The Heart of a Lion, Socially, a Clutz

I’m an introvert with plenty of silent strength.  I have the intense determination and the inner strength of a lion but I have the social awkwardness of an overweight nerd with glasses.

You’re a loaner!  Why are you alone in your room while everyone else is chatting?  Do you enjoy being alone?

Hell no, I enjoy talking to people but people will think I’m weird if I get quiet and run out of words.  I don’t enjoy being shy or alone.

I’m trying to get over the shyness but when I tell myself to act anyway, my nervous energy shuts me off.

If I I’m at a party, forget about it!  I’ll be invisible because I’m not talking or making people laugh.  I’m frozen with nervous, paralyzing fear.  I want to say something but no words are coming out.

Someone get me a drink or I’m going to have a heart attack!

A Lion Sleeps in the Heart Of Every Brave Man
CC Image by Dimitra Tzanos

Just shut off the bullshit excuses, get over yourself and let it go!  Talk is cheap but bullshit walks.

Forget about the past and move forward past the baseless fear that works against you daily.

Stop being a social coward and put the fear behind you!

Ok, today is the day.  You’re going engage people in conversations no matter how silly or insignificant the conversation becomes.

Why are you so freakin’ nervous around people?  Do you think they are going to kick you in the balls and slit your throat for saying something?

It’s ridiculous.  Snap out of it!

Don’t be an asshole; say something, anything to break the silence!

What do I say?  What happens if they ignore me?

Really, that’s what you’re afraid of?  What a chicken shit!

Just bullshit, it’s not rocket science.  Silence is the killer, talking is the answer.  Too much silence and they’ll think you don’t want to talk to them.

Get off my back, man!  I just don’t know what to say, if they say hi to me first then I’ll know if they really want to talk to me.

What, that’s all you got?  That’s a pretty stupid strategy because they’ll think you’re a jerk and ignore you.

You have to initiate.  What’s the worst thing that can happen?  Most people won’t bite.

It’s simple.  All you have to do is say, “Hi, how are you doing or how have you been?”

Ok, I’m going to tell them right now.  But, it’s not the right time because it’s noisy and they’re talking to somebody else.  I’m going to wait.

Oh shit, I waited too long!  Now, it’s really getting awkward.  That’s it!  I give up!  Where’s the closest exit?

Somehow I’m going to defeat this shyness and become a social hero or will I become a hero of truth?

Sometimes socializing comes naturally to me with words flowing easily and freely but other times it gets awkward with silence.  I get lost in deep thought.

What is one of your greatest flaws that get’s in your way without fail?

Share in the comments.

  • Robbie,
    I appreciated the peek into what it’s like for the introvert. And while I am mainly an extrovert, I have found some things out that are valuable, no matter what type you are.

    People really like to talk about themselves. We make the mistake of sometimes thinking we have to be clever, or witty to keep a conversation going. Move the conversation over to the other person. Ask them a question or two that requires more than a “yes,” or “no,” for an answer and just watch the conversation go.

    I have used this tactic when I am too tired to carry on a different sort of a conversation and I’ve seen it work every time.

    I hate the self-talk we heap on ourselves, Robbie. We assume if it’s quiet that others have us figured out, and as you have shared, it’s not a very positive light.

    My daughter is an introvert. I’m going to show her your post to get her feedback. I’m sure she will relate to what you shared.

    Thanks for your post.

    • determinedsoul

      Hi Anne, it was nice to hear from you again. That is great advice! Thanks for stopping by!

  • I find parties and party-like settings hard, because I don’t like superficial conversation. It’s an artificial setting that works for only a few people. I totally second what Anne Peterson says, that people love to talk about themselves, so if you don’t mind listening, you can always have a conversation with someone by letting them tell you all about themselves. To answer your question, the biggest thing that gets in my way is that I have an opinion about everything, and I have to be careful not to come across as argumentative. I like your post and your honest inner dialogue!

    • determinedsoul

      Thanks, Kathleen! I can definitely relate to the being opinionated being seen as argumentative. One reason why I try to avoid political discussions and talk about extraterrestrials.

  • Robbie, thanks for sharing your heart. Just by doing this you inspire us. I’m cheering for you. Keep sharing your gift it blesses others its blessed me. Way to go.

    • determinedsoul

      Thanks for the encouragement, Troy! I loved writing this post, I took more risk this time and it felt liberating! The awesome book, “Heroes And Monsters” by Josh Reibock inspired me to write this post.

      • That’s great we all need inspiration. Just remember your best self when shared can be inspirational to others. You have gifts so share them.

        • determinedsoul

          Thanks again, Troy! I appreciate the feedback and motivation.

  • Robbie awesome Read, you are not alone and many people feel this way, just remember that you are unique and have the gift of the word when you write and you write with passion and attitude. i loved this piece because it is raw and honest and from your heart. Next party, gathering just keep thinking of the lion, he is cool and does not have to prove himself he just is who he is, take him or leave him, yet they will be surprised if they take the time to engage, even if only through your smile.

    • determinedsoul

      Thanks, Kath! That is great advice because socializing scares the crap out of me sometimes.

  • Lucie

    I’ve found one thing that is helpful is to “go in” with the goal of being a blessing to others, whether it’s in something as simple as a compliment or listening intently. This helps take one’s mind off themselves. And I’ve also found, with age, that none of us is as important as we think we are in the eyes of others…they have their own lives and perceptions that are filtered through their own experience, which we typically have no control over, and most people, frankly, are too busy thinking about their own concerns to pay as much attention to ours as we tend to think. That helps put things in perspective.

    • determinedsoul

      Hi Lucie, thanks for your insight and comments! That’s a great way of looking at approaching interactions with people.

  • Ange

    Public speaking!!! Legs shakes and I cannot even think what I am saying – afterwards, I don’t remember how it went or what I said… said that, if I have to do it, I will; I reject fear as it corrupts the soul and can make you paranoid… I understand your feelings about being the hero of truth… Human beings rarely speaks the truth through their heart, mostly because of fear on how others will think… ultimately, we here to face our trials whist keeping a truthful heart. Our soul, heart and body have to work together and many times one sabotage the other… In the end, all we can do is be truthful to ourselves… Try our best and keep practicing… Tks

    • determinedsoul

      Hi Ange, thanks for those truthful words! The truth hurts but speaking the truth is the only way we can learn and grow. I prefer people to tell me the truth instead of sugar coating it. No games, only pure truth.