Updated: Feb 7, 2022
When I was in high school, I was very shy. My friends now would argue that idea, because they wouldn't be able to imagine me as anything but confident and outgoing.
But the fact was, I really was shy. I felt unattractive, because my face needed to "grow into my nose", and I was all kinds of dorky. I was lucky that I only attended an all-girls high school, because having boys there would have made my self-image so much worse. I dare not think of how I'd be, if I had the internet, a mobile phone, and too much time on my hands. Social Media is the worst thing for teens these days!
I went to a Catholic school, so we had plenty of time and inspiration to think about others. We were encouraged to have compassion and tolerance, and we often had the opportunity to make friends with girls from all over the world who had stories unlike our own.
Even though the school was Catholic (yes, with a capital C!!), there were girls there from other faiths. I'm not sure how they got in (because it was always a rule that students had to be baptised Catholics back then). It was great to learn about other religions, countries, languages and cultures. Oh, and food!
I can't tell you when the thought occurred to me, but at some point, I realised that what I wanted was exactly what other kids wanted. I wanted to belong, to feel welcome, and to have someone else make the first move toward friendship. I would wait for someone else to make eye contact with me, to smile at me, and to approach me. That's what shy people do.
Shy people wait in hope.
That realisation, though, meant that I had insight into what it was like for every other shy kid at school. I knew how it felt to be the last one chosen for a side in basketball or soccer. I knew how it felt to be picked on for the way my face looked, for what I ate at lunch, and how I looked in my very modest uniform. I knew the feeling of embarrassment, that all teenage boys and girls experience at some time.
In knowing all those feelings, and understanding that I wasn't the only one, I could have empathy for my classmates, especially the ones from other countries, or who had different backgrounds to the cool kids. That insight gave me confidence to approach those kids and do all the things that make contact for friendship's sake - meet their eyes, smile warmly, ask how their day is going, invite them to join me for recess or lunch.
Before long, I had friends, and they were girls I could count on forever, for whom I will forever be thankful.
Fast forward to now, and we're in lockdown again. It's time for wearing masks and keeping our distance. Invitations are a thing of dreams. But, the need for friendliness hasn't diminished. We all still need to feel like we belong.
So, instead of feeling lonely, maybe we should remember this post the next time we go for a walk or head to the shop for "essential shopping". Sure, our smiles can't be seen behind our masks, but we can still meet the eyes of passers-by and shop assistants. We can still say hello to strangers and ask how their day is going. We can even lurk in the aisles where the fun "foreign" products are, and ask other shoppers how to prepare them.
They won't bite, and it really doesn't hurt at all.
Just ask yourself, "Do I want every aspect of my life to be a 10/10?" Well, it's never too late (unless my diary is full).
All you need to do, to book in for your first coaching session, is choose! You probably know at least 3-4 people, who have come to mind while you've read this post. Why not buy them a gift certificate for their birthday? It doesn't matter where they are, because coaching is actually best when delivered over the phone. And there's the absolutely fantastic 8-Week Breakthrough Results Program, if you are really committed to living your most authentic life.
Now, maybe you need some other tools - such as books, meditations, meditation school, a tarot and oracle card reading, or to consider what kinds of transitions you need to make in your life (Ahem. I am Certified Results Coach, and you can book a free strategy session over the phone, anywhere in the world).
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