8. Giving a talk in front of 500 people is less stressful than having to mingle with those people afterwards.
Nope. Nada. NOT going to happen. For. Get. It.
This is where I divert from introvert to super shy. I am not good with public speaking or anything where I’m singled out and in the spotlight.
When I applied for the newly vacated position of Director of Christian Education, I made it perfectly crystal clear that in no way would I be expected to be the “face” of the department – I would hire someone to do that. I’m a behind the scenes kind of girl, and I’m most content that way.
I easily embarrass – flubbing a word makes my heart pound and my face turn red. All eyes are on me – I’m not physically gasping for breath, but no matter how slowly and clearly I speak, I feel like I can’t breathe. Before I’m singled out, I’m all nervous and shaky. Afterwards, it takes me at least 30 minutes to come down from the anxiety ride.
I’m sure a lot of it is psychological remnant from all the times I was teased during a presentation in class, I’d be laughed at quietly. Just enough to make me feel very uneasy and self-conscious. That stuff never leaves you. I’m almost 40 and those “memories” are still as vivid as they were when I was in my teens. Even thinking about it makes me anxious.
I know, in my heart, all the people in the pews on Sunday morning love and respect me and couldn’t care less if I tripped over my tongue during a reading. I wish it didn’t matter to me, but it does. It’s who I am.
I have been toiling over joining our church choir for well over a year. I just feel so intimidated by the talent up there. I know my lack of sight reading music doesn’t matter to those up there (I’ve come to learn there are many who don’t read music). I can sing what I hear and I do love to sing (when no one else is listening, of course). I guess it’s just a matter of getting enough courage to actually do it. That is one thing I always did like and was never nervous about – because I was in a group of blended voices. I do like to just blend in.
I do apologize if there are those of you who DO excel under the conditions of performing or speaking that cannot relate to what I go through in those situations. I wonder how many introverts out there do suffer from a degree of shyness. I’d love to hear from you!
Image Credit: DanielaVDelgado.com