Part 8 of 23 Signs You’re Secretly an Introvert

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

3 thoughts on “Part 8 of 23 Signs You’re Secretly an Introvert

  1. I hate public speaking but I love singing in the choir whenever I get the chance. I would never consider doing solo performances, but I feel a sense of anonymity when I’m surrounded by others. I also love the sound of all the voices blending together 🙂

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  2. In my case, I also dread speaking in public. I hate attention being put on me. But given my profession, it’s inevitable that I would speak in front of many people. In my case, what matters is preparation and setting expectations to myself. But I would still try to avoid it as much as I can.

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