Pleeeasse Don’t Look at Me
I was a painfully shy child. They called me “Bashful.” Pictures of me hiding my face or crying on picture day aren’t hard to find. People looking at me make me very self-conscious. Many folks find that a surprise. I write this post for everyone who is shy.
I find the best and most engaging way is to tell a brief story that sets up your work.
Gl also left a great link to a post on talking about what you do.
I so agree with what GL says that I’m going to tell you a story about telling stories. This is the reason that most folks don’t think I’m shy.
The Story about Telling Stories
My son was also a painfully shy child. He didn’t like people looking at him. When other young children were saying “Hi!” He was a child like I had been — hiding or being uncooperative about such things. Then one day, when he was about thirteen, I noticed a change in his behavior. He had suddenly become entertaining.
That day at work I spoke to a close friend about it. “You know my son has finally found a way to deal with the world. He gets entertaining, telling stories about what he wants to say rather than actually saying it. It’s so interesting. The shift is slight, but I can see it. By doing that he makes so that people are looking at him telling a story, they’re not actually looking at him — who he is.”
My friend Peg said, “Gee, I wonder where he got that from.”
“Guilty. I don’t mind if you look at my work. I think it’s fine if you watch me teach, or speak, or explain something I know. But I sure get self-conscious if I think you are looking at me.”
That’s why GL’s advice is particularly strong.
If you’re self-conscious about self-promoting, explain what you do by telling a story. Then people will be listening to the story and seeing the storyteller in you.
It works. I’ve been doing it since I was 13 too.
–Me “Liz” Strauss