Throughout my life I have had my good periods where I have been more comfortable with my self or in my skin or maybe I would even dare to say that I didn't know to be shy. But I have been a shy person a good part of my life, and I am still learning to get over it.
When I was small, a little child I have  always been known in my family and friends of the family like the cute little girl who likes to dance and sing and just captured  lot of hearts.

However, from a young age, when I started in school, I was forming a habit of hiding from people I didn't know and I had a difficult time with approaching people and making friends with them. In the small grades it wasn't that bad, but as I began to become a teenager life changed a lot. I was still a very happy and outgoing person with my family and now the close friends I had.

On the other hand I was beginning to have a difficult time with new people. I think that I was beginning to feel out of place. And I think it really triggered my shyness and I didn't really feel like every other child at my age.
When you begin to become a teenager you begin to realize what kind of person you are and I really the worst time with that.

I didn't feel like I fit in. I was a Bosnian in Denmark, I came to Denmark when I was only six years old and I had been living most of my life in Denmark, but still I had the feeling that I didn't belong or that I did not belong. I began to feel very uncomfortable with who I was. I was feeling like I had been thrown in between to fires.... I did not feel Danish, but on the other hand I didn't feel really Bosnian either. I was beginning to lose myself and my identity. Or maybe the right explanation for this would be that I did not know and did not have an idea of how I would build my own identity because i felt like I didn't belong where I was, and I didn't belong there where I was from.

That resulted in me beginning to judge myself, based on my own negative thoughts and based on other peoples standards and how a "real Dane" would be. I was trying to play the role of a "real" dane and looked at my friends to see how they acted in different situations and I wanted to be like them, because I just felt invisible. I spend too much time in my own head thinking of how best to act and react in any given situation, but to be more like my friends, and not thinking about how I, as a young Bosnain girl would react. Because that was what I was... I was a confused young teenage girl, in a little town with only Danes surrounding her, and of course I wanted to be like "them". Who would want to be "DIFFERENT" in your teenage years? Well, not me at that time!

That is also why I began to feel shy and I didn't want to meet new people because I didn't know how people would react to me. My name was different, I was not the typical beautiful tall blond danish girl with stunning blue eyes. No, I was the opposite. I was a short girl with brown hair and brown eyes. So again here, I felt so different! I did not want to meet new people and get jugded or even worse, get bullied or anything else. I was really afraid of rejection that I avoided anything with new people involved at all costs. I was not comfortable with being approached by strangers. I would stutter and feel very nervous if I had to meet someone new and I would get sweaty palms, and I really hated that feeling.

This kind of behavior went on for a couple of years. I began to get better as I got older and as I approached the end of my teenage years I became more confident and more comfortable with my self.
I think that after some years I realized that I wasn't like my danish friends and that I maybe even liked being a little different. I began to feel a little better about myself and I began to realize that my friends liked me, even though I wasn't like them. But the most important lesson I learned was that I had to be able to see myself as a good person and I had to feel good about myself and what and who I was.

I know a lot of other young people are shy and maybe even have a lot of more problems than I had. I know that they have problems speaking to strangers the most normal places. And when they can't get out of the situation and have to speak their voices will get really shaky and weak and they will have a hard time even expressing something really simple, just because they are confronted with someone they didn't know.
This can even lead to panic attacks when there are to many people around someone and they do not know how to handle such a thing.

I know that this is a big deal and very common especially amongst young people who are trying to find them selfs and figure out who they are as a person. And I may have some advice, but I know that everyone is different and we all have different ways to cope with this so it is very important to find what works for you and try to be open to new possibilities.

The things I took out from my experience with this thing called shyness was that we all need real friends who will like you for who you are. They should support you and make you feel good about yourself and encourage you. It can be very difficult and you may feel that they are throwing you to the wolves. But you can do it! It takes practice, BELIEVE ME! But it will get better. And soon you will have the courage to go and ask someone you dont know for help to find the ketchup in the supermarket. But I feel the most important thing is being able to see that you deserve something good and that you deserve to be happy! When I realized that I didn't want the shyness to overshadow my life and my opportunities I began to feel more brave and more confortable in my own skin and own it, with sweaty palms and all when I asked someone for the direction to the nearest bathroom.

I still, this day, at 21 years old, have some small problems or moments when I feel like I can't handle to meet new people. Especially when there are going to be a lot of new people and I maybe only know a couple of people that will be at the event too, but now I can push myself into it. And I can say that I never ever have the feeling of regret when I went to something like that and met new people.
And now I am back to being that cute girl that is happy and friendly and loves to meet new people and get to know someone and become friends. 

Being shy is no fun, no fun at all if I have to be true. It's okay to be a little shy, I still am, but it should not hold you back from big things or dreams that you have for yourself! 
If you work hard and have great friends around you who support you, like I had and still have you can do it! You will get more confidence and you will be able to realize that you deserve the best and that your shyness should not control your life, but that YOU and only you should control your life! 


Published by Elma Omukic