Don’t mind me, I’m just shy

LAST UPDATED: 11 Jul, 2015 @ 11:26

shynessSHYNESS affects millions of people on a daily basis. Some people, the lucky ones, grow out of it. But unfortunately for others, shyness is something that never seems to go away. It’s not a nice feeling. Trust me, I know, as I’ve suffered with it from a very early age.

The thing with me is, what you see isn’t what you get. I’m not what someone would call an open book. I’m far from that. To me the thought of making conversation with a complete stranger unnerved me. I would become very tense and the shyness would spring up as soon as I opened my mouth. I hated making eye contact with a person I didn’t know.

I was self-consciously shy. I was obsessed, if not paranoid with what other people thought of me.

As someone who wants to become a journalist I needed to find a way to get my shyness under control. I needed to learn how to be a bit more extrovert.

In order to overcome any weakness, I had to have the desire to change and push my boundaries.

Ever since I got a part-time job at a restaurant nine months ago I’ve noticed a change in my personality.

I no longer dread the feeling of talking to someone. I don’t shy away when being spoken to. In fact I’m slowly beginning to feel less tense around others.

However, I wouldn’t say my shyness has gone completely. There are times when I don’t feel comfortable around some people and I still get paranoid from time to time.

I don’t think I’ll ever be as out-going as I’d like to be, but that is something I’m working on.


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Originally from Kent, I moved to Spain with my parents when I was 10 years old. I was thrown into the deep end when I was put into the Spanish education system with no grasp of the language. I'm now 22 and my friends all call me an “Española”. Since passing my Bachillerato (English Baccalaureate) I have worked in shops and bars and I have also taught Spanish to ex-pats. I have a keen interest in writing as well as travelling and one day I hope to become a writer.


  1. Shyness and Social Anxiety can become a serious condition that make the affected person literally suffer from it. I was suffering from shyness and social anxiety myself for over 10 years. Luckily a Psychologist recommended me a method called Social Reprogramming Method. Thanks to this Method I live free from shyness today.

  2. Claire,
    don’t try to be someone you ‘think’ you should be, just be yourself. many English are well described by Pink Floyd in DSOTM – quiet desperation is the English way. Is your family very reserved – the individual’s nuclear family is the basis for personality modelling.

    From the cradle we are programmed by our family and society in general to be what ‘they’ want us to be. It’s in our teens that we should rebel to find out who we really are, scary but nec. to ask the question of ourselves – who am I.

    Mainlanders don’t have a problem in making eye contact at any age and they don’t whisper like a lot of Brits but talk in a normal voice, they tend to confront topics and problems directly which horrifies a lot of character armoured Brits. I’m sure that the reason a lot of Brits drink too much is simply insecurity – a direct reflection of the national mentality.

    Looking at how Spanish, French and British children handle talking to the media one is struck by how confident and articulate the Spanish and French are and how hesitant,uncertain and inarticulate the British kids are. The exception being the rich public school kids – very telling of the outdated class structure of the UK.

    After Spain try working in the Netherlands or Germany, you’ll either adapt to the new direct environment or flee back to the UK – vamos a ver.

  3. Have you heard of SM (selective mutisum) it is a anxiety based disorder where you feel you cant speak suffers have problems with making eye contact … people just assume they are shy and/are rude for not being able to talk in certain situations. Just a thought for more info google Selective Mutisum.