I used to be impossibly shy. It wasn’t the kind of shy that I couldn’t talk to anyone. In fact, I had no problem talking to people at all. It was just that I felt so awkward that I would say inappropriate things especially in uncomfortable conversations. Generally, I had no command of the ‘small talk’.
Once, I launched into an aspergery-type info-announcement of “Did you know that in 1386 a pig in France was executed by public hanging for the murder of a child?” This, after someone told me that they just broke up with their girlfriend or their Dad died or something.
If I hadn’t seen a person for a long time and they asked “What have you been up to?”. I would just stand there and tell them pretty much exactly what I had been doing for the past 2,3,4 years since I had seen them. Usually talking about 25 minutes, well past the moment that I’ve realized that I’ve gone on for an obviously unacceptable long time. I would end by saying (errr, more actually yelling with my arms flailing in the air) “And that’s what I’ve been up to, great see you… Bye!” and then scurrying away as fast as I could leaving my acquaintance with a utter ‘what-the-fuck’ look on their face.
I’m better at small talk now. I still feel awkward but I’ve learned to say “I’m great” when someone asks me how I am rather than actually tell them how I feel, why I feel that way and what I’m going to do about it. I don’t always succeed and those who know me, know this well. I’ve also learned that some thoughts should just be left in my head. Especially anything to do with Cat-AIDS
This is a song about shyness. Here is my brother Aubry and I in the bathtub.
little bird it’s time to wake
this day is yours for you to take
little bird hiding there
why so shy why so scared
now spread your wings and try
little bird fly
little bird what can I do
there is so much here waiting for you
little bird come out your cage
for the fear you can assuage