Quiet and Shy

June 07, 2014

To most who know me, this is a pretty fair assessment. I am every bit the word and more. I am introverted and thoughtful, preferring isolation over too many bodies. Don’t ask for me to throw together something on the spot because you’re very unlikely to get my best work. Popularity bothers me. I want it and yet I don’t. I want recognition but I also have a touch of that impostor syndrome thing and so I rarely feel I’ve earned it. I’m a bit of a mess.

I’m also very shy which doesn’t work so well when you’re already quiet and introverted. Quiet and shy are not the same thing, I just happen to have both. Since reading the exceptional and aptly named book, ‘Quiet’ by Susan Cain, I have grown to appreciate my quiet nature. I have long thought it was a weakness and something I needed to overcome. Not anymore. I recommend anyone who struggles with feeling inadequate because you prefer your quiet over chaos, please read this book. It’ll be empowering.

The shy part I’m still working on. I haven’t found as many advantages to being shy as I have to being quiet. There are many occasions I regret not being able to muscle up the courage to introduce myself to someone or tell someone off when it was needed. I also grow concerned from time to time that it’s not something I’ll be able to grow past. I’m almost 28. I’ve experience much that life has to offer and yet none of those experiences has moved me forward in my approach. I’m concerned I’m limiting myself career-wise because I’m afraid to speak up.

Jeffrey Zeldman, who happens to be kind of a hero, is quoted as saying, “A pretty good designer who can express ideas will actually have a better career than a brilliant designer who’s too shy.”

I know it’s 100% true too and that’s the worst part. I can’t ignore it or run away from it. It’s a very real aspect of my life that I’m essentially failing at. Not the greatest of thoughts but I’ve never been one to back away from a opportunity to grow either. This might just be my most difficult side-project yet.