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How do I manage not to pass my shyness on to dc(s)

(3 Posts)
cantwaitforxmas Tue 14-Oct-08 20:28:40

This is a bit premature as I don't actually have any dcs yet but dp and I have decided to ttc soon. I am very shy and always worry that people don't like me. I get very nervous and uptight around anyone other dp, family and couple of friends and then I can't really relax and chat (or worse I do chat then go home and stress that I was just irritating/stupid/boring etc). I know that when people are a bit jokey or tease me I take it too seriously. Even when I do meet people I get on with I don't phone or arrange to meet them as I always worry I am bothering them and they don't really want to talk to me. This all means I don't have many friends.

I have been very shy for as long as I can remember. My parents separated when I was at school and I was probably quite sensitive and cried easily around that time so I was bullied. Just never seemed to get my confidence back. I now have a great dp (we have been together for 12 years and he is my best friend) and a job I love with lovely collegues and I really want to tackle my shyness but don't know how to start. REALLY don't want to pass my anxieties onto our dc(s). Any advice would be much appreciated.

melpomene Tue 14-Oct-08 20:41:59

Firstly, it helps to think of shyness as a feeling, rather than a label that permanently applies to a person. Almost everyone feels shy in some situations; the question is then, how to deal with it. Try not to think of yourself as 'a shy person'. Similarly, many toddlers or small children go through stages of being wary and clingy and it's important (though not always easy) to avoid labelling them as shy.

Secondly, being a mum is a great way of meeting people. The babies/children take the focus off you, and if you suggest meeting up it's for their benefit as well as the benefit of you and the other mum.

I suspect a lot of it comes down to genetics (nature) rather than nurture. I've battled with shyness for much of my life. I have 2 dds and think I've raised them in similar ways. DD1 often feels anxious in social situations, while dd2 is brimming with confidence, chats away happily to strangers and loves to cuddle her friends' parents etc.

Tryharder Wed 15-Oct-08 00:33:15

I'm shy by nature (crippingly so as a child/young adult) but over the years have become less so. What changed things for me was doing a job for some years where there was an element of socialising and i HAD TO make polite conversation with complete strangers. What i am trying to say is that you CAN overcome your shyness with a bit of effort and I am sure there are plenty of self help books and other things you could try.

As Melpomene said, having children is one of the best ways of getting to know people because even if you have absolutely nothing in common you can always talk about your kids.

To start with, have you considered joining the NCT once you get pregnant and going along to their antenatal classes. I didnt do NCT myself but know people who have who made plenty of friends. Once your baby is born, mention to your HV that you would like to get out and about a bit and she will probably give you a long list of M&B groups in your local area. Try a few out and pick the ones which seem friendlier and make an effort to go regularly. Its easy to make conversation when you have a PFB - honestly. You can swap labour horror stories to start with!

And don't worry that your children will be disadvantaged with having a shy mum. It's doesnt necessarily transpire that your children will inherit your shyness. My DS1 is very outgoing and i know a very exhuberent outgoing lady with a painfully shy daughter.

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