Shelley Widhalm

Shyness-it-Forward

In Challenge delay, Novel editing, Shyness on April 17, 2011 at 8:53 am

I make these challenges every week that are intended to help me overcome my shyness. Half of the time, I come up with an excuse or a delay tactic. I think that’s a self-protective measure, because really, it’s easier to be shy.

My challenge for this past week was to buy someone coffee who was standing in front of or behind me in line or to do something nice for another person. I did a couple of nice things for people, like taking my mom out on errands (but I do that every week) and offering up my dog for petting sessions when I’m out on walks. She just loves anyone and everyone, but that’s a given.

So, here’s my excuse: I forgot to open my eyes and notice who was in front of or behind me in line. Isn’t that sad? I got so caught up in working hard at work, editing my novel and doing what needed to get done, that I forgot to pay attention. Sure, I noticed when it was sunny or cloudy this past week (it even snowed one day) and that the trees were finally budding. But I didn’t look around for a possible opening for a nice hello, a simple chat or buying someone coffee.

I remembered to do so once this past week, but then I thought that I would be putting myself out there. What if this stranger thinks I’m weird? I know the pay-it-forward concept has happened with people buying Starbucks for the person behind them in line or at the drive-through, but I somehow found it hard to join in. I somehow conveniently forgot my goal once I was inside the coffee shop waiting in line.

Just like in a conversation with a few people talking, unless I’m among close friends, I don’t know when, how and where to add my comments. I just start listening, waiting for a pause – sometimes I get a word in, and then I go back to listening. In other words, I take the easy way out. I think, “I’m shy. I don’t have to try.”

Wrong! My challenge for next week is to pay attention to conversations and to be more involved in them, plus buy someone coffee.

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