How Not To Be Shy

When the introvert wants to be extrovert.

A Desire to Be Seen and Celebrated

Shyness is nice, and shyness can stop you from doing all the things in life you’d like to — The Smiths, “Ask”

How do you reconcile shyness with a desire to be seen and celebrated?

I was seventeen, and much to the surprise of my friends, I had joined a band. I didn’t play an instrument back then, but I had a singing voice that was passable, and that put me in line as the lead singer.

Lead singer? But you hate an audience, you can’t even put your hand up in class. You’re so shy. And I’ve never heard you sing.

How had I become the lead singer?

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It happened because one of the guitarists caught me singing to myself in what I thought was an empty college common room.

I didn’t know you sang, he said.

Well, not really, I said.

Why don’t you come and practice with us? Nothing serious, just for fun, he said.

No thanks, I said (because shyness teaches you to decline more or less everything).

It’s just for fun, he said.

Ok, I said (because shyness also teaches you not to argue).

That’s how I became the lead singer.