I often forget that other people are separate from me. A lifetime of being able to pick up on what those around me are thinking and feeling lead a small girl to think everyone else can do the same.
I also thought that to be humble meant to be quiet, reserved and never to speak well of myself. I was scared that doing so would equate to me becoming a pompous asshole.
Leave it to me to realise at the ripe old age of 28 that both of those beliefs were not true.
When I write up job applications, or any such thing where I need to put my best foot forward, both those old beliefs come into play. I a) already think this total stranger knows me through and through, and b) try not to talk to highly of myself so I don’t seem arrogant.
This also applies to social situations.
When I meet someone new there is a mish-mash of things going through me. I’m learning all I can about this person through their movements, their mannerisms, the way they treat others, and often how they are feeling.
On the other hand here I am not saying anything, smiling indefinitely, and thinking that this person is probably sussing me out the same way.
I don’t speak about myself unless asked a question – I think it’s rude to just blab out loud who I am and what I like if no one inquired.
The downside of this is I think others believe the same thing. I thinking they’re thinking, “oh she’s just being polite” but I’ve come to realise that in this day and age it comes across as snobbish and rude.
I’ve even been asked by one of my partner’s friends (while he was intoxicated) “why do you hate me?”
My first thought was, why do you think I hate you? I could only assume that it is my shy nature that lead him to feel that way – a real Aussie bloke who wouldn’t know how to be intuitive or sensitive.
I don’t think I could change my behaviour overnight. I’ve tried to be more outgoing in this types of scenarios but these ways of acting are pretty routine for me now.
I keep saying to myself “next time I am with someone I don’t know very well I’ll try my best to be more social and less intuitive” but when push comes to shove, it’s pretty hard.
Does anyone else find this kind of thing difficult? What are some ways you’ve tried to not come across as shy or reserved?