Saturday, 7 March 2015
Lost for words
I don't know about that. What exactly is "too much" self-consciousness anyway? If anything, I think I'm probably not self-conscious enough. I'm more than capable of blurting out something stupid or insensitive without realising, or of saying the complete opposite of what I'm really thinking or feeling.
To my mind, the more self-conscious people are, the better. The more aware we are of how we're behaving, how we're affecting other people, what sort of impression we're making, the more likely we are to treat people decently rather than nastily.
Even if we're talking total self-absorption, that's not so awful either. Okay, so the person might be jabbering away about themself, but at least they're not planning a shooting spree or a mass beheading. The worst they can do is bore you to tears.
I think my shyness is due more to the assumption that other people won't accept me for what I am. If I just gabble away freely, sooner or later someone will object to something I've said and there will be an unpleasant exchange. People take offence at the strangest things, and I can't predict what they will be. So I find myself listening rather than talking so as to avoid sudden umbrage.
My shyness is probably also a reaction to wasting so many hours of my life listening to people confidently holding forth on things they know absolutely nothing about, or things that have already been dissected ad nauseam by all and sundry. I hesitate to add yet another ill-informed or superfluous opinion to the surrounding hubbub.
And at the end of the day, I'd just rather be a shrinking violet than a pompous windbag.