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I have to tell you a secret about myself. Ok, it’s not really a secret, but you might not know it about me.
I’m very much an introvert.
Are you surprised? I’d say I’m more correctly an extroverted introvert, but in a lot of situations, I’m absolutely an introvert.
When I was younger, my mom would make me go into stores and ask people at the counter for help. If I wanted to know something, she’d MAKE me call or go ask. I’d beg and plead and try to weasel my way out of having to ask/call/go out of my comfort zone. Sometimes I won, but more often than not, she won. She was trying to help me step out of my comfort zone.
Fast forward at least a decade and a half, and surprise! I’m still the same way as I used to be. I’m still an introvert. I still love my little comfort bubble.
Here’s a story for you. This past weekend, I went to watch Ashley’s skating show. Matt was running the lights with his brother Tyler, Ashley was in the show, and Matt’s mom was volunteering as a rink monitor, so I watched the show from the bleachers by myself. Totally fine and dandy, I was planning to take photos of Ashley skate anyway. So I found a seat near the aisle and settled in. A lady came and slid into the bleachers a few feet from me and as she passed, I thought to myself, “She looks familiar. She looks like Mary [who’s blog I read and who’ve I’ve talked with online before.]” But I wasn’t 100% sure if was her, so I didn’t say anything.
What would an extroverted person do? Turn to her and say “Hi, are you Mary?” What did I do? I sat in my seat and happily looked around the rink, people watched, and smiled at Matt up at his post behind the spotlight, all while wondering if that was Mary, the lady who comments on my blog.
The whole show went by and I snuck a few glances at Mary, and I was about 95% sure it was her. The show ended, and she left. I said to Matt, “I feel dumb. I’m pretty sure that the lady sitting next to me is someone who’s blog I read, she reads my blog and we’ve talked online. But I wasn’t sure so I didn’t say anything!” Matt laughed; he knows me. I’m shy.
I got home and saw on Facebook that she’d replied to my status about going to the show. She said, “OMG! I was sitting next to you! I should have known from your equipment, but we’ve never met in real life.” She felt the same shyness as I did even though she thought she recognized me, and so we didn’t talk to each other! We’ve now made a plan to meet in person and we’re going to HAVE to talk to each other haha!
What’s the moral of the story? I’m shy. If I don’t know you, I am really a shy person. I am not shy online. I’m not shy when I am running a photo session or working a wedding. But if I’m out at the store, even if I think I know you, I probably won’t say anything. Once the initial barrier of introduction is broken though, then I switch over to being very much an extrovert. With my family and friends, EXTROVERT. They TRY to get me to stop talking and trust me, it’s hard. Ask Matt. I talk. A lot.
I was usually the person at school who had a good memory and remembered most people. I always felt like I knew way more people’s names than those who knew me. As in, I knew lots of people who wouldn’t know who I was. Whether this is true or not, I’m not sure. I usually think I know people and that they don’t know me.
Being in business for myself is pushing me to slowly work on my introvertedness. I’m growing slowly. I’m aware of my shyness. I don’t know if I’ll ever be the person that turns to someone and says, “Excuse me, but are you so-and-so?” But I might someday make a phone call to the cable company without starting to sweat.
So if you are out in public and you see me, come say hi. Chances are, I will recognize you, but I’ll be too shy to say hi first. And if you are introverted just like me, we’ll pass by without talking, and then we’ll laugh about our introvertedness online and make plans to purposefully meet in person. That’s how I roll. 🙂