If I ever pass you in the hallway then I will probably smile but quickly avert my gaze. Why? Because I am an awkward human being who finds it incredibly difficult to maintain eye contact.
And I did not think twice about my shyness until I thought of the cliche, “Eyes are the windows into a person’s soul.” I prefer to keep the curtains on my window tightly shut and secured.
I avoid eye contact because I want to avoid opening up. I do not like talking about myself. I can complain about the weather or gripe about teachers but my personal life, my innermost feelings, and worries are left out of reach.
And just as how my windows are shut, I don’t bother to peer into those which are open. I don’t ask about your day. I listen but don’t have an enthusiastic response. I give practical advice but rarely connect it back to myself on a more meaningful level. In other words, I’m there but not truly there.
I hate myself because of it. I do not like being shy, introverted, and painfully shut out from everyone. All it would take is for me to open up but 17 years of solitude is hard to break. So I must take baby steps but even those are daunting for a fearful child like myself.
So what’s my first step? How do I open up? Do I spill my life story to everyone I meet? Do I share what’s on my mind even if it’s offensive and rude? Do I confide every secret?
How do I open up without coming off as someone who’s too talkative, too revealing, and too trusting?
Right now, I am not talkative enough, not revealing enough, and not trusting enough.
I am either not enough or too much. How can I be just right then?