‘Shyness is a choice’

Before I even created this blog, my biggest vow for the semester was to come out of my shell—a thought that consumed my mind far more than my classes. On the very last day of winter break, the idea came to me to combine the two priorities and have them feed off of each other, so I signed up for a one-credit hour class called Tension Management: Peak Performance.

It turned out to be my best decision made during the semester.

While it is listed as a Physical Education class because of brief exercises done at the end of each session to help the mind get into a relaxed state, much of the work is done inside and outside the classroom through introspective assignments that allow you to write about your perceived strengths and weaknesses. For this writer, this was a godsend.

The reason I am adding this to the blog, however, is due to a firm belief expressed by the teacher during Tuesday’s class: Shyness is not an affliction, but a choice.

I can see both arguments, while leaning toward my teacher’s opinion. I would definitely say some people are more prone to shyness than others, as some people develop more passive personality types. However, I would also say that many of my actions that would label me a “shy” person come from very conscious fears that I need to deal with.

As a young child, I had a very big mouth and tended to say whatever I wanted. Once I realized I could hurt people’s feelings this way, I took things too far in the other direction and thought too much about what I wanted to say. I looked at every conceivable way a friendly hello could be taken—it could be taken as too strong of a greeting if I’ve never met the person before, so I wouldn’t say anything.

However, one of the biggest lessons emphasized in the class is to not tell yourself that “you will” do something. Rather, say that “you are.” I, personally, am someone who simply acts natural around everyone, and I do not worry much about subtext. If people misread my actions, it is their loss. If they don’t, then we both win.

As long as we are happy with who we are, it should not matter what other people think if we know our own intentions.

What do you think?

About Bobby Waddle

Bobby Waddle is a third-year print journalism student at Bowling Green State University.
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