car) and that would like to see me at the staff “bonding” events or dinners (that are not paid…). So I got a low score because I don’t bond or communicate enough with co-workers on my own time that I’m not getting paid for.

That destroyed me. Ruined my whole weekend. To alleviate my anxiety at work with all the stress that I’m dealing with, I like to sit in my car during my lunch hour. Watch some videos, listen to podcasts, at times have a panic attack. And all the staff outings are always on days I’m busy and have something to do.

That word.

SHY.

I f*cking hate that word.

When people use that word to describe me, they use it to devalue and belittle me. A majority of the time they don’t know it, but it destroys me ( as stated in the above examples).

That word is never used in a positive way. At least with myself.

It’s always negative.

It’s associated with words like: quiet, introverted, reserved, loner, unassertive, unsure.

Along with SHY….QUIET is another word I hate.

There is alot of times where I am quiet.

Sometimes it’s due to my mental health like feeling anxious or nervous at certain situations so I freeze. Whenever I’m in a social event, I am extremely anxious so I can’t talk or say anthing. Sometimes it’s because I am always tired and I really just don’t want to strike a conversation. And sometimes I’m quiet because I don’t have anything to say.

I’m gonna dig a little deeper into my mental health and why I’m so quiet or shy to others.

When I was in Preschool/Kindergarten, I don’t know exactly what happened but I completely stopped talking in school. I don’t know what the situation was. Maybe someone embarrassed me or made fun of me or what I said…then I stopped talking.

I went up to First and Second grade not talking in school (which I later discovered that it is called Selective Mutism). My first grade teacher NEVER saw it as a delay in my education. She always found ways to have me participate in class without forcing me to talk. And thus, I wanted to become a teacher because of her. In second grade, ehhh not so much. I remember being so behind in my reading list. Because I was supposed to answer questions from the book. And everytime I didn’t talk, the teacher basically gave up on me.

During that time, I did play therapy at school. Where I went to school early and basically played with a therapist to determine how to help me in school to talk.

Then it was decided that I should transfer to a new school in 3rd grade. And that fresh start helped.

I know I have a lot more moments of being called shy in a negative way.

But this particular moment made me feel like I was less of a person.

When I worked at a before/after school program, I was invited to go to dinner for a co-worker’s birthday. I had no plans so I went and the co-worker was always nice to me. While waiting for a table, my director’s boyfriend just kept on poking at me that I was quiet. Like that’s the only thing he talked to me about. And I wanted to cry because I felt like I was being bullied.

Just because I’m shy or quiet doesn’t mean that I’m different from everyone else.

That doesn’t mean that I’m lazy or inadequate of doing anything.

I am a hard-working person and just because I don’t want to tell everyone everything about my life DOES NOT MEAN that I’m less than a person or that I’m inferior to everyone else.

If you are one of those “shy”, “quiet” or “introverted” individuals, don’t let everyone else make you think that you are less than a person.

Have a great day.

-Mel

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