On Being Shy
I’ve always been a really shy person. I know it might sound a bit odd considering what I do for a living, but I’m actually not much of a ‘people person’ most of the time. I can happily spend days at home without seeing a single other human being. When I do socialise, I prefer to spend time with one or two people rather than a huge crowds and a find too many conversations at once overwhelming. And of course even with just a single conversational partner I sometimes get stressed out.
Some people like to think of this sort of personality trait as introversion, and some people label it social anxiety. It’s very common; I meet tons of guys and girls at work who feel shy around people they don’t know. This feeling is even worse when the setting is sexual – there’s so much more pressure and everyone has so many fears and insecurities around sex in general. Sometimes it’s really hard for my clients to relax and enjoy themselves.
I’m not sure when my attitude began to shift around social situations – perhaps in my mid-twenties? I have begun to accept myself now, and not place too many demands on myself when it comes to social situations. Not everyone loves big parties and that is okay. I have found that escorting has helped me work on my conversational skills to the point where I feel confident about chatting with strangers.
Here are a few of the things that help me out
Knowing nobody is perfect – everyone says stupid things sometimes, or runs out of ideas for what to say when they feel nervous. Nobody is suave and personable 00% of the time!
Liking myself – I try and stay aware of the things I like about myself so that I’m not too worried about other people liking me too. I enjoy getting on with people but I don’t need the good opinion of others to bolster up my self-esteem. This was a long process for me, and there are still some things I don’t like about myself, but mostly I feel that is someone has a bad opinion of me then they are probably wrong.
Accepting differences – at the end of the day there are so many different personality types and not everyone is designed to get along perfectly. Sometimes you ‘click’ with people and sometimes not. If the two of you don’t have a lot in common or just can’t seem to get along, it doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with either of you; it may just be that your personalities aren’t very compatible. Having said that, I find that nearly everyone has something small in common. As long as I don’t expect to be best buddies with someone, I can usually find something interesting to talk about.
If you’re really stuck and feel like you don’t know what to say, remember that people love to talk about themselves. If I ask them something and are genuinely interested to hear the answers, I find that my clients will forgive a lot of my social faux pas.
I enjoy my shy clients. I love getting to know people who are a bit more guarded about themselves, and making someone feel at home and accepted really makes my day. It isn’t always easy but I find that once we understand and accept one another everything turns out okay. Just as I don’t expect myself to be sociable all the time, I don’t expect my clients to be perfect conversationalists. I accept that we all have nervousness around chatting to the opposite sex (I have it too!)
My regular clients will know that I still put my foot in my mouth sometimes, and say something dumb! But that’s all part of the fun of being intimate with someone: a laugh, good times and accepting that we all have our own way of ‘doing’ social interaction.