One of many things that irritates the shit out of me is the idea that shyness is a terrible awful hideous unspeakable apalling horrifying character flaw that will ruin a shy child’s life unless they are pried out of their shells and forced to interact with hostile strangers constantly.
Shyness is not the end of the world! I’m shy and I’m fucking fine. I have a good job, a husband, friends, a social life. Now, to be fair I’ve been getting less shy over the years to the point where I will sometimes to go to events where I don’t know anyone, but even when I had just left college and was still much more shy I had friends and a good job. Even the combination of shyness and being a new grad didn’t make it impossible for me to find work.
As a bit of an aside I think a big part of my becoming less shy was changing my environment. I left the miserable pit I grew up in and suddenly I wasn’t surrounded by dirtbags who were assholes to me all the fucking time. Strangely enough, it’s a lot easier to interact with people when you aren’t either convinced you shouldn’t bother because they’ll just be dicks or are braced for them to start being dicks because that’s what you’re used to. It took a while, but after a few years of people generally being nice to me I started to see that as normal, which made me much less anxious about talking with strangers.
Anyway you know what my life would most likely be like if I was still as shy as I was when I first moved out here? Fine. I would be perfect goddamn fine. Because shyness is not the end of the fucking world. Shy people do not need to be fixed. Social anxiety (and other anxiety disorders), on the other hand, is a different thing. If it’s fucking up your life and making you miserable then it’s probably more serious than just shyness and you deserve an expert’s help. But if you just feel a little nervous about meeting new people, that’s totally normal and you’re fine.
Okay let’s see if I can drag this back to any relevance to kink 🙂
It’s very common for people to recommend going to a munch to meet other perverts, and it’s also very common for people to not want to because they’re shy. That’s okay! You don’t have to love munches and you don’t have to go to them if you don’t fucking want to. Lots of people either dislike them or just can’t be bothered for all sorts of reasons. If interacting with a bunch of strangers you might have one and only thing in common with sounds like hell on earth to you, don’t do it.
Just don’t whine about how lonely you are when there’s a really effective way of meeting people that you could do if you felt like it and we’re cool.
Also shyness is not life-ending. You can in fact suck it up and do things that are uncomfortable (again, if you really for really real can’t, that’s not shyness, that’s probably social anxiety or another anxiety disorder and you should try to get treatment for it). The world won’t end if you feel awkward as shit for a couple hours one evening. It still won’t end if you do that a few times to start getting to know people.
If you do want to go to events and are shy, there are plenty of workarounds to make it less awkward. Ask the organizers to introduce you to people who are especially friendly to shy newbies. We all remember being new and not knowing anyone, there will be lots of people who want to pay that forward by being extra nice to newbies. Ask if there’s anyone willing to meet you for coffee and go to the munch with you so you’ll have someone to sit with and someone to talk to who you kinda sorta know. Like I said, we were all new once, we remember what it was like. Ask if you can volunteer for anything. This generally works better at parties or workshops but if you do the volunteering first and then go to the munch, you’ll probably see some of the other volunteers or other people you met at the event.
Oh and you can goddamn well be shy and dominant at the same time, just like you can be an introvert and dominant at the same time. Being dominant is about how you like your relationships to work, being shy is about how you relate to strangers or people you don’t know well. They’re not fucking connected!
Finally, as supposed “character flaws” go, shyness is incredibly fucking minor. It’s not like you’re a shitty tipper or rude for no reason or mean to animals, you’re just a little anxious about meeting new people. Oh noes, the horrors. Also, people who pressure you to “come out of your shell” can fuck right off. Encouragement can be helpful if you even fucking want to come out of your shell (and you don’t fucking have to choose to be less shy), but pressure is not encouragement and it’s not helpful. You are not harming anyone by being shy and do not owe it to anyone to become the life of the party on demand. People who pressure you to do stuff (outside of a freely negotiated d/s relationship, of course 😉 do not give a shit about helping you be happier, they just like making you do things. Seriously, it’s a huge red flag for abuse when people decide that they know better than you what your life should be like and what parts of your personality that aren’t fucking hurting anyone need to be “fixed.”
Go forth (or stay in) and be shy, fellow shy people!