Don’t Judge Yourself for Being Who You Are

I was away from home recently at my sister’s house for my nephew’s communion. I had some wine to drink throughout the day and I found it interesting to note as the day wore on how drink affected different people.

They say drink helps you over your inhibitions. I’m normally quiet and I find it difficult to talk to people. I try to talk, and feel that I should, and I put in the effort, but I’m not always the best at it.

I noticed today that as people drank more and more they let loose and got into chatting each other more. Even the quieter people opened up and chatted more, because they lost their inhibitions I suppose. For me it was the opposite.

It wasn’t that I found it harder to talk, it was that I found it easier to not talk. I lost my inhibition that stopped me from not talking. That might sound a bit weird but what I mean is this. It occurred to me that perhaps I’m naturally quiet. I always thought I was shy, but I assumed shy to mean that it was hard for me to engage socially, and that I was almost morally obliged to make the extra effort. Today, however, when I had drink on me I didn’t feel that obligation. I was able to let loose myself and just relax and not talk. I ended up going off and spending time on my own when I felt like it, when I needed it. Yet, when I was with people I did talk to them. I was nice to them and I didn’t feel uncomfortable, like I normally do.

I have always judged myself over my shyness. I assumed it was a kind of laziness or maybe cowardliness, but I’m thinking now maybe it’s not. Maybe that’s the way I am. I’m not saying that I should drop the effort to talk. Of course I still need to make the effort. That’s what shy people have to do, make that effort. I’m saying I shouldn’t judge myself for being shy. I’m saying I shouldn’t feel that there’s something wrong with it. I should just accept it and be happy with who I am, and if I need time alone I should give it to myself.

I’m a good enough person that I’ll make the effort to get over my shyness and talk to people when I’m in a social situation, but I also need to think of myself and give myself that time alone and time to replenish my energies when I need that too. It got me to thinking how many other ways do we mask who we are in favor of who we think we should be. How often do we judge ourselves and knock ourselves instead of accepting our differences?…Shortcomings? …Uniquenesses?

I don’t know what they should be called, but I know they’re not negative. We are who we are. OK, we’re all different, and we all get it easier in some ways, and we all have to make that extra effort in other ways. But we should all accept ourselves for who we are too and not judge ourselves. It can be hard enough to deal with the admonitions of others without dealing with our own.

P.S. For help in dealing with shyness, there’s a great article over at ThinkSimpleNow

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