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  1. #1
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    We've all heard of social butterflies, but what about the opposite?

    Just mulling over some thoughts this morning. We've all heard the stories about the shy, quiet kid who gets through school and suddenly becomes a hugely charismatic, flamboyant personality; the type one would expect to be a real estate agent or a high-end executive...but what about the opposite angle? Introspectively, I loved attention when I was in junior high and high school...I did theatre, I was the guy who dyed his hair bright orange for the last week of classes, I was on the morning announcements, completely unafraid of public speaking and debating anyone I could. I was excited to go into teaching, since I spent a lot of time talking and rambling about my favorite topics anyway. Then, something happened in college...I began seeing the world as a lot more of a grim place. I became more introverted...lost my charisma, and my desire to do anything on a public stage. I changed majors to construction management, and really fumbled through any sort of presentation or public speaking experience from there on out. When I'd work jobs in customer service, I'd go home and clam up after the day was done; I wasn't energized by human interaction, I was exhausted by it.

    Has anyone else dealt with something like this before?
    I lost my phone number. Can I have yours?

  2. #2
    Russian Troll Farmer
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    My sister had a friend like that in H.S., most popular in her class, actress, got straight A's, was class president, got accepted into an Ivy League school..........and then dropped out in her freshman year. couldn't handle being just 'ordinary' there. Last I heard, she was an office manager in a dental practice.
    "L'enfer, c'est les autres"

  3. #3
    Frog Whisperer
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    I used to be shy, but I am not anymore.
    Of course I'm sure...that doesn't mean I'm right.....

    "There's no sense being stupid unless you show it."

    "that was like trying to teach a goldfish how to play basketball over the phone."

  4. #4
    Ricardo Cabeza
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    I was the quiet introvert in HS.

    Now I'm a quiet introvert
    Whenever the legislators endeavour to take away and destroy the property of the people, or to reduce them to slavery under arbitrary power, they put themselves into a state of war with the people who are thereupon absolved from any further obedience, and are left to the common refuge which God hath provided for all men against force and violence - John Locke

    SuperAndy's Garage

  5. #5
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    o_f, as a pretty introverted person since forever, I'm struck by the depth of your change. I'd have thought that anyone who has been outgoing could always turn it back on. Seems like it would be like ... I dunno ... riding a bike!

    But you seem to be describing a change that goes all the way to some loss of the old skill set. Could it be that outgoing-ness is 90% attitude to begin with, so that when attitude changes, everything changes?

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by bobf View Post
    o_f, as a pretty introverted person since forever, I'm struck by the depth of your change. I'd have thought that anyone who has been outgoing could always turn it back on. Seems like it would be like ... I dunno ... riding a bike!

    But you seem to be describing a change that goes all the way to some loss of the old skill set. Could it be that outgoing-ness is 90% attitude to begin with, so that when attitude changes, everything changes?
    That's definitely a possibility. I had a gnarly close to 2016, so I spent a few months in early 2017 talking to a therapist, and going over this a little bit. Her theory was that some stressor knocked me down a peg - the first presentation that I flopped was discussing how townships and sections were set up in a Surveying class, the second that I distinctly remember was a project abstract for the capstone class in my curriculum, going over fundraising, volunteer labor, and site-specific details. In surveying, I just blanked and completely forgot what I was talking about...something that had never happened before. Then, the project abstract was an organizational disaster, wherein I had to speak for 15 minutes or so, but wasn't given the information that I needed from my groupmates...and that project was literally set up to fail: The professor graded us on damage control and adaptability (it's completely unrealistic to start from scratch, find a project that needs doing, get approval from the school and municipalities, find funding, and organize labor within the time constraints...Ironically, another group hit the jackpot and were actually able to knock a $50,000 project out of the park within 6 weeks, but that was a HUGE fluke).

    But, heck with that...the past is past, the future's now. I know part of my post-college shyness comes as a defense mechanism from a couple of trainwreck customer service jobs. I've held a few positions wherein the only interactions I've had were negative, and I know that's left an impact. In my current position, I dread dealing with customers because I only interact with them when they're having a bad go of things, and there's a LOT of pressure to fix the situation with an angry customer leering over my shoulder. It feels great when people *want* to interact with me, but nearly every customer interaction I've had since graduation has been because people (often unhappily) have *needed* to interact with me...and I guess I've gotten to a point where I constantly have my defenses up and am expecting the worst of everyone.
    I lost my phone number. Can I have yours?

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