I’ve been thinking a lot about whether I’m shy or just awkward. Then I was like, “Don’t get down on yourself; you are more than just one thing, Eliza! You are a multi-dimensional human being with lots of layers. Why limit yourself? You can be shy and awkward!”
Figuring this out has been really great for me because I’ve been able to come up with a new phrase to describe myself: shawkward. I know it seems like a pretty simple concept. I know you’re all thinking, “Big deal, Eliza, all you did was combine shy and awkward.” But I assure you it wasn’t that easy, especially when you consider all of the ways I could’ve combined shy and awkward. There was shykward but that sounds too weird and I am not that weird. Then there was awkshard, which sounded disgusting and potentially painful. There was wardshy, which just sounded stupid. Not to mention awkshy, shwardy, and shyawk, all of which sound like bird noises and sorry, I absolutely hate birds. But I think shawkward has a nice ring to it.
This phrase has truly transformed the way I feel about myself. I used to get down on myself for being shy and awkward. For example, if I went to a party (being shy and awkward, I go to a ton of parties!), I always had trouble keeping the conversation flowing with cute boys. Normally I would go home thinking, “Why are you so weird, Eliza?! Why can’t you just talk to a person like a normal human being? Why did you keep saying you were excited? And why, for the love of God, did you sweat so much? It wasn’t even hot.” Knowing I am shawkward answered all of these questions. I’ve been able to take ownership of my shawkwardness. Most importantly, being labeled shawkward has allowed me to feel accomplished and more confident because I came up with such a great phrase.
The best part is, you can do it too! Let’s say you’re also awkward, but you’re goofy and awkward. What about the phrase, gawkward, or awkgawk, gooawk, or gookward? Choose the least stupid or offensive sounding one. Maybe you aren’t awkward at all. Maybe you’re just shy and funny. You could be shunny, fushy, or plain old shyfu. And because everyone is different I urge you to come up with a name completely unique to you. The possibilities are endless!
Image via scottgralnick.com