Ever Seen One?
Yesterday at Brogan’s blog, Mark Hayward wrote a great post about being shy when attending conferences and other social situations. He called it Wallflower Syndrome.
Perhaps you’ve had some experience with that condition?
I have and still have moments when it returns. Truth is if I don’t plan well, a room filled with new people easily can shake my thinking.
I read what Mark wrote with interest and found a lot of what I do in his suggestions, but what surprised me what the photo that he chose to illustrate the feelings of wallflower-edness. He picked a sweet kitten in the grass.
Maybe that’s been part of the problem . . . I’ve been seeing the wallflower me all wrong.
Somehow I had this picture in my head that wallflowers were scraggly. dark green, barely surviving plant-like things. In my fish-eye imagination, a wallflower was a limp spinach mess with small wilted purple petals in a brown granny dress sitting in front of yellowing wallpaper.
How did I get that picture in my head?
Awkward and ugly was what wallflower always meant to me.
From junior high school school dances to certain networking events since,
that image of a spinach thing in a granny dress defined me the first second I felt shy or self-conscious in a group of more than three.
If I made the unfortunate mistake of walking near a wall, the game would soon before I could miss the thought of a wallflower and the image would make me feel even smaller.
Then this morning, I saw this picture of a wallflower.
I’m feeling sort of duped and wondering . . .
I’m thinking that I’ve been seeing my wallflower self all wrong. I wonder whether you’ve been doing that?
What if I had seen myself as Mark’s kitten or known a wallflower could look like this one? Would shyness have been a different experience?
Do you suppose that could make a difference?
–ME “Liz” Strauss
Work with Liz!!