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Men:What happened to make you so shy?


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Working in retail has changed me a great deal. I was 24 when I started and I was extremely shy and quiet. It was very daunting to start with, horrible really. Now I find it so easy, it's almost like second nature. Alot of customers at my workplace know my name and chat with me about stuff. It's almost like you get a celebrity status. When I walk to work and come accross a customer, they always smile and say 'hello'.


What's important though is since I've developed this confidence been around people and dealing with people, women have shown no more interest in me. In fact I got more interest when I was younger and better looking but really shy.


I also started working in retail a few years ago, and for a while, I thought it had helped me "come out of my shell" a bit, but now that I think about it, I think it's just caused me to sort of create a "fake persona" that I put on for customers at work. Basically, when I go to work, I feel like I'm an actor, that's just playing a character, rather than being a "normal person" that's learning how to be more sociable towards people.

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My work has gone customer service nuts so I have to go overboard with customers. I do enjoy it though and some customers come on purpsoe to my till to have a chat about football.


I think because I have the uniform on it helps a masssive amount. I am important because customers need help etc. I stand out. Outside of work I never feel that important and it's alot harder to get into conversations. I don't think my outside of work personality has changed much. I don't socialize more or want to chat with people. At work I have to do it to keep my job. I think I am just a natural quiet person.

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I may have been really quiet as a toddler, but I really wasn't all that shy as a kid. At least until I had been bullied for being very sensitive to people teasing me, or doing poorly on an assignment (I was a very good student), and often crying because of it. Even though I somewhat blended in with my classmates physically (I was somewhat tall for my age), I was a year younger than the rest of my classmates throughout school, and in some ways I wasn't developing emotionally at the same rate as everyone else.


This carried its way into middle school, where when everyone else was going through puberty at 12-14 years old, I was 11 and 12 years old in 7th and 8th grade, and girls/sex/etc. were the last thing on my mind; instead, it was mainly video games and sports. Even though some of the girls thought I was cute (and let me know it), I was somewhat resistant to let on (and in most cases, I didn't really care).


And then high school came around, and for four years, I went to an all-boys high school, so other than your occasional high school dance which I would go to sometimes, I had pretty much no exposure or interaction with girls; in fact, every once in a while after school, whenever there was any event that involved our all-girls school, I'd see a girl from one of those schools and think to myself "OMG A GIRL!!!" And even though I would go to dances and dance with girls and stuff, I didn't really know how to socialize with them. And even in college, in a non-party setting, I wouldn't try to socialize with them because I was too insecure and too shy. It also didn't help that as a minority non-athlete in predominantly-white high school and college (and having a mother who looked down on black men who dated outside their race), I would be conscious of what girls would think of me if I tried to talk to them. Yeah, this all seems irrational, but it has caused me to withdraw into my shell.


All of that, and being the youngest in my family where my mother was the only constant parent at the house, having been hurt by her last marriage, so I kept on getting ideas on how a man should not act towards women rather than how a man should act towards women, and from the looks of things (even when having met some women online), my mom's thoughts of how a man should act towards women are somewhat old-fashioned. No wonder I'm so shy.


I hope any of that made some kind of sense, since I'm typing all this at once and I have to leave work right about now.

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For me, being shy came from the fact that I was legally deaf and got a cochlear implant. So if it was any challenge for a "normal" person to talk to females, it increased about ten-fold for me. As typical as it is for humans to be a little bit self-conscious, for me it becomes a question of "will this person see beyond the machine?" "Is she going to accept me for me?" I know it's a mundane thought, but I can't help but think there's a subsection of the human population that wouldn't date/love a deaf male (with deaf people I know getting relationships, I know I'm wrong). It's also a paradox because I'm pretty much flamboyant and outgoing when it comes to classes in university, but on a one-to-one basis, I'm about as quiet and shy as can be.

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My shyness came as a result of a narrow pallet that made it physically impossible to speak normally as a child. Orthodontic intervention fixed that, and I've slowly come out of it. But the fear of rejection and mockery is what really stops a man. Over time I got over my fear of speaking to people by forcing myself into social situations. Approaching women in public, volunteering for public speaking, going first in class presentations in HS and college, volunteering for counter duty and interacting with the public in general. Over time I just became more confident, and I felt like I discovered who I truly was, and I just felt at ease being the funny guy people liked being around. Didn't hurt that I'm tall and "good looking" (been called hot) Several times in my youth, and now in my adulthood I've had female classmates and even a couple friends who moved away who told me they had been hoping I'd ask them out, but I was just too quiet and naive to do it. Of course, the couple in adulthood, I knew they were into me, but I just couldn't in good faith ask them out. I just didn't have any interest in them, so it wouldn't have been right.

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