Someone said to me yesterday, “People think I’m stuck up, but really I’m scared.”
It made me laugh because I’m much the same way. I’ve been so shy and introverted my entire life that meeting new people has always been a dicey prospect for me. I’m no longer shy about meeting new people because at this point in my life, I don’t really care if you like me or not. You either do or you don’t. If you do, great, I’m happy to be your friend. If you don’t, oh well. You’re missing out on having a decent person as your friend.
Still, I tend to be reserved when I meet new people, and that’s just a self-defensive wall I put up. But people take that to be snootiness. In actuality, I’m about as far from snooty as you can get. Okay, I might get a little elitist—maybe even indignant—when it comes to food (“You want to eat WHERE? Why don’t you just fish out the contents of the cat box and strap on a feed bag?”). But other than that, I’m pretty down to earth.
Public speaking, however, is another matter. That’s still something that I’m struggling with. Like anything else, the more you do it, the easier it gets, but it could be a long journey to a comfortable zone. I’ve done several readings, interviews, and panels this year, and I was not exactly a smooth operator. I’m sure people recognized my lack of performance savvy, but I think those experiences have helped me become a little more accustomed to public speaking.
The experiences have been nerve wracking, but I’m actually quite proud of myself that I stepped out of my comfort zone and did things that I couldn’t imagine doing not very long ago.
As for the snootiness, if someone takes the time to get to know me, they find out that I’m actually a nice person. If someone can’t be bothered getting to know me, then I think I’m better off without them.